Book Review: Strayblood by E.E. Rawls (Blog Tour)

Hello, folksies! Welcome to the Strayblood blog tour!

Last year I read the fantastic first book in the Draev Guardians series, Strayborn, and loved it, and now that the second book is finally out, I’m so pleased to be writing a book review on it! But first, let’s have a brief introduction to the book itself…

About the Book

“I am the rescuer of the weak. The hope of those who have none. And the executioner of vempar kind. I am the White Ghost—and your worst nightmare.”

With the events of the Festival Duel over, Cyrus wants to focus on training her Ability with metal. But trouble soon comes in the form of a shapeshifter: the White Ghost, who’s determined to exterminate all vempar kind, and he’s seeking the power of the Swan Princess in order to carry out his plan.

Seriously, why can’t people just leave Cyrus alone? She doesn’t want to be the Swan, some reborn hero from legend! She just wants to be with her friends and train to become a Draev Guardian. Is that too much to ask for?

Apparently, it is. The Oracle, who happens to be a faeryn child, can lead the Ghost right to her—and the Impure Nights, as well. Harlow must keep the Oracle safe, but with the Academy’s yearly Hunters Race coming up, things get even more complicated. The Scourgeblood in Aken’s veins is awakening, and to face the powerful shapeshifter, Cyrus’s fellow Draevs-in-training may have to pay the ultimate price…

My Thoughts

This book was a BLAST! It picks up soon after the first and carries the story along without a hitch (although I confess, since it had been so long since I read the first one, I was having trouble remembering all the details from before). We’re introduced to a brand-new thread of the storyline and meet quite a few intriguing characters. And let’s not forget the ones who just returned…

But, one at a time, let’s start with the characters. Cyrus and Aken (particularly Aken, thank goodness) grow a lot over the course over this book. I felt a bit disconnected from Cyrus and more attached to Aken, actually, which was reverse of the last book (Aken was kinda bratty back then). I don’t want to talk too much about those twofor the sake of avoiding spoilers, but I will say that I’m so happy with the bigger roles some of the Harlow boys played in this book! Except that meant some of the others sort of disappeared into the background for much of it… Which I’ll have to forgive because there were a lot of interesting new characters to compensate for that.

(Can we just talk about the vempar prince for a quick sec? Like… xD)

Of course, this brings us to the next point: the plot. As it was with the first book, it brings together the everyday life of students at the Draev Academy with the extraordinary results of Cyrus and Aken’s backstories. There were so many funny moments that straight-up reminded me of manga or anime, and in the best way 😀 But there was an equal amount of intense action to balance it out. Overall it made for a nice pace that kept me reading! (Except when my time got cut short, which happened a lot and definitely took away from my enjoyment of the book 😦 )

As usual, Rawls’s descriptive style shines in this story. While it feels a bit stilted and unpolished in some parts, it presents vivid imagery and beautifully detailed character designs reminiscent of your favorite animes. (Honestly I’d recommend this series to any manga/anime fan who wants a read that’s quick despite its length!) This is probably my favorite part of her books, that I can imagine everything so perfectly clearly in my head. Also, I will never not enjoy all the jabs directed at Aken’s hair, poor guy.

Overall, this was such a fun and fast-paced read that left me once again excited for the next installment! It’s perfect for a middle-grade audience or anyone who doesn’t have a lot of time on their hands yet wants to experience a well-developed, unique world and a colorful cast of characters.

*I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. A positive review was not required; all views and opinions expressed are my own.*

If you’re new to the world of Draev Guardians, check out the links to book #1 below and the Amazon sale: The hardback price is discounted, and the ebook is $0.99 cents through to Dec. 12th!

About the Author

E.E. Rawls is the product of a traveling family, who even lived in Italy for 6 years. She loves exploring the unknown, whether it be in a forest, inside a forgotten castle, or within the pages of a book. She runs on coffee, cuddly cats and the beauty of nature to keep the story wheels of her mind turning, as she writes stories that will both entertain and inspire, creating worlds that one can explore and quickly become lost within… Be careful you don’t lose your way.


Thanks for reading, folks 🙂 Hope you check this series out!

Until next time,

~ Merie

5 thoughts on “Book Review: Strayblood by E.E. Rawls (Blog Tour)

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