Happy Thursday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for CURSE OF THE DIVINE! I’m so excited because today I have an interview with Kim Smejkal to share with you! This book is truly amazing and I’m so so excited to for you to find out more about it!
Curse of the Divine by Kim Smejkal
Series: Ink in the Blood #2
Published on February 9, 2021 by Houghton Mifflin
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, YA, Queer
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Return to the world of inklings, tattoo magic, and evil deities as Celia uncovers the secrets of the ink in order to stop Diavala once and for all. This eagerly anticipated sequel to Ink in the Blood is perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Wicked Saints.
Celia Sand faced Diavala and won, using ink magic to destroy the corrupt religion of Profeta that tormented her for a decade. But winning came with a cost. Now Celia is plagued with guilt over her role in the death of her best friend. When she discovers that Diavala is still very much alive and threatening Griffin, the now-infamous plague doctor, Celia is desperate not to lose another person she loves to the deity’s wrath.
The key to destroying Diavala may lie with Halycon Ronnea, the only other person to have faced Diavala and survived. But Halcyon is dangerous and has secrets of his own, ones that involve the ink that Celia has come to hate. Forced to choose between the ink and Diavala, Celia will do whatever it takes to save Griffin—even if it means making a deal with the devil himself.
If you could trade lives with any book character for a day, who would it be and why? What about a week? A month, year, or forever?
Thank you so much for having me on your blog, and for starting with such a good question! I had a difficult time coming up with an answer because I read books with so much darkness, trauma, and danger in them that, as a marshmallow, I wouldn’t survive. That said, I finally decided I’d trade lives with Yael from Ryan Graudin’s Wolf for Wolf for a day. I’d ride some motorcycles, swap my face and shapeshift like a badass, and go after some nazis. I adore Laini Taylor’s world-building, so for a longer stay I’d choose to swap places with Karou from the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy. I’d have TWO worlds to explore, ours (bonus: no air travel required!) and Eretz (!)
What would you do if you spent the day with celia? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
Compared to the first question, this one’s easy. She’d take me to some underground dive lounge that no one but the cool kids know about, and I’d pretend to be cooler than I am to impress her. We’d drink too much and wax poetic about the state of the world. Then I’d probably have to carry her home.
If celia were to hang out with characters from other books, who would they be and why?
Celia is a bit of a mess, honestly, so hopefully she’d find friends who would help her keep her head on straight. Someone like August Flynn from This Savage Song, Bree from Legendborn, my darling son, Peeta, or Inej from Six of Crows are the first to spring to mind. Celia has been through a lot and she holds so much fear in her heart. She needs friends who can help her be brave. 🙂
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
The magic system in this duology is based around ink. What started in Ink in the Blood as tattoo magic gets amped up in Curse of the Divine, as Celia and company learn more about how the divine ink works. I know a lot about tattooing now, but at one point my research deep-dived into learning about pact ink. I learned that some people believed that a contract with the devil had to be written in a special ink in order for it to be valid. I found the ye olde recipe for pact ink, and instructions for how to make it, but alas, there was never an opportunity to write the specifics into the series!
What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from curse of the divine?
I adore the new villain in Curse of the Divine, and every scene he’s in was an absolute delight to write. My editor described him as “evil Oscar Wilde” and she is absolutely correct. He’s vain, arrogant, spoiled, and delusional, and he curates his world with precision. There’s one scene in particular that stands out: Celia secretly watches him methodically groom himself, and she’s revolted by his beauty because she sees him clearly for the first time. I love scenes that play with opposites, and to me it’s such a powerful moment.
But of course I can’t forget the plague doctor. He has some point of view chapters in Curse of the Divine and getting inside his strange, riddle-filled head was so much fun. My favorite quote from him in this book is one that sums up the duology: “‘There’s a hint of madness in the air,’ he said, and he looked eager to breathe it all in.”
Were there alternate endings you considered, or did you always know where the story was headed?
I always knew where Celia would end up and what would become of the characters. The road they took to get there took some very unexpected detours though!
Thank you for having me today! For your followers who haven’t read the first book of the duology, I would definitely recommend reading them in order. Curse of the Divine expands on the world-building established in Ink in the Blood, plus you’ll get even more time with this weird and wild group of characters. 🙂
Kim Smejkal lives with her family on muse-satiating Vancouver Island, which means she’s often lost in the woods or wandering a beach. She writes dark fantasy for young adults and not-so-young adults, always with a touch of magic. Her debut novel, INK IN THE BLOOD, will release from HMH in early 2020, with a sequel to follow in 2021. She is represented by Daniel Lazar of Writers House.
What do you think about CURSE OF THE DIVINE? Have you added it to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!