The Dark Spark is the second instalment of the wonderful YA Bloodline Academy fantasy series from Ahava Trivedi. It continues the journey for Katerina Snow Quartz and her own self-discovery amidst a battle between her two bloodlines. Half witch, half vampire, unknown parents, unique abilities from both bloodlines, she has the potential of becoming the most powerful of all supernatural beings. Her natural allegiance seems to be a connection with the witches, yet they seem intent on disowning her. Following a revelation spell, that exiled her from all witch contact including her best friend Safi, it also revealed her powers to the St Erzsebet’s Academy professors who now realise the capability she possesses.
Reeling from the deadly rescue of the High Priestess Lorna, Katerina (Kat) and her friends are struggling to come to terms with the fallout from the events. Apart from not being able to contact Safi, her boyfriend Ulrich is preoccupied with his fall-out from his wolfpack and trying to search for his sister Winnie. Natalie was brought back to life from Kat’s blood and now she may have a taste for witches’ blood. Valenthia gorged on the High Priestess’ blood and they can’t be sure if she can now be trusted. Following the revelation spell, Bloodline Academy now demands Kat prove her loyalty by turning her best friend (and witch) Safi, into a vampire. Which surely only means she must kill her.
Feeling isolated with the demands on both sides Kat plans to run away and instead encounters her mother Sophie-Anne, who reveals her history and explains who her father was and her ancestry. A bloodline that can be traced back to European vampire royalty and Elizabeth Bathory. With the hexes and charms classes at school, learning about her own history, and revelations from Valenthia, since she drank witch’s blood, Kat becomes aware of the mystical necklace called the Dark Spark.
“The Dark Spark signified great power and became a tool of great danger. All I know is that it gave Elizabeth Bathory an immense amount of power when she was alive but because of what she did with her power, a Crystal Witch named Esmeralda cursed it so it would kill any vampire that touches it, in an instant.”
In a magical world that keeps building, Ahava Trivedi introduces supernatural beings and beasts that add depth and fascination to this fantastic adventure. The expanse of myths, legends, relics, supernatural creatures and enthralling locations are wonderfully brought into a story that is captivating and bubbling with treacherous vampire scheming to destroy the world order. The Supernatural Light Alliance need to figure out if Kat is part of the solution or a dangerous force against them.
It does take clever and meticulous plotting to achieve a seamless flow of action and suspense, with an intriguing cast of characters to deliver a story that is exciting, immersive and un-put-down-able. What I like is that the vampires, werewolves, witches and other creatures are consistent with my vision of what abilities these beings possess and what they fear.
There is a sense that the storyline is building for a confrontation where both sides show their hand with the belief they will eventually dominate over all others. I would highly recommend this book to all fantasy lovers and it is an absolute gift for YA urban fantasy academy fans.