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Book Review : One For My Enemy by Olivie Blake

I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts about One For My Enemy by Olivie Blake.

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  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Tor; Main Market edition (20 April 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 432 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1035011573
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1035011575
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 18 years and up

In New York City, two rival witch families fight for the upper hand.

The Antonova sisters are beautiful, cunning and ruthless, and their mother – known only as Baba Yaga – is the elusive supplier of premium intoxicants. Their adversaries, the influential Fedorov brothers, serve their crime boss father. Named Koschei the Deathless, his enterprise dominates the shadows of magical Manhattan.

For twelve years, the families have maintained a fraught stalemate. Then everything is thrown into disarray. Bad blood carries them to the brink of disaster, even as fate draws together a brother and sister from either side. Yet the siblings still struggle for power, and internal conflicts could destroy each family from within. That is, if the enmity between empires doesn’t destroy both sides first.

Book Review

One For My Enemy is based in a world where magic and witches go under the radar (led by the Borough Witches).  I loved that there’s no fanfare of magical abilities … it’s just a part of the Antonova and Fedorov’s lives (although others covet it of course).   Subtle but oh so powerful!

I loved the formats mixing old and new.  Acts I to VI, the staging etc lead the story on beautifully.  The Yelp reviews are brilliant as are Sasha and Lev’s text messages.

Of course, there’s always going to be twists and turns when two powerful families are involved. Baba Yaga and Koschei feel distant at first, moving their ‘pawns’ for their own gains.  You forget that underneath that unflinching exterior they might be vulnerable and fallible … Anyway, it’s the next generation that questions and ultimately make their own choices.

Olivie Blake understands the psyche and family dynamics – middle child syndrome plays out oh so well here!  As does the eldest and youngest.  Emotions are a powerful source for action and we see them controlled (by Masha) as well as irrational and blinding (for Roma).  I loved the depth of feeling throughout the story.

I think my favourite character has to be the Bridge.  With a foot in two worlds, he brokers some crazy deals.  I never knew quite what to expect from him and loved his resolution.

One For My Enemy is character driven and motivated from the core of relationships (and communication!) in all its forms.  Betrayals, sacrifices, misunderstandings, death, re-birth and love at a soul level.. I’ve loved being a part of this magical world. It is such an emotional read.

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About the Author

Olivie Blake is the pseudonym of Alexene Farol Follmuth, a writer and lover of stories. As Olivie, she has penned several adult speculative fiction projects including the webtoon Clara and the Devil, with illustrator Little Chmura, Alone With You in the Ether, and the internationally bestselling Atlas trilogy. Writing as Alexene, she’s released My Mechanical Romance – her debut YA rom-com. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, young son and rescue pit bull.

Twitter @OlivieBlake

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