Bloodwalker picks up the folklore of the Skomori, a legendary Romanian clan whose women traditionally lay out the dead. Sylvie is eighteen and facing an arranged marriage to a man she’s never met, late at the age of eighteen. Sylvie has faced a lot of challenges as an apprentice bloodwalker; despite her knowledge, laying-outs go awry, she doesn’t share in the bloodwalker ability to see the future, and there are whispers about her in her home village. By long tradition, the Skomori weddings take place in the Zorka circus, presided over by one of the oldest bloodwalkers living. Sylvie is terrified of what Zora will prophesy for her future – but even her wildest nightmares don’t come close.

L X Cain has created a unique story, lifting the curtain to give her readers a view into an area of Europe shrouded in fantastic legends of monsters. With a plot where the supernatural blends seamlessly into a murder mystery, peopled with circus performers, murderous clowns, and the closed, ritual-bound community of the Skomori, Bloodwalker will suck you in from the first page and not let go until the last one. This is a fast-paced, brilliantly-crafted book that touches on everything from folklore to domestic abuse to multi-cultural society, and the characters and settings are fascinatingly plausible. Twisty and gripping, I highly recommend this to enthusiasts of the fantasy and thriller genres alike.

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