Liselle Sambury’s second book felt necessary.
Her first novel, Blood Like Magic, was released in June 2021, and Sambury said she heard from a lot of fans that they wanted more, which meant the audience for her second novel in the series, Blood Like Fate, was already looking for the next part of the story.
“People are like, oh, is there another one,” she said with a smile. “I wouldn’t leave that as the end of the book!”
Sambury is originally from Toronto and grew up in a Trinidadian household.
Sambury said that the series grew out of homesickness for her own family, after moving to Timmins during the pandemic.
“When I wrote Blood Like Magic, I was living in Timmins for the very first time, and it was the farthest I’d ever lived from my family,” she said. “So I thought, I’ll write something that’s set there and reconnect that way.”
The second book, Blood Like Fate, continues the main character’s journey through magic and her family, which mirrors, in some ways, the experiences of the author.
“I grew up in that sort of inter-generational, blended family home, and it wasn’t something I had seen much,” she said. “So I thought I’d do something like that but witches.”
The series focuses on the story of Voya, a teenager who comes from a long line of witches, and is struggling to come into her own power, magically and as a leader, and what that means for her line, and her life going forward.
“I just wanted to write a really fun urban fantasy with a Black girl at the centre,” she said about the series and its protagonist.
Blood Like Fate’s release in August 2022 gave some closure to fans of the first book, which left readers wondering what would happen next to the teen hero of the series.
“Everything changed for her, and it’s a lot to deal with,” said Sambury. “Her journey is not over.”
Since its release, Sambury hasn’t slowed down.
She's travelled all over the country and into the states, but she says she used those chances to reconnect with family when she could.
"There were brief times to be in Toronto because I was already at that airport," she said.
She has another novel, Delicious Monsters, set to release in February, a short story in the anthology All These Sunken Souls: A Black Horror Anthology, releasing in October, and a young readers novel set in the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe world, centred around the character, Tela, coming out in June.
She’s also currently in the early stages of editing her next novel, which is set to be released in 2024.
Sambury says she hopes fans of the first book are satisfied with Voya’s story as it continues. “I couldn’t leave it like that!”
Amanda Rabski-McColl, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com