Set in a place that idolizes some woman who symbolizes good that makes tattoos appear on other's bodies (thought to be messages from her).

Protagonist is a teen girl who was forced to draw the tattoos and ends up running away and joining a circus with her friend. At the circus, the love interest is the son of the owner (she has red hair and is bipolar), who plays death in the shows and looks like a crow during the circus.

Then the force of "good" turns out to be bad (she just jumps inside a random person when she wants to do/say something herself or influence everything. When she jumps out they always go crazy and die), finds the girls who ran away, she forces them to give the people around them tattoos (which is bad because it's just her way to control everyone).

They end up performing as a duo act in the circus where they use their tattoo powers to communicate and make it seem like the character who plays the symbol of good is controlling the character who's the symbol of evil with her mind. Then they end up having to go back to the school they were from and do a show, and the "deity" posses one of the girls, who kills herself to kill it.


1 Answer 1


Might this be Ink in the Blood (2020) by Kim Smejkal?

A lush, dark YA fantasy debut that weaves together tattoo magic, faith, and eccentric theater in a world where lies are currency and ink is a weapon, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Kendare Blake.

Celia Sand and her best friend, Anya Burtoni, are inklings for the esteemed religion of Profeta. Using magic, they tattoo followers with beautiful images that represent the Divine’s will and guide the actions of the recipients. It’s considered a noble calling, but ten years into their servitude Celia and Anya know the truth: Profeta is built on lies, the tattooed orders strip away freedom, and the revered temple is actually a brutal, torturous prison.

Their opportunity to escape arrives with the Rabble Mob, a traveling theater troupe. Using their inkling abilities for performance instead of propaganda, Celia and Anya are content for the first time . . . until they realize who followed them. The Divine they never believed in is very real, very angry, and determined to use Celia, Anya, and the Rabble Mob’s now-infamous stage to spread her deceitful influence even further.

To protect their new family from the wrath of a malicious deity and the zealots who work in her name, Celia and Anya must unmask the biggest lie of all—Profeta itself.


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