Review: We Are Blood and Thunder – Kesia Lupo

I was sent this glorious ARC from Bloomsbury Publishing, and I was so excited to receive it! I had heard so many good things about this book and I was excited to get into it!

Title: We Are Blood and Thunder

Author: Kesia Lupo

Genre: Fantasy

Age Classification: YA

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Publication Date: May 6th 2019 (Australia)


In a sealed-off city, it begins with a hunt. A young woman, Lena, running for her life, convicted of being a mage and sentenced to death. Her only way to survive is to trust those she has been brought up to fear – those with magic.
On the other side of the locked gates is a masked lady, Constance, determined to find a way back in. She knows only too well how the people of Duke’s Forest loathe magic. Years ago she escaped before her powers were discovered. But now she won’t hide who she is any longer.
A powerful and terrifying storm cloud unites them. It descends over the dukedom and devastates much in its wake. But this is more than a thunderstorm. This is a spell, and the truth behind why it has been cast is more sinister than anyone can imagine … Only Lena and Constance hold the key to destroying the spell. Though neither of them realise it, they need each other. They are the blood and they have the thunder within


I loved this book from the very start. It was engaging, the magic in the world was interesting and different, and the two main characters gripped us and wouldn’t let go! We have Lena, the young, almost timid girl on the run, wanting to find her own place in the world. And Constance, the mysterious stranger Lena meets once in the woods, who has her own secrets and hidden past. I read a review before I read the book that mentioned being immediately drawn to Lena – which is true. But I found myself craving Constance’s chapters and finding out more about her hidden and secretive past. Lupo wrote the character so well that I desperately wanted to know more. I think one of my favourite things about this book is that it is written with two incredibly strong females as lead characters. Strong in their own way, but strong. I’m all for a strong female character, the good old self rescuing princess. So having two of these women drive the plot sung out to my feminist side.

As mentioned, the magic and the world-building were fantastic. We traveled with the characters and were taken into different parts of their lands, and no part seemed like a throw away. Everything was crafted and considered before being put into the story. The magic was a part of the world, and was used in what I thought was a very unique and interesting way. I especially loved the idea of being able to put magic into vessels to be used at a later date. I enjoyed that the story was completely thought out – everything that was said related to the story and would be important later on. And I was 100% not ready for the plot twist. I think plot twists really make books for me. If I can see it coming, I can prepare. But this one caught me completely by surprise and my oh my, I loved that!

This was a spectacular standalone novel. It had everything you need in a good YA fantasy novel, and it exceeded all the expectations I had for it. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys books about magic and loves a good strong female! This got 4 out of 5 stars from me. You can grab your copy here – and don’t forget to let me know your thoughts!.

Have you ever read a book that had a major plot twist you didn’t see coming? Just give me the title and I’ll add it to my list! 🙂

Happy readings loves!

-B x


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