By Author / Illustrator
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Paperback / softback
A stunning and original YA fantasy from a fantastic new talent. Perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Laini Taylor'Deft, dark and daring' MELINDA SALISBURY'A stormer of a story' KIRAN MILLWOOD HARGRAVEIn a city where magic is feared and the dead are worshipped, life is overshadowed by a powerful and devastating storm cloud. One young woman is running for her life. Another is trying to return home. Both are looking for a place where they belong. But what Lena and Constance don't realise is that the storm cloud binds them. Without it, neither can get what she desires.
We Are Blood and Thunder is a debut novel that grabs your attention from the very first page until the unexpected twist at the end. My advise is to take a few breaths in between as this book is an original and unique rollercoaster ride of a story. One of the best fantasy novels I have read so far this year, and I've read quite a few!!
Lena is a Cryptling, she works below ground with the Mortician taking care of the deceased in the city of Duke's Forest. This city has been sealed off due to a powerful and terrifying storm cloud. After a disturbing encounter with one of the dead, she is accused of being a mage (magician) and has to run for her life and escape the city. Her life is about to change for forever...
On the other side of the locked gates is Constance, she had to flee from the city many years ago before her powers were discovered. Constance needs to get back inside the city to stop the Storm Cloud as its power is generated from dark magic. She also has another agenda to complete, but first she must get through the gates!
We Are Blood and Thunder is an original, well thought through idea that is full of everything that makes a excellent fantasy novel; it has magic, history, secrets, betrayal and something sinister, creepy and unknown in the background that links the two main female protagonists.
Lena and Constance are brilliant characters, you feel for both of them, wanting them to succeed with their plans. The author did a great job of making their characters multi-layered, not just good or bad. The book has been laid out with alternative chapters between Lena and Constance's perspectives that contain enough world building text that ensures the reader will eagerly keep turning the pages.
I love a map of a mystical continent at the beginning of a book and this delivers one, along with an illustration of the castle and information about the different Gods from the City of Kings.
This fantasy adventure contains 448 unputtable-down pages that are suitable for confident/non-confident 13+ readers. A little warning for those sensitive readers out there... It does contain some chillingly, violent moments but nothing is describe in depth or detail. The book would also be great for reading groups/book clubs due to the many interesting discussion points that could arise!
Blood and Thunder is a stand alone story, which in itself is a great change. However, the author has promised another magical and mysterious story from the Valorian Continent with different characters. I can't wait to get my hands on it. Hope I don't have to wait too long. Get it, read it and enjoy!
448 pages / Ages 13+ / Reviewed by Linda Brown, school librarian
Suggested Reading Age 14+
Not so long ago YA fantasies were all the rage, it seemed that a new novel was released in to the world every day and soon it became too much - a saturated market and interest seemed to dip. So it was with trepidation that I started to read We Are Blood and Thunder, expecting clichés and an all too predictable ending; how wrong I was!
A foggy and misty cloud has descended upon Duke's Forest and with it pestilence, hunger and death. People are suspicious of the cause and magic is soon blamed; with echoes of real historical witch trails, a council is formed to find and eradicate those deemed to have supernatural powers. This leads us to our first character, Lena who is quite literally on the run for her life, trying to escape the only home she has ever known. She flees to a new realm which welcomes and celebrates those who have magic running in their veins, but the path to acceptance does not run smoothly.
Another strong character is soon introduced in the shape of a powerful sorceress, Constance, who is returning to Duke's Forest to tackle the cloud which has ruined her former home. We follow both Lena and Constance through trials and tribulations before we reach a gripping and thrilling climax.
This was a wonderful book and I devoured it greedily in one evening - I.could.not.put.it.down. I felt fully initiated in to the world of Constance and Lena and I especially enjoyed the maps at the start of the novel and the descriptions of the Nine Gods of the Holy Council. Read it!
448 pages / Ages 13+ / Reviewed by Jodie Brooks, school librarian
Suggested Reading Age 14+