We Are Blood And Thunder

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

I was lucky to be given a physical arc of this book at an event and without the physical copy, I don't think I could have read this arc. The kindle file has a lot of extra spacings in it, most of the time splitting words into 2 or 3 sections which made reading very jarring. I wouldn't have been able to finish this from the kindle version.

However, I loved this book. The writing was really engaging and the characters were extremely interesting which meant that I flew through this book!

I have a soft spot for anything to do with necromancy so I will definitely be buying a finished copy!
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I loved this, it was a bit slow in the middle but not enough for me to drop any stars. I loved Lena so much, she is a wonderful MC and so interesting and so human. Emris I adored too, this took twists and turns I didn’t see coming and was original and creative. A must read and up there with my favourite read of the year so far. Amazing 

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
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This is a difficult one for me to rate. When I first picked it up, I loved the atmosphere and the world and the (admittedly confusing) magic - but for some reason I really struggled to get through this book. I could only manage a chapter a day and I never felt particularly connected to any of the characters. 

I also figured out the direction the book was taking quite early on, so the last 60 or so pages weren't really a surprise to me and the ending left me feeling a bit disappointed and deflated to be honest.
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Firstly, a huge thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read an ARC of We Are Blood and Thunder, a thrilling fantasy novel by Kesia Lupo. I went into this book with high expectations and the story surpassed them. 

We Are Blood and Thunder tells the story of two young women, Lena and Constance. Lena is a cryptling, a mage, and very much a likeable underdog who, as the novel progresses, embraces her power. Constance is older, the daughter of the duke of Duke’s Forest, powerful, confident, and a mage-in-hiding with a big secret. The narrative alternates between them, and together, the two work to control the storm cloud spell that’s been haunting Duke’s Forest for years. 

The worldbuilding in this book is incredible. I loved it SO much. I’ve studied ritual and religion in Prehistory, and one of the notable things about that is the importance of ancestors in many prehistoric religions. Because of my love of prehistoric societies, I’m always so excited when I see ideology regarding ancestors incorporated into worldbuilding, and honestly, reading this book was a delight. Lena’s occupation as a mortician was really interesting, and seeing how she worshipped the ancestors was great. 

I love stories about magic, and the magic system in this book is well thought out and, without giving away spoilers, I loved the idea of Chaos and the inclusion of the gods. 

The imagery is beautiful. So evocative and visual and there’s something compelling about the way Kesia Lupo writes. I just had to keep reading. Although it took me over a month to read this (not a reflection on the story—rather I prefer to read fantasy novels over a few weeks to really savour them) I never felt lost when returning to the world after a few days. Instead, the book felt like it was welcoming me with a warm embrace. 

Lupo’s characterisation is great. When books are told in third person, I am often wary. I don’t know why but I find it easier to relate to protagonists if they’re written in first person. But I felt like I knew both Constance and Lena and even though it’s third person, the narrative style was sufficiently different so I didn’t get it mixed up as to whom I was reading. 

Emris, the love interest for Lena, and a man who we know once was something special to Constance, is often the uniting “factor” between the two narratives (just as the butterfly is), indeed bringing the two women together at the end. The chemistry that he has with both Constance and Lena is well-written and believable, and his romance with Lena is gradual, natural, and slow-burning. 

Oh, the villains! Where to start? Lupo is amazing at writing those characters that we just want to hate. But we’re given full backstories for them and understand their motivations for their behaviour, so they don’t feel like token evil characters at all.

And the twist at the end? That had me utterly speechless. I had not seen that coming! 

One of the things I really love is to understand where the title of a book comes from, and I found myself both grinning manically and nodding somewhat wisely when I realised the significance of “We Are Blood and Thunder.” It felt very authentic and well-done. 

This is a great fantasy story and I highly recommend it. 

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I enjoyed this and it’s one of the best books I've read in a while. The world building was amazing and it really allowed me to immerse myself into the story. 

One of my favourite things about books is characters that are so complex they feel like real people. Lena and Constance were just that and I wish I could get to know them in real life! 

I honestly wish this was a series, I want more! :)
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I want to thank Netgalley for providing me an Arc of this book in exchange for my honest review.

This book absolutely blew my mind!
I just finished it and honestly I’m feeling so many feelings!

This book is honestly one of the best YA fantasy books I’ve read in so long.
Lena and Constance are two extremely strong women and l loved them as the main characters.
The world building blew me away I could so vividly imagine everything that was being described and felt like I was in the story with them.

The twist in this book nearly killed me because I did not see it coming at all!
Overall amazingly written and a new all time favourite read for me.
If I could give more than 5 stars I would!
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I went into this just expecting a fantasy style YA story about two women whose lives somehow connected. Well I will be blunt and say that from the start it was Lena who grabbed my attention and when the narrative switched to Constance I really wasn’t particularly interested. Now I will freely admit the author won me round and fairly soon I was as interested in what Constance was uncovering as I was the journey that young Lena was undertaking . 
This story revolves around magic and whether or not Gods are real but at its heart it’s really a mystery like no other I have read. With a twist I didn’t see coming this was a fascinating read and one I happily recommend with multilayered characters, surprises and a betrayal that still leaves me reeling.
This voluntary take is of a copy I requested from Netgalley and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair
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We Are Blood And Thunder is one of the best YA fantasy novels I’ve read in a while- simple but extraordinarily effective world building, an intelligent and intriguing background and two engaging strong women at the centre of it all.

Lena is a cryptling, living her life in the gloom, one day she makes a discovery that will change her life. Constance is returning to her home, where people survive under a literal cloud, determined to change things. Neither of them know it but they are bound together, their fate inextricably linked.

The writing is beautifully immersive, descriptively wonderful and the plot is adventurous and unexpected. A magical twist and an addictive dark heart seals the deal creating a page turner that you devour in one sitting.

I loved that it was contained, focused and offered a complete story, thoroughly enjoyable from first page to last.

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Wow! Wow! Wow! Where do I even start? I first came to know this book after it made headlines for having a glaringly similar title to another 2018 YA Release. But I am pleased to report that it stands strong as a fantastic YA adventure and a very strong debut!
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I was initially drawn in by the stunning cover and then the amazing premise. Im someone who reads a lot of magic based books but this somehow managed to unique. 
It was great to be immersed in this world and magic system, you definitely felt for the characters.
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In a city sealed for quarantine, Lena is running for her life, she manages to escape but she must learn to trust those who she was brought up to fear, those with magic. Meanwhile Constance is trying to get back in to the city that she grew up in. The city is surrounded by a storm cloud that is not any storm cloud but a spell and its it killing its citizens. These two girls must come together to stop it before its to later, but at what cost.

This book had me hooked from the beginning. The world building was great, in a grey storm cloud world it can be hard to inject anything interesting, and this was done wonderfully. Such rich details of this new world, it was immersing. Lena and Constance are from very different parts of the city, but both as strong as the other.  I grew to love them both very quickly, their back stories were fully  of details and I felt I knew them very well. The secondary characters were also brilliant we got to know them all well, they all had made layers and were integral to the story. The twists in this story were great, just when I was sure I knew what was happening, BAM there’s a twist I did not see coming and it was brilliant. The only down side to this is that I felt the ending, while great, could of been more fleshed out, to see what everyone planned to do after the story ended. Overall this story was excellent and I hope that we get to delve into this world again, there is so many possibilities in this new world
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Thank you to Netgalley, Kesia Lupo and Bloomsbury Publishing for my EARC of We Are Blood & Thunder in exchange for an honest review!

"The living fought simply to live. Just like her. Just like every one."

The novel follows two points of view throughout, Lena and Constance..

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.

For me, this novel was a bit of a slow burner, I was slightly confused at first and it took me a few chapters to get into it. The idea of the novel for me is unlike something that I have read from a YA fantasy perspective before, and I enjoyed that and the general story line. However, I felt that the story could have had more depth. Similar to the characters, although likeable, I just wanted more. Just a bit more character development in a none-rushed way to have me thinking and cheering Lena and Constance on in my head. I was waiting to get to the point of such investment that I would cheer "Go, Lena, go!" Although on her side, I could have been more connected to the characters. Similar to the potential love stories happening in the background.

Despite all this, I hope to go back to the forest again, so let's hope there is a sequel!

Well done on the debut, Kesia, it was a pleasure to read. Three solid stars from me!!
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Really enjoyed this one. Excellent characters, a fantastic premise and a really great writing style. It took me a little while to get into it, but once I was able to keep up with everything I was hooked! Couldn’t put it down towards the end!
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I was lucky enough to be approved for an eARC as well as a physics ARC copy of this book. I was anticipating this release for a very long time and to say it met expectations is an understatement! This book is phenomenal - it was so well written and I was so immersed in the world that every time I put the book down I had to take a moment to ground myself back into reality! Phenomenal read and my top read of 2019 so far!
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I’d like to thank Bloomsbury Publishing for accepting my request to read this via Net Galley.

I didn’t think that I would of been chosen to read this book as just by looking at the cover I knew that it was going to be a very popular title that would be getting a lot of attention. I was really excited that I was accepted and I started to read this right away.

Besides the cover drawing me in the story itself is incredible, the writing style is amazing and I love how the author has been quite poetic with her writing and phrases. 

I liked how each chapter was from a different character’s point of view, if something was left as a cliff hanger in Lena’s point of view you had to continue and read Constance’s chapter before you could find out what happened which really caused the pages to turn even quicker for me!

The story itself is unlike anything I have ever read before which is always refreshing. I liked how we had two main characters with two different situations, the magic, the metal creatures that came to life, I loved it all.

I certainly didn’t expect the plot twist at the end either! All that time I was reading Constance’s point of view and I didn’t suspect once that she was in fact the person who had cast that spell and it was never her intention to break it but to control it herself all so she could bring her mother back from the dead. 

Brilliant writing and I think once this book is published it will be very successful! Thank you again for the pleasure that this book brought to me as I loved every second of it!
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Thank you to Netgalley, Bloomsbury Publishing and Kesia Lupo for my arc of We Are Blood & Thunder. 
Oh my word. This was just fantastic. From the very first page, in fact the very first paragraph this book had me hooked! 

Hands down the best book I've read so far in 2019. Lena is a cryptling in the city of Duke's Forest, since a storm cloud causing disease arrived several years before, the city has been sealed off from the rest of the world, but now Lena is running for her life and trying to escape the city after being accused of being a mage. Constance meanwhile is trying to get back in. The storm cloud is no ordinary storm cloud, it is a spell and both Lena and Constance hold the key to setting everything to rights. 

So why was this book so great? I'm going to break it down... 
The Premise - the idea was original, interesting and full of everything I love about a good fantasy novel; it has magic, history, and something creepy and unknown: in this case, the cloud. 
The characters - both Lena and Constance were fantastic characters with many layers. 
The plot - I liked that this author stayed away from a lot of tropes 
The twist - I did not see it coming!! 

I liked as well how much grey there was in the book. There were elements of light and dark in all characters and elements of dark that came from light reasons such as the keeping of secrets. It is also one of the best examples of an unreliable first person narrative I've seen in quite a long time. 

A fantastic debut from an author I'm keen to see more from!
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An interesting idea, some good characters and some quite exciting plot strands. However I felt that it was let down by some rather awkward and clunky writing. The magic system felt a bit confused at times, and overall it all felt a bit too generic fantasy setting, like it has all been done before.
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Sometimes you pick up a book, and it takes you a few chapters to get into it. Sometimes it fails completely. 
And sometimes, it grabs you with the very first page and refuses to let go. 
We are Blood and Thunder is one of those books. 
A story of two women, torn apart by different lands, full of secrets and power and inextricably linked, threads through this wonderful novel on storms and magic and life. 
Lena is a cryptling, much akin to the former untouchable caste, who works only with the dead, reviled by the living. By chance and fate, she runs for her life, meeting a woman who is running towards the evils Lena runs from
Their link is forged in desperation, and will have profound effects on all of their lives.
This book is excellent on so many levels. The writing is tight and flows well, the plot woven skilfully like a tapestry - one point leads to another, whilst tugging on the strings of a third, and the characters are just as richly imagined. 
I felt for Lena, and for Constance, and whilst the majority of characterisation is placed within these two, I still felt the supplementary characters were strong and fully formed.
What is interesting is this book is totally shades of grey - each of us has a little darkness within them, and light, too. Our enemies can be our sisters, also.
I massively enjoyed this novel, and hope for more from the author - I'd love to know what happens to the characters next. 
Highly recommended, especially for readers like me, who love female character driven story.
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