We Are Blood and Thunder, by Kesia Lupo

We Are Blood and Thunder jacket image

If I were to rate We Are Blood and Thunder on a baked-goods-scale, ranging from a stale cracker all the way up to a salt caramel dark chocolate torte, I would place it firmly in the chocolate chip cookie range: a solid fantasy read with good pacing and interesting main characters. The story revolves around Lena and Constance, two women from very different worlds who are trying to find the place where they belong. Lena lives as a cryptling, a servant to the dead, in a quarantined city overshadowed by a magical storm cloud, while Constance comes from outside the city walls and has a hidden past. Inside the walls, in Lena’s world, magic is forbidden; outside the city, it is taught and celebrated. When the women’s paths cross during a fateful night, the border between Inside and Outside starts to crumble…

This is a stand-alone novel that will hopefully not be alone for very long: I enjoyed the style of writing, and the world that Lupo creates is fascinating with lots of possibilities for future projects. The magic system had me intrigued, but I would have enjoyed seeing more of it. The ending was a little too quickly wrapped up for my taste, but overall it was a very enjoyable read. This cookie of a book is entertaining, it keeps you guessing, and it might just have a surprise candy pop in the middle. I certainly look forward to the next batch and wouldn’t be averse to a piece of cake!

Book, mountain and chocolate connoisseur with a particular love for fantasy, mystery, adventure and detective novels, but travel literature and books on feminist issues are great, too. Dislikes include: spiders, people who eat food out of crinkly packaging in libraries, and dividing literature into ‘genre’ and ‘literary’, because happiness doesn’t need a label.

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