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We Are Blood and Thunder

(We Are Blood and Thunder #1)

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  725 ratings  ·  229 reviews
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 D
Paperback, 448 pages
Published April 4th 2019 by Bloomsbury YA
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Popular Answered Questions
Althea No, there is one gay character but it is only briefly mentioned and never talked about again
Kesia It's a standalone, but the second book will be set in the same world (with new characters). Thank you and hope you enjoy!…moreIt's a standalone, but the second book will be set in the same world (with new characters). Thank you and hope you enjoy!(less)
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Average rating 3.43  · 
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Anja H.
Apr 27, 2019 rated it liked it

“She felt wanted. Calm. Secure in the knowledge she was worth something. Because she had something of worth.”

I’m sad to say that this book left me feeling a bit underwhelmed.
That blurb sounded so good and the setting with the storm cloud definitely was (and don’t get me started on that gorgeous cover!), but I didn’t like any of the character and for me there was a lack of worldbuilding.

It all started off very promising but then kind of fizzled out because I’d already put
Liz Barnsley
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Ash | Wild Heart Reads
DNF pg. 118

We are Blood and Thunder sounded like a really interesting tale and I was excited to receive an ARC, however, in the end I just couldn't get into it. It just didn't interest me. In what pages I read I didn't connect to either Lena or Constance.

There was also one element that put me off a bit and that was the idea of the cyrptlings. The cryptlings, much like they're names suggests, are responsible for the dead or Ancestors as they call them. They prepare them for burial etc. The issue
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
I’ve rated this 2 ⭐️

The synopsis of this book got me very excited. Two strong female lead characters, a dark, eerie setting and an exciting magic system . Also was recommended to those who love authors such as Leigh Bardugo & Laini Taylor .
But unfortunately it was none of those things.
The characters were all very flat and un-interesting. And I especially hated one of the main female leads, Constance. She was awful.
I just didn’t connect with any characters.

The magic system was rather undevelope
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
We Are Blood & Thunder is a stunning, multifaceted and wonderfully entertaining standalone young adult fantasy debut from a new voice in the genre. So easy to pick up, virtually impossible to put down. I admit that it isn't the most original plot in the world, but there are so many aspects of the book that are to be admired and Ms Lupo manages to avoid most fantasy tropes to her credit. In fact, the author subverts some age-old tropes which was quite refreshing.

The storytelling is great with a
Leonie Hinch
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-fantasy
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 escap
Uma    | Books.Bags.Burgers
(A huge thanks to Bloomsbury India for sending me a physical ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.)

It's not often that I come across standalones in the fantasy genre. Somehow fantasy stories seem to flow better as series to accommodate all the worldbuilding and long adventures. When I came across We are Blood and Thunder, I was excited. Because although most of my favourite books seem to be series, I love reading standalones. They tend to be more fast paced than books in series and
Marta Cox
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, my-reviews
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
Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen
****4 Butterfly Stars****

Enjoyable read with dark tendencies interwoven throughout the story. I enjoyed reading the dual POV between Lena and Constance especially how their lives were so different but woven together as one.

There were a few "over the top" events that happened but overall, the story was good and held my attention throughout!
Corinne Sparks
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’d like to thank Bloomsbury Publishing for accepting my request to read this via Net Galley. (This review contains a major spoiler so only read if you’ve read this!!!)

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, th
The Nerd Daily
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Jayse Smith

We Are Blood and Thunder is a newly released YA fantasy by debut author, Kesia Lupo, centred on two female protagonists, Lena and Constance. The contrasts between each of the characters couldn’t be more apparent. One a cryptling, shunned by society because of a deformity and charged with tending to the dead and the other a noble born woman with a dark hidden secret.

This female-led cast stormed its way into my heart, grabbed me and dre
Christine Spoors
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, read-2019
I hadn’t heard anything about this book when Bloomsbury first asked if I’d like a copy, but now I am so bloody glad they did. I absolutely loved this story and was completely hooked from the very first chapter. The cover is stunning and I added so many tabs throughout (which I only do to books I love!)

This story follows two POV’s, Lena and Constance. Throughout the book I couldn’t make my mind up about who was my favourite as each story was so interesting. Though I had a soft spot for Lena’s plo
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, 4-star
4/5 ⭐FULL (non-spoiler) REVIEW >>> HERE. ...more
Alisha Tarran
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Full review to come when I’ve settled my thoughts but knee jerk reaction? I should have DNFd this when I started to get bored a couple of chapters in rather than persevere to the end and I really didn’t like Lena and her chapters which is awkward considering she’s the “hero” *eye roll*

EDIT: my review is finally here, it's below and writing actually made me drop this from 3 stars to 2.

Hey, it's me, ya girl...back with another unpopular opinion. Literally everyone I see talking about this lo
Mar 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Thank you so much to Bloomsbury for sending me a free copy of this book to review. All opinions are my own.

In the beginning of this book we meet Lena who is running for her life after being convicted of magecraft and is sentenced to death. Lena is an orphan who was raised by Vigo and trained to be a Cryptling - someone who prepares the deceased after death.

We also meet Constance who is the Duke's daughter and Winston's half-sister. Constance is the Heir to the Forest and the rightful Heir to
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
(Gifted) Blog Post:


*I was provided with an ARC by the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. All quotes used may be subject to change upon publication.

First of all, I think that the author should be very proud, this was a well thought out and strong debut novel. From the synopsis alone, I knew that We Are Blood And Thunder was going to be a very unique book and so consequently, I didn’t expect to fe
thewoollygeek (tea, cake, crochet & books)
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
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bloomsbury
Lena Grey is a Cryptling, preparing the deceased for their resting place below the township of Dukes Forest, an isolated community shrouded in a menacing cloudscape of pestilence and destruction. Dukes Forest has been decimated by disease, the Ancestors resting below the township have begun to awaken and as Lena prepares the Duchess for burial, she is accused of being an enchantress and sentenced, her life shall be taken by the ferocious hounds of the Justice. Mages are dangerous and abhorrent, ...more
Jane Kelsey
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars
*For more reviews visit*

We are blood and thunder follows Constance and Lena, two female characters at opposite ends, both united by the terrifying storm cloud hovering over the dukedom which has already claimed the lives of many. As conflict climaxes and hidden enemies emerge, Constance and Lena need each other to uncover the secrets and save their people from this deadly spell.

When I saw this novel I knew I wanted to read it because it has all the ingredients that I like: fantasy
Jenny (Bookbookowl)
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thankyou to Bloomsbury Publishing for providing me with a copy of We are Blood and Thunder, in exchange for an honest review.

Lena is a cryptling, working in the town's crypts, preparing the dead to be laid to rest.  When an incident sees her running for her life, she stumbles across a masked lady in the woods - Constance.  As Lena heads to where Constance came from and Constance heads to Lena's town, they'll both have major difficulties to overcome.

This one was a little hard for me to rate - the
Ben Alderson
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I know my bestie Weereader loved this book so I picked it up as my second book of the year. AGAIN another blinding fantasy. Thick, interesting chapters. I cannot wait for the companion sequel to come out.
This book sparked my love for Mage books after I wrote my own last year..
Apr 06, 2019 rated it liked it
This book took me way longer to finish than I thought it would.
I was expecting to love it. It sounded exactly like my kind of book but unfortunately it didn’t grip me.
It did get interesting sometime after the halfway point but the first half kind of dragged and I didn’t really understand the magic system.
I wasn’t particularly invested in any of the characters until later on in the book either.

However, I do think the plot twist was a good one and I honestly didn’t see it coming so that was one
Bec (booktineus)
Dec 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2020, own
This review first appeared on my Instagram, @booktineus and was also posted on Happy Indulgence Book Blog.

The Good Things
+ Fantastic YA/NA standalone fantasy debut. (one MC was 17, and the other 23 or so)

+ Super interesting world with a nice side of a cursed town (It's an interesting time to read about pestilence, death, and quarantine haha).

+ Loved the steampunk elements! I was not expecting that so it was a fun surprise.

+ It's addictive! Early on I was so caught up in the story I forgot t
Apr 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, review-copies
Overall, this book was nice. The storyline was promising but the plot development was a bit slow. It was draggy at some point. I was halfway through the book and I was still wondering when was the story going to get to the point. It took so long for me to reach the part where everything started to be revealed. So in short, I can only say this book was thicker than necessary.

The story was told from two povs. Lena, the girl or the cryptling as she was called in Duke's Forest, and Constance, a mag
Mar 20, 2019 rated it did not like it
Actual Rating 1.5. But really, I don't know if the extra half star is just because I abhorred the last book I read so much.

Unlike the massively plagiarised and poorly written Nocturna, at least We are Blood and Thunder is well written. I mean, it's boring, super predictable, with old-school magic, instalove, and paper thin characters, but at least, at least I could get into the writing style. Maybe this is where the extra half star comes in? Who knows anymore.

I was going to keep going, but I'
Kate (Reading Through Infinity)
2.5 stars
Thanks to Bloomsbury for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This definitely didn't go the way I expected it to from the synopsis, but I ended up enjoying it nonetheless. There's necromancy, magic, dark forests, and cult-like temples, and I enjoyed the way te magic system was built up throughout the novel. Although I didn't connect with many of the characters, that ending really knocked me for six. Game of Thrones eat your heart out.
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Actual rating: 3.5 stars

Even though the title made "We are Blood and Thunder" sound like a wild ride, it did not really evoke powerful emotions in me. It's a good thing I still enjoyed the mystery element, magic system, and scheming in this book.

Personally, I preferred Constance's POV chapters because they were more exciting. Lena's POV chapters had some gripping scenes towards the end, but for the first half of the book, I admit that I wished Lena wasn't a POV character. She alternated between
May 04, 2019 rated it liked it
A fascinating and sometimes dark fantasy debut. Full review to come!
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed up until the final few chapters where it all went a bit wrong. The twist was good though.
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Kesia Lupo studied History at Oxford University and Creative Writing at Bath Spa. She lives in Bristol with her husband and works as Senior Editor for children's publisher, Chicken House.

We Are Blood and Thunder is her debut, a standalone YA fantasy published in the UK in April 2019. We Are Bound by Stars, her second novel, is another standalone story set in the same world and published in July 20

Other books in the series

We Are Blood and Thunder (2 books)
  • We Are Bound by Stars (We Are Blood and Thunder, #2)

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