You’ve already been through the darkness. Now it’s time for you to be free.
I was excited for this one, as We are Blood and Thunder was on my radar for a while and I loved the world building from the first book, so the chance to dive back into the universe was one I couldn’t miss – especially because the magic system is so interesting. We are Bound by Stars is out on the 9th July 2020, and pre-order links are at the bottom of the post!
Rating: 4 stars!
Thanks to Bloomsbury for a review copy of this book, it has not affected my honest review.
On a mysterious island where the inhabitants worship a god of secrets and hidden truths, masked assassins are trained to do his bidding – or so they believe. Beatrice is one of three mask-makers. Her blood is a conduit for the god’s wishes and her creations reflect his desires. But her mother warned of a terrible secret released upon her death, and soon Beatrice finds herself asking whether her future has really been foretold and if it is truly set in stone. Livio is a descendent of the most powerful family on the island. He will be the first male ruler in centuries, but what he hasn’t told anyone is that his magic is out of control. Is he infected by Chaos or has his destiny already been decided for him? Beatrice and Livio don’t realise their fates are bound together. They are puppets in someone else’s game. It is up to them to stop a masked assassin with a deadly agenda who could bring down not only the temple, but the gods themselves.
What did I think?
The world-building was just as lush and interesting, and I enjoyed seeing a different part of the world to Duke’s Forest and getting focus on an aspect of the magical religion that we didn’t experience much in Blood and Thunder. The masked god, Mythris, was barely talked about in the first book due to the setting and plot focus but in this book the whole island worship them. It was fascinating. The mask-makers in particular was a particularly cool piece of mythology, even if the idea of triplets being fated to die together is tragic, and I loved the idea of Bestial, Grotesque and Ornamental masks giving chosen wearers particular powers. The other magical powers we got to see (I’m being intentionally vague to avoid spoilers, but they’re so interesting) and the sandwolves were so cool and really added to the depth and beauty of this universe.
I loved Livio and Beatrice, both were strongly characterised and I liked the way that they contrasted with each other. It was easy to get invested in both, because their motivations made sense and I felt for them both as the story developed and the masked assassins seemed set on ruining both of their lives. Even the side-characters were delightful, and I loved all of them. Particularly their attitudes to fate and destiny, and the way those things were woven into their whole lives.
The plot was as incredible as I’ve come to expect from Kesia Lupo. It took me a little while to get hooked (though faster than We are Blood and Thunder) but once I was into it, there was no way I was putting it down. I read about 70% of this in a blur because I couldn’t look away. I don’t want to go into the plot much, because I loved the way it unfolded and think it’s definitely more satisfying to experience it with no idea what’s happening, but it’s just as intoxicating and twisty as We are Blood and Thunder and had plenty of gasping out loud moments.
Add it on Goodreads here!
Buy at Hive if you can and support your local indie booksellers! Also available at Waterstones and Amazon.
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