Book Review: WE CRY FOR BLOOD by Devin Madson

Title in white on blue clouds next to pencil drawing of a sword
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: yes - third book



Book cover for WE CRY FOR BLOOD: title in white on blue clouds above pencil drawing of girl with sword in ruins of battle

Ambition and schemes have left the Kisian Empire in ashes. Empress Miko Ts’ai will have to move fast if she hopes to secure a foothold in its ruins. However, the line between enemies and allies may not be as clear-cut as it first appeared.

After failing to win back his Swords, former Captain Rah e’Torin finds shelter among the Levanti deserters. But his presence in the camp threatens to fracture the group, putting him on a collision course with their enigmatic leader.

Assassin Cassandra Marius knows Leo Villius’s secret—one that could thwart his ambitions to conquer Kisia. But her time in Empress Hana’s body is running out and each attempt they make to exploit Leo’s weakness may be playing into his plans.

And, as Leo’s control over the Levanti emperor grows, Dishiva e’Jaroven is caught in his web. To successfully challenge him, she’ll have to decide how many of her people are worth sacrificing in order to win.

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


WE CRY FOR BLOOD is the third tense instalment in the Reborn Empire series as alliances fracture and Leo Villius becomes even more dangerous as the extend of his abilities are revealed.

Before this book, the various groups were mostly split into three – the Kisians, the Levanti, and the Chilteans lurking in the background but not really present. They had their own internal disagreements, but generally could be treated as one body with the four POVs on the outside, fighting to be accepted or to have their beliefs be shared. In this book, the groups splinter, and there are suddenly a lot more factions to contend with, making any action one wishes to take much harder. It simultaneously ups the stakes and makes everything harder for the characters.

Leo is such a good villain. He sort of lurks, filling the reader the knowledge that no matter what happens over the actual control of the empire between the other factions, he’s still there to be dealt with. As his abilities/ways of manipulation are expounded upon, he only gets more and more threatening because he always has a plan in place and is so hard to counter – such ruthlessness discarding versions of himself for power!

We stick with the same four POVs this time, and Cassandra is the only one whose path does not touch the others’ physically, but her entanglement with Leo makes her integral to the overall story, which is a really nice change. I appreciated the many actual meetings of the characters and how their decisions were really obviously affecting the others.

Waiting to binge three books in one a very good idea. I am now immersed in this world and now really want the fourth book out to continue the story. Very impressive for a series I was on the fence about at the end of the first book!

Read my reviews of other books by Devin Madson:

The Reborn Empire (this series):

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