Blog Tour Book Review: WITH FIRE IN THEIR BLOOD by Kat Delacourte

I received a review copy of this book from the publishers as part of this tour in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinions.

Blog tour banner: title in gold on purple with red roses next to image of book
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Age Range: YA
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: yes - first book

Blurb:

Book cover for WITH FIRE IN THEIR BLOOD: title in gold on purple with skulls, houses, and a red rose under title

When sixteen-year-old Lilly Deluca arrives in Castello, she isn’t impressed. A secluded town in the Italian mountains is not where she saw her last years of high school playing out.

Divided for generations by a brutal clan-family war, the two halves of Castello are kept from destroying each other by the mysterious General, a leader determined to maintain order and ‘purity’. . . whatever the cost.

Lilly falls in with the rebellious Liza, brooding Nico and sensitive Christian, and sparks begin to fly. But in a city where love can lead to ruin, Lilly isn’t sure she can trust anyone – not even herself.

And then she accidentally breaks Castello’s most important rule: when the General’s men come to test your blood, you’d better not be anything more than human . . . 

Blurb taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


Review:

WITH FIRE IN THEIR BLOOD is the sort of YA fantasy that takes almost all the classic YA tropes from the early 2010s, smushes them together, and just has fun playing with all of them.

The book is set in a divided city, a dystopia meets contemporary fantasy set up, where a ruthless general has made himself into the absolute ruler of a city split by a clan war. His word is law, because he “saved” them from the evil Saints – aka people with power who were used in the war then burnt down a church full of people when they wanted to rule.

There’s forbidden power that Lilly has and must hide, everyone (literally everyone) is lying about at least someone, and there are many, many secrets about to come out. To paraphrase Liza, trust no one and do whatever it takes to survive, because no one else will look out for you.

There are many, many complicated relationships in this book – tricky friendships, tricky family relationships, tricky attractions. The lot – save for out right romance (also there’s no love triangle – the only classic YA trope not in here – because that’s way too simple a set up of conflicting attractions for this book!)

I’d call them attractions in this book, being being attracted to people because of lust, power, and self-destructive tendencies. I am certain at least some will become romances in later books, but right now, it felt like the opening sallies of that, the attraction part that isn’t yet fully understood and defined/acknowledged on both sides to become a romantic relationship.

I really liked that the book acknowledged and called out most of the attractions as coming from self-destructive tendencies. I feel like, right now, lot of books would just pass it off as “a broody boy” romance rather than deconstruct the toxicity of the “I want you even though/because it will break me” mindset.

There are two more books to come, I think, and Lilly has just set some pretty big events in motion…

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