Today is my stop on the ultimate blog tour for With Fire In Their Blood by Kat Delacorte, and I am excited to be sharing my review with you all.
‘Startingly original… Readers will be lured into this tumultuous world of warring families, forbidden power, and heart-searing romance’ – Lyndall Clipstone (Lakesedge, Forestfall)
From the word-of-mouth fantasy sensation Kat Delacorte – the standout debut star of 2022 YA Lit Con (YALC) – comes the first instalment in a new YA fantasy duology.
Packed to the brim with bisexual and queer representation, With Fire in Their Blood is a simmering supernatural romance set in the crumbling Italian city of Castello, where mafia clans make the rules, dark magic pulses the streets and the sins of the past threaten to consume the present. . .
When sixteen-year-old Lilly 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…
Perfect for lovers of Chloe Gong, Renée Ahdieh and V.E. Schwab, With Fire in Their Blood is quality YA storytelling at its best by an exciting new voice in YA fantasy.
*A huge thank you to The Write Reads and Penguin for my copy of the book, in exchange for an honest review*
As most of you know, I’m not usually a big fan of romance, but I love supernatural, and something about this book immediately intrigued me. I am so glad I signed up for this tour, because With Fire In Their Blood exceeded all of my expectations!
The story begins with Lilly and her father travelling to their new home in Castello. Despite Lilly’s reluctance, from initial impressions, Castello sounds beautiful, like somewhere I would quite like to visit. Italy’s history and impressive architecture are two of the many reasons why I am desperate to visit, and it appears that Castello have both in abundance. However, I can understand Lilly’s feelings on not wanting to move away from the only home she has ever know.
It is very clear from the beginning that Lilly’s relationship with her father is not good, they don’t seem to even be able to communicate with each other, and her relationship with her mother when she was alive wasn’t good either. I feel so sorry for Lilly because she obviously doesn’t have a support system at all.
The quietness of the town is unnerving, it’s like a ghost town, and the school dynamic is very strange. Lilly’s new classmates are a real mix of interesting characters, and I immediately wanted to know more about each of them individually, but especially Nico and Liza. The whole monthly blood test situation was not what I had expected, and sounds like an absolute nightmare. It produces a lot of questions that I need to know the answers to, like what is actually going on in Castello?
We then begin to learn about the history of the town, and the Marconi’s, Paradiso’s, and the Saints. I was so intrigued by the two clans and the splitting of the town, and I feel like the whole clan war could definitely be turned in to a whole separate book that I would definitely read. I took an immediate dislike to the General, because his way of creating peace in the town was to collectively come together and attack someone else, and we can all think of a few evil leaders in real life who’s whole agenda was to bring people together against one small group of people… The General wasn’t bringing peace at all.
The relationships in the story were absolute chaos. It was way beyond just one messy relationship, and Lilly had stuck herself straight in the middle of it all. However, the chaos of it all is actually why I enjoyed the romance aspect so much, it made it exciting! I also felt that the relationships reflected the mess that the town as a whole was in, and it was very cleverly worked. There was definite Romeo and Juliet vibes.
Throughout the story, I had a few theories, especially surrounding Lilly, her mother, and the towns history, and I have to say that I was pretty on the mark with most of them. But that in no way took away from the book, because there was so many layers to every aspect of the story. I loved the way the story plays out and how it comes together in an explosive climax. Those last few chapters had me on the edge of my seat with my heart in my mouth. I would absolutely love to see more of these characters in the future.
This book is filled with excitement, danger, and chaos, and I loved every second of it. I couldn’t put it down, and I can honestly say that this is probably my favourite book of the year so far! What an incredible debut from Kat Delacorte, and I can not wait to see what more she has to offer.
I give With Fire In Their Blood a 5 star rating!
About The Author:
Kat Delacorte was eleven years old when her family moved from the United States to a small town in central Italy. She soon began writing stories about her new friends developing superpowers, and she hasn’t looked back since. She graduated with a BA in History from Columbia University, and lives in Venice, Italy.
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