Review of ‘With Fire in their Blood’ by Kat Delacorte

Synopsis

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. Perfect for fans of These Violent Delights, The Darkest Minds and V.E. Schwab.

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 β€˜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 . . .

Review

A massive thank you to Penguin and TheWriteReads for a physical copy of With Fire in their Blood in exchange for an honest review.

At the beginning of the novel Lilly is struggling with the aftermath of her mother’s suicide and is being forced by her father to relocate to a town that time seems to have forgotten about – Castello. As readers we are thrown into her new life, uncovering the secrets of her new surroundings and we become absorbed into the many mysteries of Castello. Just like her new stomping ground, Lilly has hidden depths and murky secrets that become pertinent to the unfolding narrative. Whilst the twists and turns are predictable, the ride if incredibly enjoyable for Castello is the perfect gothic landscape. It’s like a kingdom from a fairy-tale, neglected, faded, wrought with skeletons and a past that still continues to haunt the present. It is one of the best story settings that I have read this year, dripping with darkness and oozing with ominous feelings. From the vert first description of Castello’s stone angels seemingly guarding the entrance to the town, you are transported into another gothic dimension, worthy of the likes of Poe.

I love how the storyline is inspired by the civil rivalry of Romeo and Juliet with the two warring families of Castello, the Marconis and the Paradiso’s fighting for dominance in secret underneath the glaze of a supposed truce. The Romeo and Juliet trope has an interesting twist with one family, the Marconis living in abject povery and apocalyptic style ruin whilst the Paradiso’s life in the other half of the city in an abundance of wealth and luxury. Ruling over the warring families is the General who is the perfect dystopian dictator, using enforcers to keep people in line and the families from restarting their war. The general unites the families by giving them a common enemy – witches or saints as he calls them, directing peoples’ hatred towards those who have power rather than each other. The supernatural edge to the storyline is thrilling as with each new character we meet, we are left wondering if they are a hidden saint. The side characters are quirky, my favourite being Liza, who takes Lilly under her wing but is a little psychotic and is obsessed with the saints and their ability to burn things down with their power. Lilly’s love interest Christian is a typical brooding teenager, devilishly handsome with secrets of his own.

Rebellion gives me hunger games vibes

The novel is fast-paced and packed full of action, dark magic, superstition and deadly rivalry. Mix these ingredients together and the novel is an absolute triumph! I thoroughly enjoyed the ride and I cannot wait for the next instalment in this YA fantasy duology! With Fire in their Blood will be published on the 1st of September by Penguin Random House.

You can pre-order a copy here.

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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