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Kesia Lupo

We are Blood and Thunder by Kesia Lupo

In a new and original YA fantasy, We are Blood and Thunder, KESIA LUPO introduces us to some compelling characters and a few unexpected twists in her tale. Kesia shares with us which books inspired her to write a fantasy novel.




In a city where magic is feared and the dead are worshipped, life is overshadowed by a powerful and devastating storm cloud.


One young woman is running for her life. Another is trying to return home. Both are looking for a place where they belong.


But what Lena and Constance don't realise is that the storm cloud binds them. Without it, neither can get what she desires.




We Are Blood and Thunder
is your first novel. Did you always know you wanted to write? How did you begin?

I’ve always loved reading, and during my childhood I devoured virtually every novel in my path. But most of all I LOVED fantasy. When I was around 10 years old, I read the entire ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy twice through in one summer holiday! I think reading is the very best way to start writing. During my early teens I started to play around with poems and short stories – they felt manageable, finishable. They were also very, very bad … but I enjoyed the process! I was around fifteen when I started my very first fantasy novel (which remains unfinished, somewhere on an old laptop hard drive). I wrote two more novels before the first draft of We Are Blood and Thunder.

What brought you to writing fantasy? How did such a fascinating world come alive to you?

I think fantasy is a really special genre – and I know I’m biased! As a reader, I find that a fantasy world – however dark in itself – is the ultimate escape from our world and its darknesses. When I started creating Valorian, it was an escape for me too. I loved sitting on the [train] during my commute and thinking through all the rules, laws and systems that powered this strange continent of my creation. I drew maps and diagrams and list after list. I was completely obsessed with it – when I felt stressed out or tired, it was the place I would go in my head. But while providing a place to escape, fantasy also holds up a mirror to our world and shows it in a different way. That’s inevitable, because as a writer you are influenced by all the real things around you … and I hope, like most fantasies, We Are Blood and Thunder has something to say about our world too.

How important do you think it is to have strong female leads in fantasy books?

It wasn't too long ago that female characters (outside of a supporting cast) were really hard to find in fantasy. ‘The Lord of the Rings’ is one of my favourite series, but even as a ten-year-old I distinctly remember thinking 'where are all the girls'? When you don't see yourself in the books you're reading, starring in fictional worlds, it's hard to feel empowered in the real world. Nowadays I find it extremely heartening to see so many female fantasy leads, particularly in YA – things are definitely moving in the right direction!

Published by Bloomsbury