Book Review

We Cry For Blood By Devin Madson

We Cry for Blood

  • Author: Devin Madson
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Publication Date: August 3, 2021
  • Publisher: Orbit
  • Series: The Reborn Empire #3

Thank you to Orbit and Angela Man for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

CONTENT WARNING: torture, murder, violence, gore, mention of past rape, PTSD, suicide, grief, blood

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. She’ll have to decide how many of her people are worth sacrificing in order to win.

This series just keeps getting better, and I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so bear with me. I’ve become quite invested in this series, and I was so excited about what this book would bring, but it took me a while to read this because I wanted to savor it and ensure that I could keep up with all of the complex machinations that were going on.

Unlike other series I’ve read with multiple POVs, the storylines of our characters tend to remain separate, even when they’re in relatively close proximity. The entire book gives a sense that Madson is building up to something major in the final book, but this book offers so much plotting and backstabbing and maneuvering of enemies to allies that it wasn’t boring or slow-moving at all. 

Despite having four POV characters who were all so different, and played different roles in the story, I found all of them to be equally interesting and engaging. However, they all had their own flaws and strengths, and I can basically see Madson moving them into place like chess pieces on a board, although I can’t exactly see what she’s got in store just yet.

Watching Rah go through everything he has gone through, yet he still puts his morals and values before his own safety, and I can’t help but admire him for it. He’s the kind of guy who does the right thing even when it isn’t the easy thing to do, and I truly felt for him throughout the course of this story.

Dishiva quickly became another favorite of mine in this book, and she’s one who is in one of the most dangerous positions. She’s stuck at the side of Leo Villius, and is learning more and more about the secrets he’s keeping. But she doesn’t give up, and like Rah, holds to her ideals even as it gets harder and harder to achieve the purpose she always thought was hers.

I can’t help but love Miko, even as she’s trying to fight an uphill battle. She’s surrounded by advisors, but she doesn’t quite have all the support she needs. She’s willing to be open-minded in her search for allies, and I loved the way that she always thinks for herself, even when receiving advice from her advisors. She is smart and forward-thinking, but in a country where women aren’t valued as highly as men, her positive characteristics aren’t always viewed in a good light, and Miko faces this on her journey to earn the respect of her people and reclaim her empire.

Finally, we have Cassandra, who I liked from the start, and has only grown on me further throughout the series. She’s tough and willing to do whatever needs to be done to survive, but now she’s trapped in someone else’s body, trying to get back to her own. The body that she’s in has a mysterious, progressive ailment, and it’s a great example of how disability representation can be done in fantasy. Cassandra’s body struggles with fatigue, pain, swelling of the joints, and difficulty getting around, and as someone who has mobility issues and chronic pain, I could completely identify with how Cassandra feels inside that body, even if I’m not sharing it with anyone else.

This book was chock full of action and plot twists and battles and people getting stabbed in the back and alliances switching around at the drop of a hat, and I couldn’t get enough of it. I’m torn between wanting to devour the next (and last) book, and holding off so I don’t have to say goodbye to my read of this series for the first time. Because there’s nothing like reading a series for the first time, you know?

People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.

Gasp Factor: 21

1 reply »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.