Lies That Bleed by Leia Stone had me hooked into its world immediately.

It somehow managed to be swiftly immersive and avoided the kind of slow start that takes a few chapters to really generate interest which I loved about it. As a book that leans on the shorter side, this is imperative and well done, so that I felt as if I no longer had a choice between putting it down or continuing.

What drew me in the most about this world were the Lottery, which the book opens up with, and was initially what had me wanting to read it in the first place; and the unique bonding between creatures (animal or mythical) that is the centre point of the Lottery itself, as well as the power system of these people. I love anything that involves a bond with animals (or similar) and it is even more interesting for being a connection that provides powers to the bonded human depending on which creature they form this relationship with.

Another unique aspect to the Amersean world is the fueling system they use for power. They receive power from embers that fall from the sky and use this for all manner of power needs: heating their homes, fuel for vehicles, etc. This was a very cool aspect to the world that very much intrigued me and created all manner of questions I wanted answers to, such as what caused the fire sky considering it is only present over The Wilds themselves, the place where the creatures to be bonded reside and cannot leave without a human bond. Where did The Wilds, and the creatures themselves come from and why could they not leave? World building that generates all manner of interest and questions in me like this is the kind of thing that makes me love a fantasy novel, so this was one more thing that drew me into this book.

Aisling, the main character, is very much a product of her upbringing, heir to the empire and indoctrinated with the kinds of mindsets one might expect from a people who have won a war against another and now oppress them. At times this was hard to read because she is very blind to how wrong this is, believing wholly that the Imbrians are lucky to be allowed the small lives they now have after losing the uprising, and that they have earned their punishments, but it also is very realistic to her character. It also works as a building block for her character growth, allowing her the opportunity to go from being so small-minded to more understanding of Imbrians and their position as she gets to know a group of them in The Wilds as they work together to survive. Not to mention as her feelings for one Imbrian in particular confuse her and leave her questioning everything she has been told.

I honestly ended up loving this book so much and had a really hard time putting it down. It would have been a one sitting read if I’d been able to for sure. It even managed to hit me in the feelings and I developed such a love for a number of characters, both main and not. I wish I could just jump immediately into the next book because I didn’t want to stop when I did reach the end and I will be eagerly awaiting the sequel.


By Danielle Plant

An avid reader and runner. I like to spend my spare time with my dogs Reese and Orion.

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