Saturday, May 20, 2017

Flamecaster

Hi, all! Sorry I dropped off the face of the earth there for a while. Once again, life got crazy. I mean, seriously, I have a whiteboard calendar on my wall and it is covered in things I have to do. But on the plus side, I've gotten into a good reading rhythm lately that's resulted in me having many many reviews to share with you! So let's get right to it with Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima.


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Retrieved from Goodreads
Ash is the son of the queen of the Fells. Forced into hiding after a series of murders shakes the queendom, he sets his sights on revenging his family. At the same time, Jenna Bandelow has lived a life of hardship. Forced to hide her gender to evade capture by people who want her dead for rebellion, Jenna is thrust into the world of political intrigue when a faraway queen demands her as payment for troops in support of the war. Eventually, Ash and Jenna's stories collide in the capital of Arden which has been waging war against the Fells for over a decade.

Oh this was such a hard choice for me. I had such mixed results with Chima's books. I adored her slow-building plots in the Seven Realms series. But I've been tepid about every book in her Heir Chronicles. So when I saw that the author was returning to the Seven Realms for a story following the children of Hans and Raisa, I near-on did a jig. The book starts with something so awful and sad that I dare not speak of it because I refuse to believe it's true. It was such an evil evil thing to do to the readers, which I commend, but still makes me very sad. From there...things get sporadic. There are several jumps in time which make things feel oddly rushed for such a long book. I felt like I was being told things were important and slow building, without actually getting to see it. Perhaps I am spoiled by Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archive, but I want to be shown how relationships build, not told about it. But, despite this odd rushed sense, I did enjoy the mystery surrounding Jenna. I suspected what her powers were long before they were revealed, but it was still enjoyable getting there. Her and Ash's relationship didn't make me swoon, but it was sweet. I know the next book in the series follows a different set of characters, so I understand the need to build the romance here faster than in the Seven Realms series. And just when I was thinking the book was moderately good, the ending put it squarely in the "good" column. So I will definitely be reading Shadowcaster.

Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars (probably closer to 3.75)
Up Next: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

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