Release Date: April 5th 2016
Series: Shattered Realms #1
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, Friendship, General, Social Issues, Social Themes, Young Adult
Adrian sul’Han, known as Ash, is a trained healer with a powerful gift of magic—and a thirst for revenge. Ash is forced into hiding after a series of murders throws the queendom into chaos. Now Ash is closer than he’s ever been to killing the man responsible, the cruel king of Arden. As a healer, can Ash use his powers not to save a life but to take it?
Abandoned at birth, Jenna Bandelow was told that the mysterious magemark on the back of her neck would make her a target. But when the King’s Guard launches a relentless search for a girl with a mark like hers, Jenna assumes that it has more to do with her role as a saboteur than any birth-based curse. Though Jenna doesn’t know why she’s being hunted, she knows that she can’t get caught.
Eventually, Ash’s and Jenna’s paths will collide in Arden. Thrown together by chance and joined by their hatred of the king, they will come to rescue each other in ways they cannot yet imagine.
Set in the world of the acclaimed Seven Realms series a generation later, this is a thrilling story of dark magic, chilling threats, and two unforgettable characters walking a knife-sharp line between life and death.
“You cannot stand astride the line between
good and evil, life and death, for long. It will destroy you.”
FLAMECASTER is the first book I’ve read from Cinda Williams Chima. Although I’ve heard that you don’t need to read her previous books to understand the spinoff, I feel like there is a lot I didn’t fully appreciate. While I can’t deny Chima is a good storyteller, I had issues with this one.
What is time?
The book starts off with the characters being around thirteen years old. This was a good way to provide backstory but I felt like I couldn’t relate to them, and that feeling carried on as they aged. When they begin to get into adult situations as they grew older, it just felt a bit weird because I still saw them as kids. Which brings me to…
All the random time skips! What the heck, I’d be reading one POV and then switch to another where they say “It had been two months since…” Where is the timeline here? This feels more convolvuted than the X-Men timeline.
You might need to read the manual.
(There is no manual, but there should be.)
I thought there were too many POVs near the beginning. Who are these people? Why are they relevant? I thought this was a book about two heroes. As time went on, I did grow to like the other POVs but as the book went on, they fizzled out. It was almost as if they were almost forgotten about. One “main” character barely even had a part!
A well-developed fantasy world is a good thing. Except when you are thrown into the well-developed fantasy world without knowing much. There were a lot of terms I didn’t know and I felt like I was missing a lot of backstory since I didn’t read the other books. Which actually reminds me, I still have questions about some things.
Setup, setup, and more setup.
I recognize that this is the first book in a series but I expected a bit more from it. Not much really happened, although there is major potential. Things didn’t even really kick up in this one until the last hundred pages.
All that being said, I clearly finished and liked the book. The pacing and potential in FLAMECASTER saved it. Never once was I bored or tired of the world. Chima’s writing really sucks you in and keeps your attention.
“Love is the root of so much suffering and misery, so much loss.
It’s the worst thing in the world, to risk yourself by loving someone.”
Insta-Love: A Case Study
Has there been or will there ever be a book that gives as good of an example of insta-love as this one? Probably not. Needless to say, I didn’t buy this couple at all. For a five-hundred page book, you are going to have to work a bit harder on the development. After all, you had five-hundred pages.