5 Things About Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima

May 4, 2016 Review 28 ★★★

5 Things About Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima
Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Purchased
Pages: 544
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.

Readability Points

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.

Rating Report
Overall: 3

28 Responses to “5 Things About Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima”

  1. Sara L.

    I’m actually reading the first Seven Realms novel, The Demon King, right now. And… I’m on the fence about it so far. It took about 150 pages for things to really get moving, and the world-building is fantastic but very dense in spots. But I like the characters enough that I want to see where it goes. But, yeah. Without having read Flamecaster, I understand some of the issues you had with it, since they pop up in The Demon King, too.
    Sara L. recently posted…Recent Reads: April 2016

  2. Kelly

    I remember plowing through the Seven Realms novels a couple years ago, but they somehow didn’t really stick in my memory, which sounds like it might be a problem if the world isn’t really re-introduced this this novel. (And insta-love, really? Why? Five hundred pages really should be enough to develop a well-rounded relationship!)
    Kelly recently posted…Review: Genius: The Game

    • Alise

      I’ve heard you can jump into this one without having read the others but now I’m not so sure. For me, there was a steep learning curve. RIGHT!?

    • Alise

      I love a slow burn romance so you’ve just convinced me to check out the Seven Realms books. Plus I’m curious how similar they are.

  3. Hope (@HopeSLavender)

    “More Convoluted than the X Men Timeline” hahaha, I gave up trying to figure that timeline out. Too many points of view can be annoying, but maybe balances out after a few books and each character has more depth? I haven’t read it, Will you be reading anymore books by this author?

    • Alise

      Right? I just roll with it now, haha. I would say it only balanced out because some of the POVs were actually taken out, which didn’t really make sense to me. I believe I will try reading her original series and see if I like that.

    • Alise

      That’s really interesting to know! Now I’m wondering if I would dislike that one as well.

  4. Lonna

    When I saw this book on Goodreads, I admit I was a bit curious. After reading your review, my curiosity has waned. :) I don’t mind reading books that alternate between multiple POVs, but this one seems to be a bit more challenging with the addition of an inconsistent timeline. I’ll have to reconsider reading this one. Great and very informative review, Alise!
    Lonna recently posted…Summer 2016 Comment Challenge: June Sign-up

    • Alise

      I thought this was going to be absolutely epic but boy did I have issues with it. A lot of people do seem to like it so I wouldn’t count it out just yet. Thank you :)

      • Lonna

        A-ha! Got your name right in this one!! I have a friend blogger whose name is Alicia, so if it pleases, I sometimes accidentally type her name Alise, too. But, so far, I’ve caught myself before publishing. >_<

        Ok, I won't count it out. But, it'll likely be a library rental and not a book buy.
        Lonna recently posted…Summer 2016 Comment Challenge: June Sign-up

        • Alise

          Nice! I’m sure I’ve misspelled quite a few bloggers’ names anyways, so. Haha

          Probably a good choice.

  5. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    I for sure want to start with Williams Chima’s other series before getting into this one and I’m curious if you might have had better luck that way too? It wouldn’t have helped with the insta-love though of course *glares*…when will authors learn?! The too-many POVs obviously would still be an issue too and it seems like it’s a growing trend nowadays. Sometimes it works but other times it’s a disaster. The writing, plot and especially the pacing seem on point though, which is good considering the page-count :)
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Review: Fifth Grave Past the Light

    • Alise

      I’m thinking I could have bit more lenient that way, yeah. Man, there really was no excuse for the insta-love in this. I’ve noticed that too, especially in fantasy. Yeah!

    • Alise

      There was really no excuse for the insta-love here at all, which is a real bummer. There are some good aspects though. I hope you like it!

  6. Preethi @ The Lone Reader

    Noooo I hate that this book has instalove! I haven’t read this one yet but have read all of the author’s other books, and have generally liked, if not loved, all of them! I expected so much from this, but nothing turns me off like instalove. Still, I love the setting of this one, so I guess I’ll just hope really hard that the romance doesn’t bother me??
    Preethi @ The Lone Reader recently posted…Yes, Yes I Did Change My Blog Name Again

    • Alise

      I know, I really expected a lot more from this romance! Good to know that the other books are good though.

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