Saturday, November 19, 2016

ARC Review: Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

Of Fire and Stars
Author: Audrey Coulthurst; Jordan Saia (illustrator)
Publication: Balzer + Bray (November 22, 2016)

Description: An atmospheric and romantic debut fantasy perfect for fans of Ash and The Winner’s Curse.

Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile kingdoms. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a land where magic is forbidden.

Now Denna has to learn the ways of her new kingdom while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine, sister of her betrothed.

When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, they discover there is more to one another than they thought—and soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.

But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.

My Thoughts: This is an engaging fantasy novel that seems to be beginning a series. Princess Dennaleia has been betrothed to the Crown Prince of Mynaria since she was six years old. Now sixteen, she is finally traveling to Mynaria to meet him.

Dennaleia finds a prince who just seems to see her as a trophy and who seems uninterested in her as anything by an ornament. Her years of training to rule are completely disregarded. She also learns that people who have magic are being persecuted in that kingdom. She has been told since she was small that she needs to keep her affinity to fire a secret. Now the secret must be kept even closer which is hard because her gift seems to be growing and getting harder to hide.

Dennaleia finds herself lonely in her new life. The only one she would like to be her friend is her betrothed's sister Princess Amaranthine who prefers to be called Mare and prefers to spend her time training and breeding horses. Mare has also been set aside by her father and brother as having no purpose other than being someone to marry off for political gains.

When the king's adviser is murderded Mare and Denna team up to try to find out the killer despite being discouraged by the king and crown prince. The two also begin a relationship that starts with a tentative friendship and builds into a romance.

The story is filled with action and tension as the country hovers on the brink of war with a neighboring county and deals with rebellions magic users. I loved the way the love between Denna and Mare grew gradually through the story. I liked the world building and would be glad to read more stories set in this world.

Favorite Quote:
My daily life remained a rehearsal for the moment I met my betrothed, and my secret seemed like a trivial thing. I believed that as long as I followed my training, nothing could go wrong.

But some things are stronger than years of lessons.

The draw of fire.

A longing for freedom.

Or a girl on a red horse.
I got this one for review at Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to finally get my hands on this one. I've been hearing such amazing things about it. I think it's fantastic that there is finally starting to be more LGBTQ characters in YA in categories other than contemporary.
    -Kimberly @ Turning the Pages


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