27 May 2016

Review - Flamecaster

Flamecaster - Shattered Realms #1
by Cinda Williams Chima

What they say: A burning vengeance.

Adrian sul’Han, known as Ash, is a trained healer with a powerful gift of magic—and a thirst for revenge. The son of the queen of the Fells, 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?

A blood-based curse.

Abandoned at birth, Jenna Bandelow was told 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.

Destiny’s fiery hand.

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. 

Buy links:
Amazon US http://goo.gl/tv5HrE * Amazon UK https://goo.gl/KpStau * Harper

ISBN: 0062454900 - ISBN13: 9780062454904

I received a copy from Harper 360 in exchange for an honest review!

What I say: I'm going to start by assuring you this isn't going to be a big old comparison between Flamecaster and the Seven Realms series - I will mention it was falling in love with Cinda Williams Chima's original characters which solidified my desire to read Flamecaster and discover what happened next. 

Continuing stories after the HEA/writing a spin-off is often a huge risk. I have to admit a certain event in the story had me putting the book into the naughty corner for a few days before I recovered enough to carry on. Once I moved past my overly dramatic shock, I found myself drawn into the story - I'm glad she took the risk.

I loved Ash and Jenna so I thoroughly enjoyed getting to meet a whole new set of characters and getting to explore new places with them. Whilst Ash and Jenna are the main characters we also get to see lots of Lila, Destin and Evan.

The thing I love about a Cinda Williams Chima book is that I can always trust her to create a wonderful story. I never have to worry about dull characters or random tangents because everything always serves a purpose and isn't included just to fill space or as a plot device. I love fantasy stories and particularly like how real her worlds always seem. I could visualise the magic and almost feel the healers. Flamecaster really is YA fantasy done well!

Do you need to read the Seven Realms stories first? Well no, but you'll be missing out on a wonderful series and a lot of character/world building and history.

Oh the wait for Shadowcaster is going to seem long...

4.5 Stars in my Sky!

Author Spotlight:

(From her bio)

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima grew up with talking animals and kick-butt Barbies. She began writing poetry and stories in third grade and novels in junior high school. These days she writes fantasy fiction for teens of all ages.

Her Heir Chronicles contemporary fantasy series includes The Warrior Heir (2006), The Wizard Heir (2007), The Dragon Heir (2008), The Enchanter Heir (2013) and The Sorcerer Heir (2014).

Chima’s high fantasy Seven Realms series launched with The Demon King (2009), followed by The Exiled Queen (September, 2010) The Gray Wolf Throne (2011) and The Crimson Crown (2012).

Both series have been New York Times bestsellers.
Chima’s Shattered Realms high fantasy series is forthcoming from HarperCollins. The first novel, Flamecaster, is scheduled for Spring, 2016.

Chima’s books have received starred reviews in Kirkus and VOYA, among others. They have been named Booksense and Indie Next picks, an International Reading Association Young Adult Choice, a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age, to the Kirkus Best YA list, and the VOYA Editors’ Choice, Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, and Perfect Tens lists. Her books also appear on numerous state awards lists and won the Buckeye Teen Book Award in 2011.

Chima was a recipient of the 2008 Lit Award for Fiction from the Cleveland Lit and was named a Cleveland Magazine Interesting Person 2009. She lives in Ohio with her family, and is always working on her next novel.


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