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I Belong

Review: Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima

FlamecasterTitle: Flamecaster

Author: Cinda Williams Chima

Genre: YA High Fantasy

Series: Shattered Realms (Book #1)

Publication Date: April 5, 2016

Format: Hardcover, 544 Pages

ISBN-10: 006238094X (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978- 0062380944 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Zed


Set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Seven Realms series, a generation later, this is a breathtaking story of dark magic, chilling threats, and two unforgettable characters walking a knife-sharp line between life and death. This dazzling beginning to a new series is indispensable for fans of Cinda Williams Chima and a perfect starting point for readers who are new to her work.

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 he’s closer than ever to killing the man responsible, the cruel king of Arden. With time running out, Ash faces an excruciating choice: Can he use his powers not to save a life but to take it?

Abandoned at birth, Jenna Bandelow was told that the 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 ruthless king, they will come to rescue each other in ways they cannot yet imagine.

Quick & Dirty: Unlikely allies with a shared goal: to kill the King of Arden.

Opening Sentence: Compare to the freezing weather outside, the stable was warm and steamy and alive with the sleepy murmurings of horses.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

A most anticipated April release, I had high hopes for Flamecaster but sadly, I was rather disappointed. A few of my friends have recommended books by Cinda Williams Chima but this is the first book I read from this author and I expected an excellent read. Don’t misunderstand me, it was good, but it took me many attempts to actually get into the story and flow of things. Some stories are captivating from the first chapter but Flamecaster wasn’t one of them.

If wishes were horses even beggars would ride.

The story is told from numerous points of view, which normally doesn’t bother me but with this book it confused me. Plus, it didn’t help that there was a time jump at the start and the main characters changed their names in an attempt to disguise their true identity. Just as I began to grasp the character’s past, their name changed and I was left wondering what was happening!

The MCs, Ash and Jenna, were well developed and although both had difficult pasts, their goals were the same; to kill the king of Arden. I liked Jenna’s fiery character and outlook on life, to enjoy the present and not think too far ahead or behind.

“Karn!” she cried out. Vaulting from the bed, she knelt beside the healer, but Karn was already there.
Swearing, the lieutenant rolled the boy onto his back. “What happened? Did you stab him, too?”
“Shut it,” Jenna said. “I think he’s fainted.”

Ash, on the other hand, was a worrier and I liked him to begin with, but I soon became irritated with his plans to kill the king. His ideas for assassination were all in his head because he never took any action. I don’t think he would have irritated me as much if he had tried and failed (without getting caught, of course) but Ash appeared to be simply biding his time. At times I wondered whether he genuinely wanted to murder Montaigne or not!

“That way I won’t waste time watching people die who might have lived if I only had the skills.” Despite his best efforts, his voice shook.
“That’s the thing about guilt,” his father said. “It always seems like there’s enough to go around. The only ones who don’t take a share are the ones who are actually guilty.”

My favourite character was Lila. At the start I wasn’t too sure how she fits into the story but her bluntness was entertaining. She certainly added the much needed humour to Flamecaster and it helped that she was pretty kickass!

When the thane spotted the dragon, he took a quick step back and gripped the hilt of his sword. “Is…is that what I think it is?”
“That depends on what you think it is,” Strangward said.
Lila couldn’t help liking the emissary’s style. Whether she’d keep liking him remained to be seen.

To conclude, I didn’t enjoy this story nearly as much as I had expected, especially given the hype it received. Perhaps if I had read the Seven Realms series, I might have enjoyed it more but it is unlikely that I will continue this series.

Notable Scene:

“That’s not what I mean, and you bloody well know it,” Adrian hissed. “Yes, she loved him. He’s dead because he loved her back, and because she loved me, and he shouldn’t have to pay that price for love.”

“Aye, there’s something we agree on.” Taliesin set her cup down. “He shouldn’t have had to pay that price. 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. At the same time, it’s the best thing in the world-and worth the risk…”

Shattered Realms Series:

1. Flamecaster


FTC Advisory: HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Flamecaster. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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Review: Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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