November 20, 2016

ARC Review of Of Fire And Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

Release Date: November 22, 2016
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Page Count: 400
Format: ARC
Genre: YA
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 lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.
Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home 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 (called Mare), 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, each discovers there’s more to the other than she thought. Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. 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.

*an ARC of this book was given to me during BEA 2016 from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review*

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst was a secondary goal during BEA 2016, if I had time I would go to the signing and if I didn't I wouldn't go. When I passed by the line it happened to be really short at that moment so I decided to go the signing and grabbed a copy. Based on the cover and description I assumed it would be a bit of a generic fantasy love story type book but as I read it I discovered it was so much more. The stories of the characters and relationships put together with the excellent writing made Of Fire and Stars one of my surprise reads of the year.

The world-building in this book was classic fantasy material: castles, villages, and other similar settings. However, that doesn't mean that it was bad, the writing behind them was robust and didn't detract from the book at all. At the same time I hope that this area of the book will expand in the sequel as there is a lot of potential in fantasy genre books to have unique and breathtaking settings and I feel like Audrey Coulthurst can easily do that. When it comes to the characters and their relationships you can see the real strength behind Of Fire and Stars. Every character is effortlessly placed into the perfect parts of the plot and push it forward. Denna and Mare specifically are what made this book so memorable for me, they start off almost as enemies and eventually their relationship and friendship grows into something so much more. Their friendship being blocked by other people (like Mares brother for example) instantly made me hate those people. There's just so much more that can be written about these two in the world that Audrey Coulthurst creates and I definitely look forward to it. What seemed like a generic fantasy story at first became a surprise read for me when I ended up really liking it and without those two aforementioned characters the book would have been weaker.

Despite nothing unique in terms of the world-building the characters is where Of Fire and Stars excels, I simply couldn't stop reading because I wanted to know what would happen. If Audrey Coulthurst can amp up the world-building in the sequel (I'm not sure if there will be one but I certainly hope there will be) I have no doubt that it will be a 5-star read for me. If you're someone who likes YA fantasy, romance, and magic you will certainly enjoy Of Fire and Stars.

4.5/5 - Really good book

No comments:

Post a Comment