Title: Of Fire & Stars
Author: Aubrey Coulthurst
Synopsis: 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—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine—called Mare—the 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 become closer, Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. 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.
I so badly wanted to adore this. I mean, it sounds amazing! Diverse epic fantasy with a f/f romance (and an amazing cover, tbh). But I just…didn’t. And It makes me sad.
Why I Didn’t Like It:
-You’re thrown headfirst into the world and expected to already know it. Almost immedietly you’re expected to know the politics of this world. Why does Princess Dennaleia need an arranged marriage? Why are these two counties so mistrusting of each other? Why is magic feared? WE DON’T KNOW.
-The characters are flat. The only two characters that had any depth to them were Denna and Mare, and even then, it was only like two inches (ha). Princess Dennleia is the bookish, naive “good girl”, Princess Amaranthine is the rebelelious “bad girl” who instantly dismisses Denna as a shallow, spineless princess because of how she looks.
-Also, what is up with those names?
-I disliked that it followed the trope of a princess disliking princessy things because she thinks they’re stupid.
-Remember how I said that Denna and Mare were the only two with personalities? Yeah, I lied. I think that the secondary characters weren’t given personalities so the plethora of horses could be.
-All the adults (the supposedly intelligent, country-running adults) are idiots. “WHY SHOULD WE INVESTIGATE THIS MURDER? WE’LL JUST BLAME THESE PEOPLE WE APPARENTLY HATE AND CALL IT GOOD, HA HA. ” – The adults. Basically the entire book.
But at the same time? I actually kind of enjoyed this book. I mean, I didn’t love it, but I still read it in one sitting.
-Denna, despite not being super fleshed out, is actually pretty adorable. I couldn’t help but want to be friends with her.
-LESBIAN CHARACTERS THAT SURVIVE TO THE END (coughunlikeonrecenttvcough). Also, can I just say that this is probably the first epic fantasy I’ve read with a same-sex romance and that I find this both awesome and awful?
-A pretty engaging writing style. Not perfect, but still pretty good.
So, yeah, it wasn’t the amazing book I expected/wanted/hoped it would be, but I still enjoyed reading it, even with it’s (numerous) problems.
Have you read Of Fire & Stars yet, blogglings? If so, what did you think of it? Do you agree or disagree with my review? If you haven’t read it yet, do you want to? And isn’t that cover totally fantastic???