Of Fire & Stars by Audrey Coulthurst || Kind of takes the “epic” out of “epic fantasy”

Book Review-.png

Title: Of Fire & Stars

Author: Aubrey Coulthurst

Links: Goodreads,



SynopsisBetrothed 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???

Happy Tuesday,


13 thoughts on “Of Fire & Stars by Audrey Coulthurst || Kind of takes the “epic” out of “epic fantasy”

  1. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this book. The characters sounds such a let down. I was really looking forward to reading this but I don’t think I’ll be picking it up anytime soon. Great review!


  2. Disappointing to hear it wasn’t the epic read you expected, but at least it wasn’t all bad. Still on the fence whether or not to try this book myself, but I enjoyed your review. Thanks for sharing!


  3. Darn. I’ve heard mixed reviews about this book and here’s yet another 3 stars. After looking at more and more reviews, I don’t think that I’ll end up picking this up! Thanks for the post though! Have a Happy February!


    1. It’s really too bad, because it had so much potential! Especially because it’s one of the first epic fantasies I’ve read that have had lesbian characters; maybe even THE first.


  4. Aww…I’m sorry this book was so meh. 😦 It’s a shame, especially considering how much potential it had. I’m glad you still found it entertaining despite its flaws. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! ❤


  5. The cover and premise ARE SO FANTASTIC and I think this is the kind of fantasy we definitely need more of!! But omg…I was so frustrated with how bad it was.🙈🙊 Like the names were hilarious and there was no logic and the adults were SO DUMB. Like seriously. How were they all so dumb.😂 I also hate the whole thing how Denna/Mare cheating together was okay because they were in love…it’s still not okay in my opinion. Also big no to princesses scorning princess things. *sigh* BUT AT LEAST THE COVER IS NICE.


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