Of Fire and Stars

25164304by Audrey Coulthurst
YA Fantasy
4 of 5 stars
Debut novel: November 22, 2016
**This is a review of an uncorrected proof copy

I was sold on this book the minute I read the description (princess with fire magic is betrothed to prince in a country where magic is illegal, but she falls for his sister) and when my lovely CPs Katy and Akshaya got ARCs in May I immediately began begging them (with no dignity whatsoever) for the chance to read it. Akshaya brought me an ARC at Leviosa Con in July and I devoured it immediately after! (Dreams do come true you guys).

This was everything I hoped for! Romance, adventure—did I mention romance? The best kind: friends-to-lovers slow-burn tension with cute scenes and jokes and surprising moments of daring. I loved everything about Denna and Mare’s relationship! All the things normally reserved for the “hero” to do for his girl get to happen between two women instead and it’s amazing. We also explore the different responsibilities they had to consider since they are both princesses. Everything they do ripples out into their respective kingdoms and it was interesting to see how they balanced their decisions based on that. Denna’s secret affinity for fire magic added a fascinating dimension both to her and to the plot, since magic is illegal in Mare’s country. The religion and ritual surrounding these powers is so interesting and I wanted to see more of it! It also allowed both women to be powerful and smart in different ways which I love.

The story otherwise is mostly political, with lots of meetings and spies (and assassinations!) and ideas discussed with the occasional new clue leading to more chaos. Alliances, power plays, prejudice warring with pragmatism. It could be tightened a bit but overall I was flying through the pages eager to see what would happen next!

The ending is a nice balance of closure and potential openings for a sequel (please oh please let there be a sequel). Read this and swoon!

If you’d like to see more reviews or buy a copy for yourself, Of Fire and Stars is available on Goodreads and on Barnes & Noble’s website here. Please consider supporting your local bookstore!

Similar reads:

  • The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski – Another story of falling in love with someone you shouldn’t. Kestrel and Arin’s kingdoms are at war, and her impulsive decision to buy a prince disguised as a slave could be the downfall of them both. See my review here.
  • Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge – A retelling of Romeo and Juliet where you never know who will live and who will die—and come back to life. Strange magic and death rule these re-imagined star-crossed lovers in a world that pays homage to Shakespeare while still having a life of its own.
  • Huntress by Malinda Lo – Kaede and Taisin (one magical, one ordinary) are chosen to lead a group on a quest to the faery kingdom to restore sunlight to the world. Falling in love was not part of the plan.  A subtle story perfect for a cozy night.
  • Tides by Betsy Cornwell – Brother and sister Noah and Lo spend the summer on the coast with their grandmother. Their plans change dramatically when Noah pulls a girl from the water, and they begin to suspect she—and someone else they know—may be selkies. See my review here.
  • Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat – For those seeking mature romance, this trilogy is fantastic! Damen’s brother seizes the throne, murders their father, and sends Damen to their rival kingdom as a pleasure slave to Prince Laurent. Damen is determined to escape and reclaim his kingdom, but he can’t reveal his true identity to Laurent because he killed Laurent’s older brother. Tension, plotting, betrayal, more tension—enjoy! See my review here.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Kingdom of Ash and Briars | To Live a Thousand Lives
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  3. Trackback: The Seafarer’s Kiss | To Live a Thousand Lives

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