ARC Review: Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima

Title: Flamecaster
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Series: Shattered Realms #1
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: April 5th 2016
Pages: Kindle, 544
My Rating: 4 Stars

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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.

  I was given an ARC by the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 

After I finished the first chapter of Flamecaster, I was immediately hooked. This is my first Cinda Williams Chima book, and I am not disappointed at all. I have to admit that I didn’t know what to expect despite the first chapter, but I kept reading on because it felt interesting to me right then and there. I was actually surprised that the book has more than 500 pages when I checked it after reading, because it felt like a breeze to read!

There is nothing more I love seeing in fantasy books than characters that are neither black nor white, and Flamecaster is spot on in that particular matter. The characters are very complex, and even with certain things revealed, the book still kept me guessing which side each character was on, what their motives was, etc. And all these just felt natural, not annoying.

The plot was definitely fantastic and it really kept me on the hook to want to read more from this author. I’m always wary of fantasy books - especially high fantasy books - because I’m a contemporary romance girl, but this book was just amazing that I didn’t think about it as “Oh, this is amazing for a fantasy book” even though I kind of wary of fantasy books.

I think the only problem I had with this book was the romance. I don’t know if it’s just me, but the romance was very fast for me, It wasn’t exactly insta-love, but it was insta-like, and just a bit after that, the main characters were professing their loves for each other. I get that fantasy books are much less about romance than contemporary books, which is why I usually expect more of a slow burn romance from fantasy books. However, the romance between Ash and Jenna just felt too quick for me.

Other than the romance aspect, however, I really enjoyed this book. I can’t wait to read the next book in this particular series, and if I get the time anytime soon, I’ll be sure to read Chima’s other works! This is definitely something I would recommend, but just remember that I warned you guys about the romance part early on.

hooked stars

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