Review: Flamecaster (#1, Shattered Realms) by Cinda Williams Chima

My Thoughts

Magic is unleashed, alliances are forged and heartbreak leads to adventure in this exciting, next-generation series starter.

4halfstars

Synopsis

Apr-05The first in a thrilling new four-book fantasy series from New York Times bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima, set in the same world as her beloved Seven Realms series, a generation later

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 Ash is closer than he’s ever been to killing the man responsible, the cruel king of Arden. As a healer, can Ash use his powers not to save a life but to take it?

Abandoned at birth, Jenna Bandelow was told that the mysterious 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 king, they will come to rescue each other in ways they cannot yet imagine.

Set in the world of the acclaimed Seven Realms series a generation later, this is a thrilling story of dark magic, chilling threats, and two unforgettable characters walking a knife-sharp line between life and death.

My Review

Cinda Williams Chima weaves another spellbinding tale with Flamecaster—the first book in a new fantasy tetralogy. Rife with dark magic and danger, the story takes place in the Seven Realms world we’ve come to love. We meet Han and Raisa’s son—princeling Adrian sul’Han (known as Ash)—a healer in training.

As a huge fan of the Seven Realms series, I was immediately hooked, yet Chima unflinchingly shocks in early pages, leaving me crestfallen as the next generation’s story took shape.

We also meet Jenna Bandelow, an Ardenine coal miner who’s lived a hard life in Delphi under King Gerard’s brutal rule. Abandoned at birth, she bears a mysterious magemark that makes her a target. Her quiet life is upended, however, when tragic events propel her to join the rebellion against the crown.

Ash too takes matters into his own hands and runs away from the Fells with guilt and rage roiling within.

Shared grief and loss, unquenchable rage and vengeance. Familiar. Connecting the two of them in a hundred ways.

Years later, Ash and Jenna meet under unexpected circumstances in Arden. They bind together in retribution as something more takes root. Yet even as their plans coalesce, unforeseen dangers lurk and it’s not clear where alliances truly lie.

Love is the root of so much suffering and misery, so much loss. It’s the worst thing in the world, to risk yourself by loving someone. At the same time, it’s the best thing in the world—worth the risk.

Chima’s distinctive plot and character depth, along with her slow-build tension accentuated by pulse-pounding, heart-rending scenes, makes this a novel impossible to put down. I love her twisty, slowly unraveling brand of storytelling, her world building, her clear mastery of forging an epic fantasy readers are sure to follow. I know I’ll follow her anywhere, especially as she sets it up for exciting, sinister things to come. A definite must-read for fantasy lovers, and an immediate favorite this year!

It’s easy to die, Mageling… It’s staying alive that’s hard work.

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Comments

  1. Elisheba Carr says:

    I absolutely love this review!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!! I have one small question are there any swoon worthy boys in there? ?

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