Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima
Series: Shattered Realms #1
Publisher: HarperTeen, Trade Paperback, 560 pages
Adrian, Ash, sul’Han is a wizard with a gift for healing and his only goal is to talk his mother into letting him go to school to study early. When a rival kingdom takes to murdering people in his queendom, Ash finds himself choosing between taking lives and saving them. Meanwhile Jenna Bandelow has been told that the mark on the back of her neck will make her a target, but she’s pretty sure her role as a saboteur is more to blame. When Ash and Jenna’s path’s cross they find there is more to the world than they realized.
Flamecaster was a hell of a book. While I don’t read much YA/teen fiction these days, I have to give credit where it’s due. This book was SO good. The first 50 or so pages where a punch in the stomach, but I was so here for it. The characters, the writing, the plot, I loved all of it. What I didn’t know going into this book is that there is a series that takes place in the same world ahead of these books. That said, I fell right into this world without any trouble and having not read the prior series.
Ash and Jenna were great main characters and I found myself cheering them on, but the way this is written I also found myself cheering on some of the secondary characters as well. They have such personality and overcome such triumph that it’s hard not to support them (or cheer when the villains get what’s coming to them).
There were a couple of things that were a bit predictable throughout this book, but honestly I did not even care because I was too busy enjoying the story and the characters. There is magic, and political intrigue, and rebels…. I mean, what’s not to love? There was even a little surprise I wasn’t expecting towards the end.
Overall, this was a major win for me. The biggest compliment I can pay this book is that when I finished it, I was at the bookstore buying book two less than an hour later so I could read on. 5/5 stars.