Thursday, 12 July 2018

Blood of Fire


Author: Marlow York
Genre: Fantasy
Type: e-book
Source: Reedsy
Publisher: Independently Published
First Published: January 8, 2018
First Line: "I was in the orchard, picking apples with the other Harvesters when it happened."

Book Description from GoodReads: Seventeen-year-old Valieri Fiero must flee for her life when her peaceful farming village is destroyed by the City, her clan’s powerful yet mysterious rulers. Haunted by the deaths of her parents and her older sister’s disappearance, Valieri must learn to survive on her own when she is captured by the Grakkir, a forest-dwelling Warrior race with rumored abilities to control god-like beasts.

The more time she spends in their world, built upon a foundation of strength and honor, the more lies she discovers about her own world and the City she once revered. But a fiery secret runs through her veins. Will she be able to harness this power and find her sister, or will the City stand in her way?



Disclaimer: This Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) was generously provided by the author via Reedsy in exchange for my honest review. 

My Rating: 4 stars

My Review: This is an impressive debut fantasy novel that will immediately engage readers with its well-paced plot, interesting array of characters and intense action scenes.

It's a good binge-worthy read that will immerse readers into York's fantasy world - a world that has enough similarities to our own to make new-to-fantasy readers not feel like they're totally out of their element, but gives ardent fantasy fans a little something new too. Readers will soon notice that the characters are different bunch and I was surprised when I found myself warming to a character that I never even remotely wished good will before -- Saven, I'm looking at you and your brethren.  

The other secondary characters, animal and human, are well-fleshed out and add to the overall plot but it's Valieri who will engage and impress readers as the main character. She has the right balance of uncertainty and drive as she learns to persevere after great loss and begins to see the world through different eyes. It's through Valieri that York addresses bigger issues involving society, the abuse of power and subjugation of others. These issues are woven into the larger plot and give the story a solid framework making this more than just a simple YA fantasy read.

The only thing that lowered my rating was the sometimes excessive self talk that Valieri would have in her own head or with Saven. The 'you can do it, just believe in yourself' inner dialogue felt long-winded when I just wanted to get back to the story.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The gorgeous cover art will pull readers in initially, but it's the well-paced, engaging plot and characters that will keep them glued to the pages. Fans of series like Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games or Joelle Charbonneau's The Testing, should enjoy this new fantasy series that brings teens, with much to lose, into the forefront of a world wrought with danger and uncertainty. The tension is kept high but it is the well-paced plot, unique and well-developed characters that will have readers eager for the next book to come out as soon as possible. 

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