Title: Of Fire and Stars
Author/s: Audrey Coulthurst
Publication Date: November 22, 2016
Publisher: Blazer + Bray
Number of Pages: 40
“Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.
Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine (called Mare), sister of her betrothed.
When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, each discovers there’s more to the other than she thought. Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. Soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.
But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.“
**Thank you Haroer Collins International for the review copy of Of Fire and Stars in exchange of an honest review.**
Recognizing the fact that this book is Coulthurst’s debut novel made me love her writing style more! Her words hooked me from start ’til end. Though I loved her writing, I have some issues regarding the book.
The main characters are a bit of an issue: Meet Princess Dennaleia of Havemont, one who’s been betrothed to the Prince of Mynaria ever since she was born. Denna has an affinity for fire magic. The people of Mynaria disfavors any kind of magic, now Denna’s struggling to keep her affinity as a secret. Denna is a smart, composed woman. She does whatever it is that she’s expected to do. And then there’s Mare, Princess of Mynaria, sister of Thandi. Mare doesn’t like the mere idea of being a princess she doesn’t always go by the rules. She’s a badass, a stubborn one; sneaks out of the palace and go to other places. What I didn’t like about them is that they’re most of the time, arrogant, especially Mare. I have mixed feelings for her.
I liked some minor characters too, Nils and Casmiel. Both are witty and *coughs* swoon-worthy! She gave life to the story. Also Denna’s mother who’s always been protective and supportive of her.
Next is what I loved most about this YA Fantasy novel. THE ROMANCE! Before reading the book, it didn’t occur to me that there’s a possibility that the main characters aren’t straight. So I was surprised. This is the first book that I’ve read with two girls who fell in love with each other, and I liked it to bits. They started with a classic hate relationship, with a growing friendship, then there it is- the slow blossoming of their love. It was pretty obvious that both are just trying to suppress their feelings due to obvious reasons. With the two being much more comfortable and attached to each other, they grew stronger. I applaud Coulthurst for a very well made love interest and character development.
Now let’s talk about what I didn’t like about the book, the world-building. The lack of introduction and details for the setting left questions. It is evident that Coulthurst tried to create a history but it wasn’t enough. A backstory must have been given, a made-up culture isn’t even that present. Like the world-building was built with such haste. Nevertheless, I DID LIKE THE RELIGIOUS SANCTUARY.
Surprisingly, I will read the next installment. It might be because of the fact that I wasn’t satisfied with the ending of the novel though it did close the story.
A fan of YA Fantasy? Check this one out!
Audrey Coulthurst writes YA books that tend to involve magic, horses, and kissing the wrong people. Her debut novel, Of Fire and Stars, will be published on November 22, 2016 by Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins. When she’s not dreaming up new stories, she can usually be found painting, singing, or on the back of a horse.
Audrey has a Master’s in Writing from Portland State University, is a member of SCBWI, and studied with Malinda Lo as a 2013 Lambda Literary Foundation Fellow. She lives in Santa Monica, California
Follow Audrey on: