Review: Magic of Fire & Shadows

About the book:

Princess Adaline loses her entire family in a despicable act of war, and with magic protecting the borders of Beloch, retribution is impossible. But Adaline is determined to tear down the wall of Fire and avenge those she loved most. Even if it means denying a growing attraction to her protective guard.

All of Beloch is in turmoil with the threat of war at the magical border. After her father’s departure to negotiate peace, Vasilisa becomes a pawn in her stepmother’s scheming climb for the crown. But when Vasi’s hand in marriage becomes part of the selfish strategy, Prince Nikolai should be her salvation. Instead, he seals her doom.

Would you die to save your homeland or let it burn to ash to save the one you love?

If you like dark fantasy, you’ll be immediately consumed by the Curse of the Ctyri series because of the magic, romance, and shocking twists. Readers will love the threads of familiar tales in an epic coming of age story of stunning risk, slow burn romance, and witchy power.

Cover of Magic of Fire and Shadows

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Review by Katy Haye:

This was a mixed bag, to say the least. I love magic and folklore and this combined a kickass princess, a Cinderella situation and Russian folklore that was reminiscent of Leigh Bardugo.

Unfortunately, it turned out to be nothing like Leigh Bardugo’s gorgeous writing and compelling characters. There was far too much of the characters being steered by the plot with the result that many of their actions were utterly inexplicable and senseless.

The Princes were astonishingly dense (I thought they were pretending at first; no such luck); Adeline (princess-in-waiting) was petulant and silly and not what you’d want a queen to be, and it’s a small thing but I can’t stand characters smirking (unless the writer is signalling that this is a baddy) and people smirked all over the place until I wanted to smack the gesture off their smug faces.

Not a success for me, this one, I’m afraid.

Katy Haye writes speculative YA fiction. Check out the first book in her new YA fantasy series, Awakened by Magic, while it’s just 99c/p. Kyann only wants to save her sister, but a greater destiny of myth and magic awaits her in the Empire of Charnrosa.

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