Book One in the Of Fire and Stars series.
Published in 2016 by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Romance.
Page Count: 389
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Sypnosis from Goodreads:
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—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine—called Mare—the 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 become closer, Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. And 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.
There was nothing about this book that I didn’t love! It gave me alll the feelings, and then some! It has everything that I love in it, including a sheer exquisite f/f romance and a stunning fantasy setting with incredible magic!! I could not get enough of this book and Denna and Mare! I felt like I was living for their interactions! I loved their initial chemistry, I found myself dying for when they’d meet again – I love how Mare initially found Denna frustrating and tiresome, tired of her weary ways when it came to horse riding, but what I loved even more is how much the two grew to care for one another deeply! This book and these characters just wholly have my heart, and I’m lamenting that the sequel is so close but feels so far away!! I cannot wait for it! I need all the books about Mare and Denna, they’ve easily become one of my very most top beloved ships ever! And this book is hands down, one of my very most favourites ever!
There was never not a time when I didn’t feel engaged with this story! I love how it was told from both Denna and Mare’s points of view, there were moments when I was able to get into their minds as they addressed their feelings towards one another, both internally (when they realised what they felt about the other, and physically, just when the two shared these perfectly delicious angsty scenes together, I just couldn’t get enough! They’re such a perfect contrast to one another, Denna, with her undying love and loyalty to her people, wanting to be an amazing Queen, wanting to help serve her people, wanting to help! Not being content (same as Mare), with just being confined to the general Queenly tasks of correspondence. Then there’s Mare, so brash and unafraid to say what she thinks, determined not to be cast aside by the men in her family, determined to live a life of her own accord! She spoke up against the men in her family, her brother and Father, and I was so proud of her for doing so! When a member of the royal family is killed, she will stop at nothing to find answers, I just admired her determination so much!!
I felt like how Coulthurst described Denna’s magic was so unique! I felt like I could easily visualise those sparks, those licks of flames as Denna fought so valiantly to snuff them out, to even be rid of them (magic is really not supported by her new Kingdom), and Denna knows the risks are high if she’s found out! But when Denna found herself not being able to control her powers, I was just loving these scenes! She never did anything bad with her magic, I mean, it did have not great consequences but I was all for it, as she was protecting Mare! My heart! The build up of both Denna’s powers and Mare and Denna’s romance just had me on tenderhooks throughout! I’m already so so excited to reread this!!
Honestly, if you like fantastical fantasy with fabulous magic and a glorious female/female pairing, look no further! This beauty is definitely for you! And it has a prequel and a sequel! I’m so so excited for the next installment, I’m counting down the days! Thank you so much to the lovely Rachel for recommending this masterpiece to me!
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