Of Fire And Stars by Audrey Coulthurst | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Of Fire And Stars by Audrey Coulthurst | Book ReviewOf Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst
Published by HarperCollins on November 22nd 2016
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Epic, Romance, LGBT
Pages: 400
Format: ARC, eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9780062433275
Goodreads
four-stars

An atmospheric and romantic debut fantasy perfect for fans of Ash and The Winner’s Curse.
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 kingdoms. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a land where magic is forbidden.
Now Denna has to learn the ways of her new kingdom 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, 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, they discover there is more to one another than they thought—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.

Of Fire And Stars by Audrey Coulthurst is definitely a unicorn of a book, at least thus far in my reading experiences. It is a young adult standalone fantasy novel with two girls who fall in love. I mean, the standalone bit on its own is enough to qualify this is a unique experience. Then you add in the two girls falling in love, and this is something that I rarely read. Thankfully, it is not just the concept alone that recommends this book, it is actually a very good book. I enjoyed my time with it immensely.

Of Fire And Stars is about two main characters – Dennaleia and Mare. Dennaleia is promised to Mare’s brother, Thandi. Their marriage will result in an alliance between their kingdoms and just might be what they need to defeat what is perceived as an enemy kingdom. Alas, not all is well. You see, an assassination takes place. Together, Dennaleia and Mare work together using their separate talents to find out exactly what happened and to hopefully save their kingdoms from sabotage.

Dennaleia is definitely more girly and feminine than Mare. She’s got this wonderful hair and great sense of style. Lots of the ladies of court suck up to her because of her status. However, she’s hiding a secret. Denna has an affinity for fire and that’s dangerous in her new kingdom. You see, they don’t take kindly to the use of magic and it is outlawed due to religious reasons. Denna will do what it takes to control her gift though, even deny herself. In addition to being able to use magic, she’s also a bit of a scholar and her time spent in the library contributes to unraveling the mystery.

Meanwhile, Mare is much more athletic and hands on. You see, she bonds with Denna over horseback riding lessons. In their kingdom, horsemanship is an essential skill. It is also one that Denna does not have. At first, Mare resents her, but over time they become dear friends. Meanwhile, Mare is also big on her freedom and sneaks out of the castle to do some spying in town. It’s how she gathers intel about the assassination. I liked that the two girls had talents that balanced each other out.

Of Fire And Stars has a pretty organic romance. I mean, Mare and Denna spend more time in each other’s company. It goes from this antagonism to grudging respect to trust to love. The progression of the romance is incredibly sweet and well written. I will say that the adult times aren’t fade to black, so if you’re the type who can’t handle that, you might not be into this book. For the most part though, I felt that it seemed realistic and I absolutely rooted for Denna and Mare’s happiness.

Audrey Coulthurst has quite the winning debut on her hands. It left me wanting just a little bit more, however, I was satisfied with how the book resolves. I did not feel like Of Fire And Stars dragged on unnecessarily. The character development was absolutely on point. This book certainly won me over and I am happy to say that I really enjoyed my time reading it.

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four-stars
About April (Books&Wine)

April is 28 years old and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. In her free time she can be found reading, working out, or eating junk food. She often wears her sunglasses at night.

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