Tag Archives: seven realms

Flamecaster – Cinda Willaims Chima

Summary:
A burning vengeance.
Adrian sul’Han, known as Ash, is a trained healer with a powerful gift of magic-and a thirst for revenge. The son of the queen of the Fells, Ash is forced into hiding after a series of murders throws the queendom into chaos. Now Ash is closer than he’s ever been to killing the man responsible, the cruel king of Arden. As a healer, can Ash use his powers now to save a life, but to take it?
A blood-based curse.
Abandoned at birth, Jenna Bandelow was told the mysterious magemark on the back of her neck would one day make her a target. But when the King’s Guard launches a relentless search for a girl with a mark like hers, Jenna assumes that it has more to do with her role as a saboteur than any curse. Though Jenna doesn’t know why she’s being hunted, she knows that she can’t get caught.
Destiny’s fiery hand.
Thrown together by chance and joined by their hatred of the ruthless king, Ash and Jenna will come to rescue each other in ways they cannot yet imagine.
Se in the world of the acclaimed Seven Realms series, a generation later, this is a thrilling story of dark magic, chilling threats, and two unforgettable characters walking a knife-sharp line between life and death.

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Review:
So if you read my last review you all know that I absolutely loved the Seven Realms series. Flamecaster is the next series based in the same world, only it’s a generation later. I also very much loved this book. The only thing I didn’t like about it was that the next three books aren’t out and there aren’t even any expected publication dates, which I guess it understandable seeing as this book just came out in April. But still, I don’t care if I’m being unreasonable! I need to know what’s going to happen next!
Cinda Williams Chima is an amazing writer. The way she sets up the plot for what going to come next and the setting, ugh, I wish this world was a real place. From the way she describes it, it’s beautiful even after twenty five years of war with Arden. She explains everything in such good detail I feel like I’m there with Ash when he’s at Oden’s Ford, or right alongside Jenna in Delphi. I just really enjoy the way the story is written. It’s an extremely action packed story; pretty much right from the start of the book, but there’s also a bit of romance and quite a few devastating parts as well as surprise after surprise. Chima seems to know exactly how to make it straight to my heart and get me way too involved in the story and beyond in love with the characters. She also does one of my favorite things, she tells the story from more than one perspective. From this, I knew as soon as I started to read the story that our two main characters, Ash and Jenna, would eventually meet. I love that I get more than just one part of the story. I get to see what’s going on in other parts of the world all at the same time.
The beginning of Flamecaster threw me off a little bit. In the start of the book Ash is thirteen and Jenna is twelve. We read a few chapters of their lives at this age while they both experience something traumatic and life changing. Then the story fast forwards four years. I took me by surprise and had me confused for a few pages until I realized what had happened. It’s not that I didn’t like the time jump, because I totally understand why the author did it, I just think she should have done it a little more clearly. Maybe she could have labeled underneath the chapter title “four years later” or something like that.
As always the characters are my favorite part to talk about. In Flamecaster I feel like there are so many more characters I’d like to talk about compared to the Seven Realms series. I think maybe there are just more characters that I’ve started to love. So I’ll start with our favorite prince, Adrian sul’Han also called Ash. He’s so his father’s son it’s ridiculous. He keeps secrets just like his father did, though his secrets didn’t blow up in his face like they did for his father, thankfully. He’s a smart and brave young man throughout all of these pages. Though, not everything he does is terribly intelligent. He gets it into his head that he needs to kill the king of Arden, which is why most of this story takes place in Arden. I thought that was cool because the last series took place mostly in the Fells and I really enjoyed getting to read about one of the other kingdoms in the Seven Realms. I understood why Ash felt that he needed to kill the king, but at the same time I don’t think he really needed to. I think it would have happened without his help and he should have gone back home instead of going to Arden. Part of me is glad he went because then he never would have met Jenna and we wouldn’t have gotten to learn more about his sort of friend Lila either. Thankfully, at the end of the story Ash decides it’s time for him to go home. At this point he’s grown up a great deal and I really enjoyed following him on his adventures to get to this point.
Jenna Bandelow was a very interesting character. I wasn’t totally sure where her part in the story was going to take us, except obviously towards Ash. Even after finishing this book I only have a slightly better understanding of what part she’s going to play in the Shattered Realms series, though I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a big one. I loved Jenna from the very start. She really cares about the people in her life and does her absolute best to protect them at any cost, even when doing so could cost her her life. Because of one of these moments she has to change her identity and starts her life over as a boy. She’s passionate about what she believes in and knows exactly what she wants. She actually reminds me a little bit of Queen Raisa. She consistently takes risks to try to make her town a better place and she never stops trying to do the right thing. I’m very excited to see where the rest of this series takes Jenna.
While Ash is studying at Oden’s Ford in the beginning of this story we meet Lila, who isn’t someone that I would call his friend, but they get closer to that by the end of this book. Lila was a very confusing character. I knew that I liked her, but I couldn’t always tell whose side she was on. She was a spy for the Arden kingdom, but never seemed to really agree with what she was doing and always seemed to have another goal in mind. When we finally find out who she really is I liked her even more. I knew there was something about her that I liked and as soon as that surprise was revealed I was very glad. I’m sure she’ll be a big part of the next three books and I’m excited to see more of her.
Flamecaster, the first book in the Shattered Realms series, was amazing. I’m glad I decided to buy it and even gladder I finally got around to reading it. I am going to try to patiently wait for the next three books to come out, but it will probably be more anxiously waiting than patiently. If you like action packed books with tons of plot twists with a bit of romance in the middle this is definitely the book for you.

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Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday- Favorites From the Last Three Years

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week has a different prompt for you to make a top ten list about. This week is Top Ten Books You Would Classify As ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS from the past 3 years (you can extend it to 5 if you need to).
I expected this topic to be really difficult for me. When I saw it I immediately texted Amanda freaking out. But she didn’t panic with me; she simply pointed out that I reread alot of books. With this reassurance in mind, I sat down with my book lists from previous years, positive I could find ten favorites even if I had to use only rereads. Then a funny thing happened: I didn’t need any. Within ten minutes, I had ten books/series’ for my list with no need to use all the old favorites I’ve had for years. Which is how I’ve come to the conclusion that almost every book I read instantly becomes a new favorite. I’m still trying to decide if this has any downsides…
So here are my top ten all-time favorites from the last three years (in no particular order):

1. Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead- I love Sydney. I adore Adrian. This is a series I could read over and over again.

2. The Witness by Nora Roberts- My favorite Nora Roberts book. It has everything I love about her writing.

3. Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima- These are the types of books I wasn’t expecting to like but as soon as I started I couldn’t put them down. I even had to take emergency trips to the library to get the rest of the books. It’s one of the most well-written YA series I’ve ever read.

4. Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout- This is another one I got because I was bored but didn’t have much hope for it. It was an instant favorite for Amanda and I.

5. Maximum Ride series by James Patterson- Everything about these books is amazing. They’re quick, fun, emotional reads that I would recommend to everyone.

6. Crown of Vengeance by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory- I was waiting a couple years for this book to come out and it didn’t disappoint. Lackey and Mallory can do no wrong together.

7. Looking For Alaska by John Green- Amanda spent years trying to get me to read this book but I kept putting her off. When I finally read it, I was instantly in love.

8. Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George- I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did. Everything about it was perfect.

9. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith- I’d expected this book to just be a silly YA romance but it wasn’t even close. Smith took a childish idea, like love at first sight, and made it sweet and reasonable. I loved it so much I immediately went to the library to get her other books (i.e. #10).

10. This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith- I found this book emotional, funny, and romantic. I’ll definitely be looking for more of Smith’s books.

Do you share any of these favorites? Let me know some of yours in the comments. Thanks for reading.
-Antonia


Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday- Characters

This is my first time trying Top Ten Tuesday, started by The Broke and The Bookish. When I saw posts for Top Ten Tuesday, I was really excited about it. There’s nothing I like to talk about more than books. So I sat down to start it, and stopped. What genre was I supposed to pick? I changed my mind at least thirty times before deciding I would just list all my favorite characters, separated into genres, and pick whichever one had ten first. Well, then I had another problem: How was I supposed to choose? I didn’t want to just pick characters because I loved the book. We all know loving a book and loving the characters don’t always coincide. I can love a story but be aggravated by the main character. Or love a character and hate the plotline. I didn’t want to base this list on my favorite books. I really just wanted to think about the individual characters and what I like about them personally. I think I managed it. So without further ado, here it is (in no particular order):
ONE: Kyle Kingsbury from Beastly by Alex Flinn. His growth throughout this book was extraordinary, but realistic at the same time. His transformation gets to me every, single time.
TWO: Colin Singleton from An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. Colin is the type of character I don’t read about often. He’s a child prodigy. Intelligent to the point that I tend to find irritating in a character. But Green manages to make him quirky and funny.
THREE: Fire from Fire by Kristin Cashore. Fire is, for all intents and purposes, a monster. She is hated and feared on sight. However, she is such a strong character that she never lets it change who she is. She’s a good, kind person. She knows right from wrong. I love that she always stays true to herself.
FOUR: Hanson Alister from the Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima. Han is a thief, a bit of a womanizer, and doesn’t even pretend to be a pacifist. However, his circumstances forced him into things he wouldn’t otherwise have done. He wants to be a good person and never stops trying. I loved how he developed throughout this series.
FIVE: Raisa ana’Marianna from the Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima. At first, Raisa is a little bit spoiled and I really didn’t like her for most of the first book. She really grew into herself and became the type of queen I really didn’t think she’d become. I seriously enjoyed having her prove me wrong.
SIX: Adrian Ivashkov from the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead. He’s on this list because he’s currently my number one male character who I wish was a real person and asking me on a date.
SEVEN: Sydney Sage from the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead. I really, really love how Sydney has broken away from the beliefs she’s had her entire life. As soon as she realizes some of those beliefs are wrong, she does what she knows is the right thing.
EIGHT: Wanderer from The Host by Stephenie Meyer. Wanda is definitely one of my favorite female characters of all time. She’s lived in so many different worlds and here on Earth she’s almost like a baby. She’s still learning everything about humans and her opinions of some things are seriously adorable.
NINE: Ian O’Shea from The Host by Stephenie Meyer. Ian is an asshole. I adore him. I really couldn’t get over the way he fell in love with Wanda. He fought it the entire time but in the end, he really couldn’t help himself.
TEN: Total from the Maximum Ride Series by James Patterson. Total is a talking, flying dog. He isn’t even one of the main characters. But some of the things he said had me literally laughing out loud. The comic relief he brought to the book was absolutely fantastic.
Well, feel free to agree or disagree. I love hearing other people’s opinions.
-Antonia