Cast in Firelight eARC Review

Book Cover

GoodReads:

The first book in an epic, heart-pounding fantasy duology about two royal heirs betrothed to be married, but whose loyalties are torn, and a ruthless enemy who threatens their world, perfect for fans of Sabaa Tahir, Hafsah Faizal, and Renée Ahdieh.

Adraa is the royal heir of Belwar, a talented witch on the cusp of taking her royal ceremony test, and a girl who just wants to prove her worth to her people.

Jatin is the royal heir to Naupure, a competitive wizard who’s mastered all nine colors of magic, and a boy anxious to return home for the first time since he was a child.

Together, their arranged marriage will unite two of Wickery’s most powerful kingdoms. But after years of rivalry from afar, Adraa and Jatin only agree on one thing: their reunion will be anything but sweet.

Only, destiny has other plans and with the criminal underbelly of Belwar suddenly making a move for control, their paths cross…and neither realizes who the other is, adopting separate secret identities instead.

Between dodging deathly spells and keeping their true selves hidden, the pair must learn to put their trust in the other if either is to uncover the real threat. Now Wickery’s fate is in the hands of rivals..? Fiancées..? Partners..? Whatever they are, it’s complicated and bound for greatness or destruction.

This book publishes on January 19, 2021
There is also a preorder incentive for it!

My Review

Sounds pretty awesome, right? Some love, some fantasy, some magic, pretty simple equation to make me happy.

And despite that…

It wasn’t a BAD book, not really, but there were elements that just didn’t do it for me. I thought perhaps it would have a slow start like Shielded which shared the same sort of Fiancé element which I ended up really enjoying. But I think I wasn’t really okay with the lies between this set of ‘set-up’ lovers, I think perhaps because it felt like their reasonings were weak for how long the charade may have continued in the ‘I’m not so and so, I’m so and so, and you’re so-and-so.’ After a while it felt more like page filler than an actual plot point.

I didn’t really get to know the characters either which was disappointing as it seems they could have been some great ones, but, on the positive note, they were done enough that they weren’t so shallow you didn’t care about them at all….I just wasn’t as invested as I should have been.

Jatin and Adraa were part of a lovely world and I wanted to know so much more than what we were given, since this is a duology though we may get some more world-building/expanding in the second book, and yea, I am at least a bit interested in reading the sequel. I think the ending was the best-written part of it all. I’m not being sarcastic either, it wasn’t because the book was finally over, it just felt like Swift finally hit her stride and then, it just ended. Like, THERE was the plot I wanted, there was the development for the characters possibly peeking through and I know that I will expect it all to continue in book 2.

There were some creative parts I liked, the magic system for one, the cage casting, which was a fave of mine, and then there were parts were I was a bit…shocked at the lack of thought. It felt like such a beautiful culture and world would have equally cool names for their gods, but, they’re just the element names spelled backwards, so the Goddess Erif, was, you guessed it, fire. Kinda bummed me out when I saw that.

The side characters were way more fun to me than our two MCs, I loved their families, their guards, oh man, I wouldn’t mind reading more about Riya or Kaylan they both seemed so cool.

It was a decent read, I was disappointed because I thought it would be a bit more than that for me, but it wasn’t horrible, I wouldn’t say no to it, and I think it’ll really appeal to a lot of people.

If you like Shielded or The City of Veils, I think this would be worth adding to your TBR. Thanks so much to PRH International and NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

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