Title: Of Fire and Stars
Author: Audrey Coulthurst
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 3/5 stars
Synopsis 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.
welcome to my review of the debut novel Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst! This is a YA Fantasy novel which includes a queer relationship between two lead female characters. I had heard about male homosexual relationships in YA, but never a lesbian one, so I was curious to read this one. Especially because queer relationships are very rare in fantasy novels! I gave this book 3.5/5 stars, and if you want to know why, keep reading!
- Plot: the plot of the novel was pretty straight forward. Definitely fast paced, there was intrigue and mystery, even though my suspicions from the very beginning ended up being true. Because this novel is a stand-alone, I felt that much of the world building or plot development were impeded by the restrictions of pages. If this book was a duology or even a trilogy, I think it would have so much more to offer in terms of plot and development of both social and political relations. Overall, for being a stand-alone it was well developed.
- Characters: again, because it is only one book, the author did not have the space to well flesh-out side characters. The only two characters that were well developed were Mare and Denna, however, the prince and everyone else was just a support to the main characters.
- Writing: The writing was good, the narration fast paced and the style proper to a YA novel. What I really appreciated was the creation of a world that is slightly more egalitarian than usual, and where homosexual relationships are almost considered equal to heterosexual ones. The diversity in the novel was its main strength, for sure.
These are all my non-spoilery thoughts about the novel. If you have read it and wish to discuss it, please do not hesitate to comment down below and let me know your thoughts and opinions. Thank you for reading!
Until next time,
**SPOILER-ALERT** SECTION – Do not read further if you don’t want to be spoiled.
I did see the plot twist coming. The fact that Coulthurst built the general to be the bad guy was too pushed, because that rendered her just a very bad general overall. I knew that the Zumordan wanted to get close to Mare just to get power. As I previously said, the world-building, plot and character development really did lack any depth, and Nils death was unnecessary to me.