Jul 8th

Review of Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima

Posted in Reviews
Flamecaster

Title: Flamecaster
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Publisher: Harper Collins
Date Published: April 5, 2016
Where I got the book: Public Library
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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 not 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 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 birth-based curse. Though Jenna doesn’t know why she’s being hunted, she knows that she can’t get caught.

Destiny’s fiery hand.

Eventually, Ash’s and Jenna’s paths will collide in Arden. Thrown together by chance and joined by their hatred of the king, they will come to rescue each other in ways they cannot yet imagine.

Set 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.

Flamecaster is an incredible book! I loved the Seven Realms series; it is one of my top 5 favorite series of all time. I was skeptical when I first heard about this book. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to revisit this world after such a perfect ending. The beginning of Flamecaster did not help change my mind. I am warning you now, that beginning hurt my heart! I cursed Cinda Williams Chima for a good five minutes before I was able to start reading again! My broken heart aside, this book was a masterpiece. The worldbuilding was masterful, just as fantastic as her previous books. The plot was new and exciting, possibly even more exciting than the Seven Realms Series. I was most worried about the characters. Raisa and Han are dear to me, but I wasn’t sure I would get as attached to their son and the new cast of characters. I was wrong. I love Ash, Lila, Jenna, and especially Destin. I miss Han and Raisa, but I’m so glad I got to meet these new characters as they start out on an epic journey filled with lots of twists and new places!
The worldbuilding in Flamecaster is epic perfection. Oden’s Ford is almost exactly as it was in the Seven Realms books with the exception of the newly formed Mystwerk where Ash studies. There are a lot of new locales in this book that Chima does an excellent job of building and describing. We get to see and hear from some of the other kingdoms and meet people we’ve barely even heard of from the previous series. It is not an easy thing to meld a world already visited with new elements while giving equal time to each. Chima does this exceptionally well. The tavern Han spent time at is revisited while the castle in Arden is seen for the first time. Both are easy to imagine with all the wonderful details that are provided. There are also new elements explored that deal with magic. I will not spoil you, but these additions are A+++++ and I loved them! These additions open new doors to previously unexplored places and peoples and I am so excited to see where the next book will take us.

Exceptional worldbuilding can only carry a book so far. The plot is very important when dealing with a book set in the same world as a previous series. Some authors use a cookie cutter format and the new book just can’t hold up; the reader has already heard this story before. Such is not the case with Flamecaster. The plot is entirely new and even more fascinating. Ash isn’t away from home to protect his country or himself, like Raisa was, he’s training to punish the people that have hurt him. His storyline takes the plot to a darker place. Jenna also has a new storyline. She’s in hiding while also trying to sabotage the king she has grown to hate. Between those two storylines, Flamecaster is a much different book than you might expect. The incredible writing talent of Chima’s is really showcased in this novel. There are so many places where this book could have fell short; a companion series is not an easy thing to write. We as readers can often be extra critical of companion books and series. Writing this novel and having it exceed expectations on so many levels is a success not to be scoffed at.

The characters in Flamecaster are a pleasant surprise. I wasn’t sure if I would like them as much as the characters from the Seven Realms books, or if they’d be so similar that I wouldn’t like them for that reason. Instead I find them to be just dissimilar enough to be fun to get to know, but good, strong, relatable characters that do their predecessors justice. Often when I finish a series and my OTP comes together, I find myself wondering what their children would be like. DREAM COME TRUE! Ash was so fun to read about. I found myself comparing him to Ham and Raisa and trying to figure out who he takes after and why. He blends both parents enough to be a new person unto himself while still giving me the opportunity to see parts of my favorite characters living on in their son. Jenna was such an interesting character. She grew up poor in a mining community until tragedy struck and she became a rebel in the disguise of a boy. Her magemark adds so many new dimensions to the story and to her character as well. She does a lot of growing as a person and ends up very different from the person we first meet in the beginning of the story. Lila is such a mysterious character. Her motives are secret and she wears so many identities you don’t know until the end just who she really is. She is one of my favorites because she seems so at odds and conflicted while wearing so many different faces. Destin, however, is my very favorite character. I have a deep love for misunderstood bad boys, secretly not so bad villains, and double agents with morals. Which one is Destin? I’ll never tell! You will love him though!

I absolutely loved Flamecaster. It is everything that a traditional high fantasy novel should be. Filled with exceptional worldbuilding, intense action, and relatable and easy to connect to characters. While there are some familiar elements from the Seven Realms Series, Flamecaster also contains so many new locations and people that you will instantly fall in love with. I would recommend this book to absolutely anyone, it is a must read!

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Flamecaster

Title: Flamecaster
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Publisher: Harper Collins
Date Published: April 5, 2016
Where I got the book: Public Library
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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 not 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 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 birth-based curse. Though Jenna doesn’t know why she’s being hunted, she knows that she can’t get caught.

Destiny’s fiery hand.

Eventually, Ash’s and Jenna’s paths will collide in Arden. Thrown together by chance and joined by their hatred of the king, they will come to rescue each other in ways they cannot yet imagine.

Set 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.

Flamecaster is an incredible book! I loved the Seven Realms series; it is one of my top 5 favorite series of all time. I was skeptical when I first heard about this book. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to revisit this world after such a perfect ending. The beginning of Flamecaster did not help change my mind. I am warning you now, that beginning hurt my heart! I cursed Cinda Williams Chima for a good five minutes before I was able to start reading again! My broken heart aside, this book was a masterpiece. The worldbuilding was masterful, just as fantastic as her previous books. The plot was new and exciting, possibly even more exciting than the Seven Realms Series. I was most worried about the characters. Raisa and Han are dear to me, but I wasn’t sure I would get as attached to their son and the new cast of characters. I was wrong. I love Ash, Lila, Jenna, and especially Destin. I miss Han and Raisa, but I’m so glad I got to meet these new characters as they start out on an epic journey filled with lots of twists and new places!
The worldbuilding in Flamecaster is epic perfection. Oden’s Ford is almost exactly as it was in the Seven Realms books with the exception of the newly formed Mystwerk where Ash studies. There are a lot of new locales in this book that Chima does an excellent job of building and describing. We get to see and hear from some of the other kingdoms and meet people we’ve barely even heard of from the previous series. It is not an easy thing to meld a world already visited with new elements while giving equal time to each. Chima does this exceptionally well. The tavern Han spent time at is revisited while the castle in Arden is seen for the first time. Both are easy to imagine with all the wonderful details that are provided. There are also new elements explored that deal with magic. I will not spoil you, but these additions are A+++++ and I loved them! These additions open new doors to previously unexplored places and peoples and I am so excited to see where the next book will take us.

Exceptional worldbuilding can only carry a book so far. The plot is very important when dealing with a book set in the same world as a previous series. Some authors use a cookie cutter format and the new book just can’t hold up; the reader has already heard this story before. Such is not the case with Flamecaster. The plot is entirely new and even more fascinating. Ash isn’t away from home to protect his country or himself, like Raisa was, he’s training to punish the people that have hurt him. His storyline takes the plot to a darker place. Jenna also has a new storyline. She’s in hiding while also trying to sabotage the king she has grown to hate. Between those two storylines, Flamecaster is a much different book than you might expect. The incredible writing talent of Chima’s is really showcased in this novel. There are so many places where this book could have fell short; a companion series is not an easy thing to write. We as readers can often be extra critical of companion books and series. Writing this novel and having it exceed expectations on so many levels is a success not to be scoffed at.

The characters in Flamecaster are a pleasant surprise. I wasn’t sure if I would like them as much as the characters from the Seven Realms books, or if they’d be so similar that I wouldn’t like them for that reason. Instead I find them to be just dissimilar enough to be fun to get to know, but good, strong, relatable characters that do their predecessors justice. Often when I finish a series and my OTP comes together, I find myself wondering what their children would be like. DREAM COME TRUE! Ash was so fun to read about. I found myself comparing him to Ham and Raisa and trying to figure out who he takes after and why. He blends both parents enough to be a new person unto himself while still giving me the opportunity to see parts of my favorite characters living on in their son. Jenna was such an interesting character. She grew up poor in a mining community until tragedy struck and she became a rebel in the disguise of a boy. Her magemark adds so many new dimensions to the story and to her character as well. She does a lot of growing as a person and ends up very different from the person we first meet in the beginning of the story. Lila is such a mysterious character. Her motives are secret and she wears so many identities you don’t know until the end just who she really is. She is one of my favorites because she seems so at odds and conflicted while wearing so many different faces. Destin, however, is my very favorite character. I have a deep love for misunderstood bad boys, secretly not so bad villains, and double agents with morals. Which one is Destin? I’ll never tell! You will love him though!

I absolutely loved Flamecaster. It is everything that a traditional high fantasy novel should be. Filled with exceptional worldbuilding, intense action, and relatable and easy to connect to characters. While there are some familiar elements from the Seven Realms Series, Flamecaster also contains so many new locations and people that you will instantly fall in love with. I would recommend this book to absolutely anyone, it is a must read!

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By Kate Woods

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