Saturday, October 9, 2010

Daughter of the Flames

Inside an ancient temple in the mountains, fifteen-year-old Zira trains in the martial arts to become a warrior priestess who can defend the faith of the Ruan people. Bearing a scar on her face from the fire that killed her parents, the orphaned Zira is taught to distrust the occupying Sedornes. Terror strikes when the forces of the tyrannical Sedorne king destroy the only home she knows. To survive, Zira must unravel the secrets of her identity, decide her people’s fate — and accept her growing feelings for a man who should be her enemy.

Beth says 5 Stars...

I was super excited when I picked up this book because I absolutely adored Marriott's debut, The Swan Kingdom. I had high expectations, which actually weren't met. The book was so different from what I thought it would be that it just threw all of them out the window. I thought that this was going to be one of those sweeping and epic fairytale novels, but I was completely wrong. Instead I was treated to a book that managed to examine issues of fate, identity, and political unrest beautifully. The plot was so unexpected, but absolutely delightful. I really enjoyed reading it; I couldn't put it down! The world was so interesting and simply sucked me in. I loved how detailed it was in such a small tome.

The characters were fantastic. Zira was a delightful heroine whose struggle with her identity wasn't overdone. I could feel her conflict, which was without self pity. It was simply trying to find her place and adjust to new knowledge of her past. She really changed throughout the course of the story, but it felt natural. Her strength, tenacity, and reason made me feel for and connect with her. The rest of the cast was equally well drawn, and another aspect I felt really shined was the main romantic relationship. It wasn't what has become the typical popular idea of love, instead it was based on mutual respect and earned trust. It was incredibly refreshing.

This is a delightful book. I would recommend it for fans of Tamora Pierce or other fantasy novels that feature a strong female main character. I read that there's going to be a sequel, but I'm honestly not sure how it'll work. I thought that it wrapped up rather nicely, and didn't leave everything hanging like most series books. I'm excited to see where Marriott takes the story, and will pick up the next book as soon as I can. Grab this one whenever you get a chance!
Book from Library


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