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Of Fire and Stars | Audrey Coulthurst | Review

Of Fire and Stars | Audrey Coulthurst | Review on Blogger's Bookshelf

“Princesses don't play with fire.” 

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 kingdoms.

But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a land where magic is forbidden.

Now Denna has to learn the ways of her new kingdom while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine, 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 work together, they discover there is more to one another than they thought—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. - Goodreads

While the prospect of the book was great - a young adult fantasy novel where the princess gets the girl - it fell short for me. The promise of a sweet romance in amongst castles, princes, lords and ladies was the only thing this book delivered for me, unfortunately.

Denna and Mare's budding romance was what held this book together, and I did really like their story line. Mare works with the horses and is forced to teach Denna how to ride. She's pretty stand-off-ish at first (and quick frankly, rude and immature), but as the pages go on, their friendship develops. I enjoyed how their relationship was strained at the beginning, and how it took an appropriate amount of time for them to realise they were something more than friends. Too often YA books are 'hello-I hate you-you did something cute- I love you now' in a matter of pages, but I think that Of Fire and Stars drew it out a little, making it at least a little more realistic.

The fire element that Denna possesses did not feel like a main part of the story to me. A princess with a secret fire ability is definitely intriguing and I'm all over that for a plot line. Unfortunately, I didn't feel as thought it was a major aspect. It even bored me a little. Very little happens in terms of the fire powers.

Speaking of which, very little happens in the entire story. Most of it is spent on horseback, with rumours in the background of various things which may or may not happen, the adults in the story not really worth their weight in salt (that's the saying, right?), and a lack of character development or plot tensions.

I truly wish that I had enjoyed it more than the measly 2 stars I gave it on Goodreads.

I always like to add into my reviews that my opinions of a story should never dissuade you from picking up a novel. Just because Of Fire and Stars wasn't for me, doesn't it mean it won't be your next favourite read. The romance is sweet, the horses are war-ready, the castles are towering, and the fire (when used) is burning. It's not a long read (my copy was around 400 pages), and it's easy to fly through.

Have you read Of Fire and Stars? What were your thoughts? 

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