- Page Count: 560
- Release Date: April 4, 2017
- Publisher: HarperTeen
- My Rating: 5 stars
Alyssa ana’Raisa is the reluctant princess heir to the Gray Wolf throne of Fells, a queendom embroiled in a seemingly endless war. Hardened by too many losses, Lyss is more comfortable striking with a sword than maneuvering at court. After a brush with death, she goes on the offensive, meaning to end the war that has raged her whole life. If her gamble doesn’t pay off, she could lose her queendom before she even ascends to the throne.
Across enemy lines in Arden, young rising star Captain Halston Matelon has been fighting for his king since he was a lýtling. Lately, though, he finds himself sent on ever more dangerous assignments. Between the terrifying rumors of witches and wolfish warriors to the north and his cruel king at home, Hal is caught in an impossible game of life and death.
Set in the world of the acclaimed Seven Realms series, this is a thrilling story of the unfathomable costs of war, the allure of dark magic, and two principled and conflicted characters, drawn together despite everything they stand to lose.
Ok yes now I remember why I read the entire Seven Realms series in 5 days. Cinda Williams Chima is one of my absolute favorite authors and I am shoving this book at everyone I see now. I just adore this whole world she’s created SO much! She writes some of the strongest, most amazing, and realfemale characters I’ve found. I only meant to read a few chapters of this book buuuut ended up finishing the entire thing in one sitting.
The first book (Flamecaster) had several POVs but mainly focused on Ash and Jenna. The main POV in this book is Ash’s younger sister, Lyss. A lot of other characters have POVs, too, but we’re going to talk about Lyss and how AWESOME she is. She’s set to be queen, but she’s more into being the totally badass Captain Gray and leading her soldiers. And this isn’t some character whose toughness is equated to how many people she can kill, either. She’s complex, flawed, kind of hilarious at times, thinks for herself, and is just one of the most brilliantly feminist characters I’ve found. I really don’t remember the last character I connected with this much.
Lyss first runs into Halston Matelon on the battlefield, but it’s seen through his POV. They later run into each other again when she takes him prisoner and their relationship is ADORABLE. This is seriously a new favorite ship. The romance in the first book kind of came out of nowhere for me, but it totally worked this time.
I loved all of the characters, the battles, the awesome politics, and how this book shows what was happening with the other characters while Ash and Jenna were doing their thing in the first book. Jenna does come back into the story around halfway and you get to see more of her dragon’s cute attitude, too. I’m not sure how many books are in this series, but this one really set up enough conflicts, POVs, and different settings to carry a really long plot arc!
I don’t want to say more because any comments on the plot could spoil the first book. But this is easily one of the best books I read in 2016. I definitely recommend reading the Seven Realms series first and then catching up with Flamecaster!!
Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC!