young adult • fantasy
My life is not my own. My body belongs to the people. My magic is for them, not for me.
Sixteen-year-old Elli was only a child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic in service of her people. The only life Elli has known has been in the temple, surrounded by luxury, tutored by magic-wielding priests, preparing for the day when the queen perishes—and the ice and fire find a new home in Elli, who is prophesied to be the most powerful Valtia to ever rule.
But when the queen dies defending the kingdom from invading warriors, the magic doesn’t enter Elli. It’s nowhere to be found.
Disgraced, Elli flees to the outlands, home of banished criminals—some who would love to see the temple burn with all its priests inside. As she finds her footing in this new world, Elli uncovers devastating new information about the Kupari magic, those who wield it, and the prophecy that foretold her destiny. Torn between her love for her people and her growing loyalty to the banished, Elli struggles to understand the true role she was meant to play. But as war looms, she must choose the right side before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.
I have been meaning to read Fine’s book since a long time ago, and I suddenly stumbled upon this book. I haven’t read anything about this book before, it wasn’t even on my TBR pile before I started reading the book. When I got the book, I just went inside it without any expectation. And probably that was a good idea.
Since fantasy is my favorite genre, I have read quite a few of books to say that this wasn’t as great as many other out there. There were some major flaws that probably will make some people who is familiar with the genre, give up on this one. It was okay though, but okay wasn’t enough for fantasy nowadays. Well, it is true that this book wasn’t the best to pick up among so many other fantasies, but somehow I want to know more about this world and the story.
The plot line was unique, there was so many fantasy book out there told a story about a missing queen who is claiming his/her throne, but it’s rare to read one that told a story from one who turned out wasn’t the queen she thought to be and how she need to sort her identity out. The pace was a bit on and off for me, because at certain time I started to get bored and felt like DNFing the book, but then suddenly it was full of action and excitement. It went on and off again a couple of times.
As exciting as the plot line though, I wasn’t sure the main character was appealing as she should have been. Okay, I don’t blame the main character for questioning the things that happened in her life, but at certain point, I just felt like it was too much. Too often she doubted herself, and made me bored reading about that. I really would like more from her character because she was so intriguing and I know she could turn out to be a really interesting character.
There was a slight LGBT romance in this book, which was refreshing to have in a fantasy world. I hope that in the second book the romance will be added a little more, though not too much. The magic was also very mysterious that I wanted to learn more and more about the history and the prophecy in this book.
“We were made for this. You and me. And that means we’re strong enough to bear it.”
Overall, even though this book has its up and down moment, I would say that I’m very curious to read how things go. There so many things were left unanswered, and I want to know how this will end for all the characters. So, let’s hope the best for the second book!