by Audrey Coulthurst
Published on November 22, 2016 by Balzer + Bray
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
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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 lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.
Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home 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 (called Mare), 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, each discovers there’s more to the other than she thought. Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. 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.
Please please please tell me that there is going to be a second one!! I can find no evidence that there will be, but I hope against hope that we get more of Mare and Denna’s story!
Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurts was an amazing and unexpected read. (I apologize if this review is a little rambly…I literally just finished and have barely got a handle on my emotions right now haha) The world building in this novel is absolutely stunning. I love the fact that loving a person of the same gender is so accepted in this world. Just like our society today, even though there are some who do not like it, couples of the same sex are allowed to get married. It is not something that must be kept secret for fear of being ostracized by society. You never see this in other high fantasy novels and it was a fantastic change to see! The entire world in this novel was a lot more advanced in their way of thinking than many other fantasy novel worlds are.
Mare was definitely my favorite character. She was bullheaded and stubborn, but she was also thoughtful and caring. She seemed to have the most depth to her character in my opinion. Since Of Fire and Stars alternated POV between Denna and Mare, I found myself liking Mare’s POV a lot more. She had the more interesting life (even though according to her she didn’t really have a life to brag about). When reading Denna’s POV I found myself bored. Her chapters mostly consisted of politics or events that led up to her wedding. I also couldn’t stand her obsession with Mare in the very beginning. She obsessed over the fact that Mare didn’t like her, that nothing Denna did could make Mare consider her a friend. Once they *actually* became friends and then lovers, however, that irritation kind of dissipated. They are now one of my top five OTPs.
Thandi was soooo annoying. I could not stand him at all. He was ignorant and so selfishly male that I just wanted to tear his face off. The same with the King. No one was willing to listen to the girls about their theories on what was happening to everyone. The girls were kind of just tossed into the corner to figure things out on their own. Not that it was really all that hard to figure out who the bad guy was…I had suspected the villain from the moment he started becoming more of a key player in the story. Despite the predictability, Of Fire and Stars still kept me on the edge of my seat near the end there. I may have guessed one of the big details, but I could never have guessed how that whole battle scene was going to go down. It was pretty dang impressive. It actually kind of brought to mind the quote from Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series…”You could rattle the stars.” I think that’s why I liked this books so much. It had everything I could ever ask for in a fantasy series PLUS an LGBTQ+ love story.
I highly, highly recommend this book! If you ever have the chance to pick it up, DO. You won’t regret it.