Of Fire and Stars book review

Caitlin McKeand, Staff Reporter

Of Fire and Stars is Audrey Coulthurst’s debut novel published on November 22, 2016. The story revolves around Princess Dennaleia (Denna) and Princess Amaranthine (Mare) in an area called Mynaria. Denna possesses what’s called an Affinity for fire- which is a gift of magic that revolves around the manipulation of fire. Pyrokinesis if you will. Denna’s future as a queen is thrown into chaos as she is forced to learn how to ride a horse with Mare, who just so happens to hate her and an assassination brings the two closer than ever. Perhaps closer than they anticipated.

I was drawn to Of Fire and Stars in the bookstore for it’s concept; a girl and girl romance (and it’s nice cover), and I’m just a sucker for fantasy and royalty plot lines. As I read the book, it certainly draws you in during the first few pages and immediately introduces the characters. However, the downside to the book is that everything (names, places, etc.) feels so much more complicated than it needs to be. Quite the mouthful getting introduced to Dennaleia, Amaranthine, Thandilimon, Mynaria and Zumordan.

Despite the fact that I love the book’s concept with all my heart, the actual book itself fell short on many angles. The world building had so much potential. There were the 6 gods that played a huge part in the story, but we get no background or anything about how they became important or created. The characters were pretty 2D as Denna is the typical good, sweet and kind character while Mare is the hotheaded and rebellious princess who hates anything and everything feminine. It felt like there wasn’t a whole lot of character development in the characters and that many times in order to keep the plot moving there were just unnecessary deaths left and right.

The adults in this book were all pretty stupid. I have to say it right now and you’ll understand if you read it. Finally, the last bad news I have is that the romance pretty much pulled the book, despite the fact that it was a bit, odd as it escalated very suddenly.

In good news, the way the fire Affinity was described was fantastic as it gave points of view from everyone and you felt what Denna felt living in such close quarters with people who hate her very being. The romance between Mare and Denna was pretty darn adorable at times, which pretty much is what made this book worth it.

Despite the idea being good, the follow through fell a bit short. I hope in the future to see more books like this one considering they’re rare enough already.