From Fire and Shadows Review

By J.F Baptista 

Publisher: Independent 

Print Length: 347 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Special thanks to NetGalley and the author for providing me with an ARC.

A girl with a dangerous power.

A warrior they call the shadow of death.

A world divided and slowly dying.

Six-year-old Theodora grew up at the House, a place for girls born without power. Abandoned as a baby, she has no memory of her past beyond the melody that invades her dreams. So when an ancient presence starts whispering in her ear, she answers.

The reward is fire; the price is the destruction of the only life she has ever known. Yet from the loss comes a chance at a better future… if she can learn to control a power that no one seems to understand.

Across the ocean, Death’s Arm warrior Kai struggles with the changes forcing him out of the shadows. With the neglect of those in power breeding dissent, he is called to do his job as their occasional assassin: cut it at the root.

But when a strange restlessness makes him question an order for the first time… he finds himself on the path he never wanted, but can no longer avoid. After all, he may be the only one capable of stopping what is coming—a war where death is just the beginning. (Goodreads)

From Fire and Shadows is an interesting introduction to a curious series. I describe it as such because after reading this book I can’t be entirely sure what is to come from this series. 

The first book does boat excellent world-building and generally charming characters. The magic in this world is interesting and dream-like. The book as a whole has a dreamy tone with a fantastical world that is made even more fantastical by the reader’s imagination. While I find that this book isn’t for me, I can’t ignore that I enjoyed reading the descriptions of the world.

The writing in this book leaves quite a bit to be desired. It often came across as disjointed and– after a while– quite boring as well. My main issue with this book is that it took a long time for me to realize the point of this book. The book spends an excruciatingly long time setting up the world and circumstances that could lead the story in so many different directions. By the time the book starts setting forth its plot I was growing tired of reading it. I don’t mind character-driven stories, actually, I quite enjoy them, but the buildup to revealing the final plot just took too long. 

I don’t know if I can recommend this book to anyone other than a reader who truly loves character-driven stories. For now, I’m just going to leave this book on my Kindle’s read shelf and accept that I spent a little too long reading it.

Subjective Rating

Objective Rating

Final Rating

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