Title: Of Fire and Stars
Author: Audrey Coulthurst
Series/Number: Of Fire and Stars #1
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure,
Age: Young Adult
Page Count: 389
Publication Date: November 22, 2016
Themes: Magic, Friendship, Forbidden Love
“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.
When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two become closer, Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. And soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.”
This was a decent read. There were a lot of things that I didn’t love and I’m sad to say that. I had really hoped that I would love this book. I’ll start with the things I liked about it. I enjoyed the world building and the magic system. The world was vivid and fleshed out. It had some amazing cultures. The magic was also interesting and I wish I had learned more about how the magic worked in the world.
On to the things I didn’t like about it, and I will try to stay away from spoilers. For one, FORCED MARRIAGE IS NOT FOR ME! I didn’t know I felt so strongly about this going into it, but I just cant’s stand this trope. I especially didn’t like that LGBTQ+ people, identity, and relationships were accepted in this world and yet the prince and princess of their respective kingdoms were put into a heterosexual betrothal at birth. It just didn’t make sense to me, honestly.
What I also didn’t like was the implied homophobia. Even though LGBTQ+ people are accepted (one of the main characters is bisexual) magic is then used to create a barrier. Dennalea has magic and magic users are hated. So, she has to hide her magic out else be persecuted. Something about it just didn’t sit well with me. I didn’t like that it felt like a “hiding my sexuality” story but just changed sexuality to magic.
The final thing I didn’t like about this story was our prince. It was unfortunate but I found that he was stuck into the plot simply to act like a terrible person so we didn’t feel bad about the forbidden love. I didn’t like that his character seemed to flip flop for the sole reason of making the reader feel okay with what was happening in the story.
The story was decent overall, but it just wasn’t for me I think. There were too many things about it I didn’t like and lots of things I wanted to learn more about but that we didn’t get to learn about. I definitely wont be continuing this series.