ARC Review: Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima

Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Series: Shattered Realms #1
Genre: YA, Fantasy,
Release Date: April 5th 2016
Book Length: 535
Publisher: Harper Teen
Adrian sul’Han, known as Ash, is a trained healer with a powerful gift of magic—and a thirst for revenge. Ash is forced into hiding after a series of murders throws the queendom into chaos. Now Ash is closer than he’s ever been to killing the man responsible, the cruel king of Arden. As a healer, can Ash use his powers not to save a life but to take it?

Abandoned at birth, Jenna Bandelow was told that the mysterious magemark on the back of her neck would make her a target. But when the King’s Guard launches a relentless search for a girl with a mark like hers, Jenna assumes that it has more to do with her role as a saboteur than any birth-based curse. Though Jenna doesn’t know why she’s being hunted, she knows that she can’t get caught.

Eventually, Ash’s and Jenna’s paths will collide in Arden. Thrown together by chance and joined by their hatred of the king, they will come to rescue each other in ways they cannot yet imagine.

Set in the world of the acclaimed Seven Realms series a generation later, this is a thrilling story of dark magic, chilling threats, and two unforgettable characters walking a knife-sharp line between life and death.


I’ll keep this simple – This is my first Cinda Williams Chima book and I can honestly say that after reading Flamecaster I fully intend to buy all her books and binge read them immediately! I am now the proud owner of The Demon King!  Yes, this book was just that great. I usually find the first book in a series a little shaky and all over the place and it’s usually Book #2 where I become hooked but Chima is clearly a very talented author, everything about her writing spoke volumes to her abilities but I was also left with a sneaky suspicion that she is only just getting started with this explosive new series.

            This high-fantasy knockout is sure to surprise everyone; I was very quick to assume this would be similar to every other fantasy out there but it’s truly one of a kind with it’s strong character driven plot, it's extremely well paced writing; giving you time to get to know and actually connect with the characters and the vivid world building.

Flamecaster follows Ash and Jenna who live very different lives in two very different kingdoms but who have one common goal and that is to see the King of Arden’s head on a pike. Prince Ash is a famous healer posing as a pauper in order to seek his revenge and protect his family. Jenna was born with a magemark on her neck but she has no idea what it means but she soon becomes hunted and this strange mark will now cost her everything, including her life.

            What I loved about Flamecaster is that there wasn’t a big focus on the romance, it was all plot and character driven, in fact Ash and Jenna don’t even meet until the latter half of the book. My only issue with the book - which may come as a shock to some people - was the romance. I’m always to first person to comment on a romance or to obsess over character ships and high angst interactions but sadly Flamecaster had a little dose of insta-love. I feel the build up to Ash and Jenna’s eventual face-off was written perfectly so it was such a shame for their relationship to take a quick dash down love-lane otherwise this would have be a 5-star book for sure. However please don’t let this put anyone off, as I’ve said this book doesn’t focus of the romance, it’s so much more than that.

Flamecaster is filled action, adventure, magic, dragons and a good dose of romance. I highly recommend this to fantasy lovers and fans already familiar with Chima’s work. Also who can resist that gorgeous cover?

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  1. Oh crap. You know what means right? I'm headed to the book store real soon after this wonderful review. Although I do love my romance, I appreciate when action=packed books focus more on the plot and how the characters get to their destination. Great review and I'll be sure to pick this one up when it comes out. After all, it's been all the buzz lately.

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

  2. Though I've seen all her books at bookstores, I haven't read anything by Chima before...guess it's time to change that! Action, adventure, magic, and DRAGONS? What more do you need to make this the perfect book? It sounds utterly fantastic!

  3. YOU MUST READ THE SEVEN REALMS! I have Flamecaster sitting on my Kobo right now and I am so excited. I am just waiting for a friend to finish up a book so we can buddy read it. The Seven Realms is very plot and character driven, too! You'll love it. The romance is pretty low key, as well, but oh my gosh! SO GOOD. It's one of my favourite slow burn romances EVER. I'm sad to hear there is dash of insta-love in this one. WHY!? It's ok. It's ok. I'm still expecting great things.

    Sarah @ Kerosene Lit

  4. I've preordered the paper back edition and I cannot wait for it to arrive. I absolutely loved the Seven Realms series and I'm dying to dive back into this beautiful world. And this review only makes me more excited about reading this book soon.

    Sabrina @ readnothingyet

  5. I actually won an ARC of this but I haven't gotten to it yet! I'm a bit hesitant to read it though--not because I've heard bad things, but because this would be my first book from her as well and Reagan @ Peruse Project suggests you read books 1-3 of the original series before reading this one so... don't know what to do, really! But, I am glad you enjoyed it!


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