I was so happy when I got accepted onto the blog tour for Cast in Firelight, I have been excited about this book since it was announced and that cover just made me want it even more. Below is my review as well as a link to a giveaway for ! finished Copy of the book (US only). Be sure to click on the banner above to check out the other awesome posts for the tour.
About the Author!
Dana Swift started making up fantasy worlds when she was eleven years old and hasn’t stopped since. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned degrees in English and Advertising. While in college, Dana competed as a saber fencer and learned a thing or two about fighting, parrying and how it feels to fall in love with your sparring partner. She currently lives with said husband in Miami, Florida.
About the book!
Cast in Firelight by Dana Swift
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publishing Date: January 19, 2021
The first book in an epic, heart-pounding fantasy duology about two royal heirs betrothed to be married, but whose loyalties are torn, and a ruthless enemy who threatens their world, perfect for fans of Sabaa Tahir, Hafsah Faizal, and Renée Ahdieh.
Adraa is the royal heir of Belwar, a talented witch on the cusp of taking her royal ceremony test, and a girl who just wants to prove her worth to her people.
Jatin is the royal heir to Naupure, a competitive wizard who’s mastered all nine colors of magic, and a boy anxious to return home for the first time since he was a child.
Together, their arranged marriage will unite two of Wickery’s most powerful kingdoms. But after years of rivalry from afar, Adraa and Jatin only agree on one thing: their reunion will be anything but sweet.
Only, destiny has other plans and with the criminal underbelly of Belwar suddenly making a move for control, their paths cross…and neither realises who the other is, adopting separate secret identities instead.
Between dodging deathly spells and keeping their true selves hidden, the pair must learn to put their trust in the other if either is to uncover the real threat. Now Wickery’s fate is in the hands of rivals..? Fiancées..? Partners..? Whatever they are, it’s complicated and bound for greatness or destruction.
Thank you to TBR Tours and the publisher for an early copy of this fabulous YA Fantasy! Cast in Firelight was fun, fast paced and filled with romance. I was hooked from the first page and absolutely fell in love with the world and characters.
Adraa is not at all happy to be meeting her future husband, and at 8 years old who can really blame her. Their first meeting goes off with a bang and the 9 years in between their first meeting and their next are filled with letters each trying to one up the other with their magic. When she learns Jatin is set to return home she tries everything to make sure she isn’t there when he arrives, but true to her nature she ends up nearly being run over and having to be saved by Jatin himself, though neither of them know that at the time. Hidden behind secret identities they form a bond looking into the criminal underbelly of Belwar, and the more they work together, the more their feelings grow. But like the true idiots in love they are, neither knows the identity of the other. Complicated isn’t the word, but it will take them coming out from behind their mysterious identities and grabbing their destinies if they are to save their countries.
Cast in Firelight follows two main POV’s. Adraa the future Maharani of Belwar, she wants nothing more than to protect her people, and if that means getting a little dirty then so be it. She is plagued by self-doubt and hides her fears behind a wall of sarcasm and strength. She has never wanted to marry Jatin, a boy she barely knows, but if that’s what it takes to protect her kingdom then she will do it. Jatin has always been told he’s the best at everything, after mastering all 9 forms of magic at a young age he has never really struggled, and yet he still lives with self-doubt. Doubt that he will make a good Maharaja, doubt that Adraa will want to marry him… basically hes a cinnamon roll and I loved him. We also get introduced to family on both sides as well as guards and servants. All the side characters are wonderfully built up with personalities and hopes of their own.
The magic system in this book is truly unique, and one of it’s major selling points. In Wickery people are blessed with magic from 9 gods, though only the future rulers are able to master all 9 forms. There are also the ‘untouched’ those who can’t use any magic. It was really interesting seeing how the different countries treated their magic users, in some all forms of magic were praised and the untouched not treated any differently, however others looked down on certain magic users and saw the untouched as an almost plague. Though we only get to visit the two countries; Belwar & Naupure, Swift gives us the ability to travel the rest of the world though tales of their rulers and how they treat their people. I think the magic system would make a great transition to TV/Movie with it being colour based, and I for one would love to see it being brought to life.
If you are a sucker for romance, especially idiots in love with stolen glances and soft touches… well then, look no further. There were times when I just wanted to jump into the book and give them both a slap, but I really enjoyed that it wasn’t insta love, and the fact that neither knew who the other was, let them come to the realisation that they liked each other without the pressure of the arranged marriage hanging over their heads. They make the perfect team, Adraa headstrong and more likely to charge into a battle head first without a plan and Jatin who is slightly more thought out, likes to take things slowly without rushing. There was just enough angst for those who enjoy it, and I couldn’t wait for the moment they realised who the other was.
The authors writing style and use of colour in the magic system make for vivid imagery whilst reading. You can easily imagine the scenes like a movie playing in your head, and you can picture yourself right there alongside the characters whilst Adraa is taking part in her cage-fights or the pair of them are fighting the Vencrin. The author weaves in mythology and world-building based on Indian Culture, and it is incredibly easy to get swept away in the world she creates.
If you’re looking for a fun and fast paced read (I finished in two sittings) filled with beautiful imagery and two idiots in love, well then this is the book for you. An easy 4/5 stars. I did feel the pacing was slightly off in parts and there was a little too much descriptive writing, but none of that took away from my overall love of the book, and I will certainly be picking up the sequel.