Wednesday, November 2, 2016

ARC Review: Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: November 22, 2016
Publisher: Blazer + Bray
400 Pages

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.

Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine (called Mare), sister of her betrothed.

When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, each discovers there’s more to the other than she thought. Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. Soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.

But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.

Ugh...this was just...

And I really wanted to love it because that cover is beautiful and I love that same sex relationships are starting to break into young adult, but I just couldn't.

Dennaleia (Denna) travels to the country of Mynaria to wed the Prince with whom she's been promised to since pretty much birth. Their wedding will solidify an alliance between their countries. But Denna's hiding something. She has an affinity for fire - a kind of magic that's not tolerated in her new land. When people start dying from magical means, Denna starts to wonder when they will point the finger at her. And on top of all of her troubles, she seems to have fallen in love with the Prince's sister, Mare. 

Gah! It could have been so good!

But alas, it was mostly people just sitting around talking about what they should do. How has this country survived so long by just placing blame wherever they felt like it. It was pretty much, 'This county over here hates us. It's them. Let's plan an attack.' Great deduction skills there. Never mind all of this evidence to the contrary.

Then there was the love story - or rather, lack of. Mare despises Denna instantly. Then is forced to teach her how to ride a horse (yup, the caretaker of the horses is named Mare...okaayyy...). And somewhere they fall in love. If anyone can find out where this happened in the book, please let me know. I seemed to have missed it and just jumped from hate to love.

And there was no real character development. It's like the author wrote her character descriptions down as:
Mare - hates anything feminine, rebellious, bad
Denna - proper, perfect, good

And that's all. Such a small little box for the two main characters. The side characters weren;t much better. Whatever first line the author used to describe them was basically how they were for the rest of the book - which was mostly things like Prince, King, Lord... no one was interesting. Character growth is so important in books.

The world building was lacking. Important history glossed over to further the plot faster. Also, is this a series? Because it kind of ended like one.

Sigh...pretty cover, I need to stop falling to your whims!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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