Fallen Flame is the first book of an intriguing series about magic and goddesses. In a land where magic has perished ages before, Vala was born with scorched skin, marking her different and to be feared. The royal family took her in to join the royal guard, but when royals from another kingdom come, attempts on the prince’s life are made and with it, the questions about who Vala really is.
The book begin with Vala having her weekly bath to remove her scorched layer of skin, only to be disturbed by the news that the prince is missing, and the story goes from there. The writing style is quite detailed and some people might find they struggle with it, but it worked well for me. Since the story is told from Vala’s point of view, it’s really fitting that she pays attention to the finer details because after all, she’s a royal guard so she has to pay attention. The focus on description and details of the story helps to give life to the world and everything in it, including the characters and their arcs. If there’s any complaint though, the pace of the novel becomes slightly disrupted from the detailed writing.
The way magic is interwoven into the story is really amazing. It’s like it’s a taboo, but also an intriguing topic. In this novel, magic has brought war upon humans and the mythical creatures of the world. The whole myth and plot is very original and interesting, which will entice readers to continue on with the series.
The characters are well written with our main character Vala being both levelheaded and strong. She perseveres in the face of trouble and her sense of loyalty is outstanding. Unfortunately it can also make her quite naive, but she is always quick to learn from her mistakes. Readers will be able to sympathise with her and find themselves caring what happens to her character over the course of the book. The romance isn’t too convincing, but it does have potential to be developed in future instalments. Like any book, particular YA, love triangles are prominent and this shows hints of one forming in it, but let’s hope that changes.
Overall, with its great writing, amazing world building and strong characters, Fallen Flame is a solid first book for an interesting series filled with magic.
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SYNOPSIS | Goodreads
Nineteen years ago, on the island kingdom of Garlin, a girl was born. With charred skin as rough as rock, Vala was instantly feared. For how could one be scorched by magic when it had perished ages before?
Recognizing an asset, the royal family welcomed her on their Guard. Her detail: the prince. To watch. To protect. She has grown with him, lives her life for him. When the high kingdom’s princess comes to assess the prince, assassins of rival courtiers come to claim his life. One nearly succeeds in his mission. But with shadowy movements and charred skin like her own, Vala knows he is not like the rest.
As threats to the prince continue and questions about Vala’s life begin to rise, she faces a fear worse than fire or water, worse even than losing him. She fears finding out who she truly is.