Tags: YA, fantasy
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
The kingdom of Ruan has been taken over by neighboring Sedra, and Rua and Sedorne folks live uneasily side-by-side. Fifteen-year-old orphan Zira lives in the namoa’s religious temple and trains to become a warrior. An ugly burn scar on her face is the only relic she has of her childhood, when the rest of her family was destroyed by fire.
Suddenly Zira learns that she is not who she thinks she is, but rather Zahira Elfenesh, the sole surviving member of the Ruan royal family. Her uncle, the Sedorne king Abheron, is determined to get Zahira under his control. The only way she can perhaps overthrow her powerful uncle and save her people is to unite with Sorin Mesgao, a sympathetic Sedorne lord who rules Ruan land. Will she be able to get along with this man who is supposedly her enemy in order to lead the way to a better future?
Reading DAUGHTER OF THE FLAMES is like watching a high-action, “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon”-like movie. In other words, it’s fantastic and utterly enthralling. Zoe Marriott has a wonderful way of vividly describing details, so that I could see every aspect of what was going on at any time in my mind.
The characters also were interesting and memorable. Zira/Zahira is an awesome female protagonist, kicking butt both literally—in suspenseful fight scenes reminiscent of Asian martial arts movies—and metaphorically—holding her own verbally in mental warfare. Zahira is a young girl who is mercilessly thrust into a position of high power and responsibility, and both her doubts and determination are highly believable.
King Abheron is a perfectly twisted antagonist with a surprisingly touching background, who occasionally does things that are so bizarre, so complex, and so inexplicable that I can definitely, without being able to explain it, see why he would want to do such things. Sorin is less well developed but still likable. I would have liked to see more of his loyalty and love for Zahira throughout the book, but I am still happy with what I got from him.
Upon finishing the book I let out a frustrated cry, so disappointed I was that the book had to end. Zoe Marriott is truly skilled at writing engrossing fantasies, and I definitely want to read more books by her in the future.
Julie Berry (The Amaranth Enchantment)
Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Cover discussion: 4 out of 5 - I think it's beautiful, don't you? The mesmerizing color of the flames on the black background, the way it curls around the girl... well done.
I've been having a really out-of-it day so I promise to post about stuff relevant to my life soon, hopefully. I think I need to go sleep off my dazedness. Dunno. Anyway, later!