Saturday, May 9, 2009

Review: Daughter of the Flames by Zoe Marriott

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.

Similar Authors
Robin McKinley
Julie Berry (The Amaranth Enchantment)

Writing: 4/5
Characters: 3/5
Plot: 4/5

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!


  1. Not my type but I'm glad you enjoyed it ^^

  2. I am very tempted by this one since I adored the Swan Kingdom so much. However due to the price being insane for this hardcover, I have not yet bought it. But I do like this cover as well. I find the author can write a beautifully enchanting story.

    I'm glad to see your review!

  3. This sounds really interesting. I like action books :)

  4. I loved this too! I loved that there was such a strong, positive place for religion in the story, and that there was a mix of different ethnicities in all the characters. It kind of reminded me of Tamora Pierce. I want a sequel!

  5. Stella, you're in luck! Zoe Marriott's website says that she's planning on writing a book that's set in the future of Rua and Sedra. It won't be mostly on Zahira and Sorin, but it's still in the same world. I'm excited for it!

  6. Love your review! I'll definitely have to look into getting a copy. That action sounds too good to pass up =D

  7. That is such good news! Thanks!

  8. Oh wow. Thanks for bringing this to my attention! I am totally stoked about this now. I had never heard of this or her before, but this is completely up my alley. Thank you SO much.

  9. Hey are you a professional journalist? This article is very well written, as compared to most other blogs i saw today….
    anyhow thanks for the good read!

  10. I was surprised by how much I loved this book! I was also incredibly excited to hear about the sequel!


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