Book: Flamecaster (Shattered Realms 1) by Cinda Williams Chima
Release Date: April 5th 2016
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Possible spoilers for Seven Realms series
A burning vengeance.
Adrian sul’Han, known as Ash, is a trained healer with a powerful gift of magic—and a thirst for revenge. The son of the queen of the Fells, Ash is forced into hiding after a series of murders throws the queendom into chaos. Now Ash is closer than he’s ever been to killing the man responsible, the cruel king of Arden. As a healer, can Ash use his powers not to save a life but to take it?
A blood-based curse.
Abandoned at birth, Jenna Bandelow was told the mysterious magemark on the back of her neck would make her a target. But when the King’s Guard launches a relentless search for a girl with a mark like hers, Jenna assumes that it has more to do with her role as a saboteur than any birth-based curse. Though Jenna doesn’t know why she’s being hunted, she knows that she can’t get caught.
Destiny’s fiery hand.
Eventually, Ash’s and Jenna’s paths will collide in Arden. Thrown together by chance and joined by their hatred of the king, they will come to rescue each other in ways they cannot yet imagine.
Flamecaster was my most anticipated release of 2016 that came out in April. Yet I didn’t read it until June. So what happened? Next to having problems with my pre order that I have complained about in a Sunday Post, I put the book down after four chapters. Knowing this is a generation set after the Seven Realms books created so many expectations it was hard to know what to do with my feelings.
Those four first chapters didn’t help when I came across a character so familiar to me from the Seven Realms series. And I felt so disjointed from him. Like it wasn’t him. This probably had to do with that the point of view was from someone a lot younger, and of course he had aged. But still. It didn’t feel like that character, and I was a bit taken back by that. Added in that the two main characters were a lot younger than I expected them to be, I needed to set this book aside to get through those pesky feelings and get the expectations down somewhat. Reading a book with so much high expectations is never a good idea.
When I picked it up again there were some time jumps so that the characters became the age that I had expected them to have. I wasn’t fond of that execution as we jumped through a few ages. One would have been fine for me so that the first four chapters could be just seen as a prologue of sorts.
It took me until page 150 or so to really get into it. Again, a lot of this has to do with my expectations. It was still hard to put those to the side, but by page 200 I was hooked and found it harder to put the book down. So what made me hooked. I think I finally started seeing Ash, our main character, as his own character. Don’t get me wrong, I see a lot of Han in him. He is almost as frustrating as Han in his decisions in any case. But despite not agreeing with his decisions (like not going home to mommy Raisa) I grew to like him pretty quickly. But he’s not quite as deepened out as a character as I would like or that I was used to seeing from this author.
Slowly the other characters also became intertwined into his story. I have to say that I grew fond of Destin Karn as a character rather quickly. His despair with some things while he was in Delphi was amusing to read and I was sad to see we didn’t get more point of views of him nearing the end of the book. Jenna is interesting but there is still too much not known about her. Lila I wasn’t sure off until the last quarter of the book when some things about her were revealed which explained a lot.
Speaking of that last quarter, I wish the whole book was like that because I am slightly in love with that ending. The plot really came forward in this for the next books, more than just Ash’s need for revenge. I really can’t wait to see how it will all play out.
I wouldn’t suggest reading this book until after you have read Seven Realms. Like said, this is only set about 30 years after the ending of The Crimson Crown, and there are a lot of references to it. Mentioning of places, characters and their relationships. It would be a shame not to know any of these things before reading this book. I have to say I found it amusing to see some characters mentioned. While Raisa isn’t in this book she is mentioned the most out of all the characters from Seven Realms (well except Montaigne, but he doesn’t count). I love how her enemies think of her as the witch queen or demon queen. Thirty years later and she still kicks ass. Other characters were mentioned like Amon, Micah and so on. However my favorite character Dancer was not. Why? I need to know what happened to him! Though I have a pretty good idea in what direction I am going to have to look for him in the next books.