Shattered Realms: Book One
Written by Cinda Williams Chima
Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic
Published April 5th 2016 by HarperCollins
Add to Goodreads
Adrian sul’Han, known as Ash, is a trained healer with a powerful gift of magic—and a thirst for revenge. 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?Adrian sul'Han, dubbed Ash is the son of Han and Raisa. He is the prince of Fells and a gifted healer. When tragedy and murder strikes close to home, Adrian is forced to flee his home, and his family. There he takes the road to Oden's Ford living under a guise. The prince of Fells is believed to be dead. Adrian has his own vendettas. He's on a mission to kill the King of Aden - a man who has been targeting his kingdom and his family for more than twenty years. However, his path may be more dangerous and surprising than he ever imagined when he takes up a position as the King's best healer.
Abandoned at birth, Jenna Bandelow was told that 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.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.
Jenna Bandelow lives in the crook of a small, and notorious mining town. Since she was a child she has worked the perilous mines, this is until one day the King of Arden comes. That day she must plunge into hiding and assume the identity of a boy for the King is on the hunt for a girl with a peculiar mark on the back of her neck. A mark that Jenna just happens to have. There's more to her story, but Jenna is a mystery even to herself. What she doesn't know, is that Jenna is something so powerful that forces across the sea will do anything to get their hands on her.
Ah! It felt so good being thrown back into this wonderful and harrowing world that Cinda has crafted for her readers. Having been a big fan of her previous series, I was so excited when I heard that Flamecaster was coming out. Especially learning that it follows the son of the two main characters from the original series. Although, I'll admit I was a bit nervous that this would be a huge letdown since that's how many spin offs usually go. I did find that this book offered a whole new light on the world I was previously accustomed to. While this is a spinoff, I really don't think you need to read the original series (even though it's incredible and you should!).
>> There's a few minor plot twists that will only make sense if you've read TSR. You don't technically have to have read them, but they won't have the same effect if you haven't.
Flamecaster started off fairly slow. The first few chapters are from the perspective of when our two main characters, Adrian (Ash) and Jenna are twelve/thirteen - which had me in a sweat. If I'm honest, I don't really enjoy reading characters that are under the age of sixteen. But thankfully we then come back to the present where they are older teens who are set out for vengeance. The characters in themselves were wonderful. Ash was my favorite out of the two. He spoke in such a witty way sometimes, and really just had me smirking. Jenna was intelligent and had such a mystical aura surrounding her - I'm so curious to know what she is.
Guys, Cinda Williams Chima knows how to build a world, okay? She's probably my favorite YA Fantasy author. The Seven Realms comes to life effortlessly. I'm able to envision the land, the roads, the towns, even the history without a problem. But even better, I have so much fun creating her creatures/villains in my head. There are these sadistic blood sucking priests who hunt Ash, there are DRAGONS. One dragon in particular that had me screaming with happiness. I care more about the dragon at this point than the humans. SO EXCITED. WHY DID I READ THIS BOOK SO SOON? Now I must wait for a year!
The secondary characters were so good too! I don't want to say much but I especially loved Destin and Strangward, I really hope we see more of these two in the sequel. I lowkey ship them, and I'm not even sure if I was imagining some special spark or not. Lila was kickass and probably one of my favorite females in YA Fantasy. She took no shit from anyone and knew how to hold her own. I can't wait to see the friendship between her and Ash grow, their banter was amazing.
The only thing I had an issue with was what seemed like a stinking heap on instalove between Ash and Jenna. While I could ship them, I just wish we'd had more of a slow burn like in the original series. I'm not giving up on them yet though - they have a lot of potential that I hope we can slowly build up in between books. Other than that little wrinkle, this book and Cinda's writing was nothing short of fantastic. The plot, and the plot twists were well written and satisfying. I wish more people would read her Seven Realms series as it's fairly underrated.
Cinda Williams Chima has to be one of the best storytellers in the YA genre. Flamecaster is only a fraction of what the Seven Realms series has to offer - and even then, it's more than what I've gotten out of other fantasy series. The writing, the characters and the world is so rich and full of life just as fantasy should be. Reading this book early was one of my biggest mistakes, I'm literally dying to know what happens next and since it just came out I'll probably have to wait more than a year. At least it'll be worth it. Highly recomend this to my fantasy lovers out there.
Kynndra is lowkey dying to make more edits on tumblr.