Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima

Shattered Realms: Book One
Written by Cinda Williams Chima
Young Adult, Fantasy, Magic
Published April 5th 2016 by HarperCollins
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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?

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.
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.

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.

Kynndra's Thoughts

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.

In Conclusion

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.



  1. I feel like this series is a pipe dream for me. I only have the first three but yes, I dream about reading them someday. It sounds like it has a perfectly constructed fantasy world and wholesome characters. I'm happy you've enjoyed pretty much all the instalments, Kynn.

    1. I'm looking forward to you eventually getting to them, Joy. They truly are a brilliant blend of all fantasy aspects. I couldn't praise this author enough.

  2. Ahhh dragons! I must read this book asap. She is definitely one heck of an awesome writer, especially when it comes to world building like you said. I'm a little sad about there being insta love, but the rest of the book sounds too good to pass up.
    I might wait until book 2 is out, but I'm excited. :)
    Lovely review, Kynn!

    1. Yes, DRAGONS. Well, one in particular but I have no doubt there will be more. And yes! Cinda Williams Chima will always be one of my favorites. I was disappointed by the instalove too, Nick but alas it still made for a brilliant book. Waiting for book two is probably a wise choice! Thanks lovely c:

  3. I kind of skimmed your review because I just got this for review and I've never read anything by this author before. Sounds like I'm in for a treat.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

    1. You absolutely are in for a treat, Karen! I hope you enjoy it c:

  4. Not sure these are the right fit for me, but it sounds like a good book! I'm glad you like the author so much. I also love to hear that books have great secondary characters. Sometimes those are the best characters!


    1. Secondary characters are often the best as weird as it is! I hope you give this book a shot, or at least the other series Lauren! It's well worth it.

  5. Oh man, I had no idea that Flamecaster was a spin-off series! It sounds like you really enjoyed this one though, even though the instalove kind of detracted a bit. I think I'm going to love it as well, particularly with Lila's kickass personality and the banter and secondary characters. Lovely review Kynn!

    1. Yes, it is a spin off! However, you don't really have to have read the first series to understand what's going on (it enriches the story, but regardless it's great). I'm holding out hope that the instalove is tamed down or at least built upon in the next book. Thanks Jeann!


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