Of Fire and Stars: Of Fire and Stars (Book 1)
by Audrey Coulthurst
“Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile nations. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire – a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.
Now Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses – and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine – called Mare – the sister of her betrothed.
When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two become closer, Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. And soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.
But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms – and each other.”
I received this in an Owlcrate box at the beginning of last year, I kept on looking at it but not picking it up to read. Until the book bingos I have done in December and January when I picked it for both and just didn’t have enough time in December.
Denna has been hiding her magic since she was little, she has also been betrothed to Prince Thandilimon since they were small and an alliance will be sealed between their kingdoms. However, her kingdom is welcoming to magic users but Thandi’s is not, there is a fanatic group going round and beating the magic users. Mare is Thandi’s sister and ends up having to teach Denna to ride, but they do not bond until a death brings them together, in more than one way.
Oh my, I was not expecting much as I did not know that much about it, but the worldbuilding and magic system drew me in and I ended up in the middle of a blooming romance and it was glorious. I was hooked and read it in two days, it had great pacing. I am not sure if I have read a book with multiple characters all from first person narrative, but it did not confuse me in the slightest, as both characters ahd a different way of thinking and speaking that made it clear who it was, even if you had not read the chapter heading.
My favourite part has to be the interactions between Mare and Denna, no matter what part of the book. I loved the riding scenes and also the scenes within the castle. I went through plenty of emotions, especially the further in I got.
My favourite characters have to be Mare, Denna, Casmiel and Nils. I love the relationships between them all, and how each one balances the others. I also adored how each of the horses have a different personality, before reading the author’s profile I could tell they were a horse person.
Of Fire and Stars does end on a cliffhanger, the prequel is out in March, with no title or date for the sequel.
While reading Of Fire and Stars, I described it as a love story wrapped in a power struggle between kingdoms. I would recommend to anyone. 5 out of 5.