Wicked Like a Wildfire: Hibiscus Daughter (Book 1)
by Lana Popović
“All the women in Iris and Malina’s family are born with a gleam – a unique way of manipulating beauty through magic. Seventeen-year-old Iris sees flowers as fractals and turns her kaleidoscopic visions into glasswork; her twin sister, Mailina, interprets moods as music; and their cold, distant mother, Jasmina, bakes scenery into decadent treats at her confectionary in Old Town Cattaro, Montenegro.
Jasmina forbids Iris and Malina to share their gleams with anyone, and above all, she forbids them to fallin love – being discovered could shatter the quiet lives they’ve built in their tucked-away seaside town. But Iris and Malina are tired of abiding by their mother’s rules and rebel in secret whenever they can.
Yet when a mysterious white-haired woman attacks their mother and leaves her hovering between life and death, the sisters unearth an ancient curse that haunts their line – a wicked bargain that masquerades as a blessing and binds the twins’ fates – and hearts – to a force larger than life. To save each other, they must untangle a thousand years of lies and reveal their own hurtful secrets. But even the deepest sacrifice might not be enough.
Wicked Like a Wildfire is debut author Lana Popović’s first book in a sumptuous, bewitching duology about the power of love, death, and magic and the many faces of beauty.”
I had not heard too much about Wicked Like a Wildfire before I received it in a Fairyloot box last year, however, since then I have heard only good things.
Iris and Malina are twins, they do not know which is older, to a mother (Jasmina) who has taught them to eat the moon or to gleam (to use their magic). They have to hide their magic and have been instructed to not fall in love either. Iris rebels against their mother by wearing revealing clothing, getting drunk and using drugs with her friends. Everything is as normal as usual until a lady with white hair visits the cafe that Jasmina owns and runs.
I did not know what to expect, but it was not that! I have not read much fantasy that is set in the modern world, I really enjoyed it, although at parts I did wonder whether I was reading a fantasy or not. There were plenty of twists to this story, I read it within a day I was hooked.
My favourite characters have to be Iris, Malina, Luka and Nikoleta. Even though we saw everything from Iris’ point of view I did feel sorry for some of the others at points, there were also times when I could tell what the others were feeling but Iris could not, I’m wondering if that is life experience showing through.
Favourite part has to be once the ball gets rolling, I loved the story before but once everything started happening I did not want to put this book down, and, oh my, the last few chapters had me on the edge of my seat.
Wicked Like a Wildfire does end on a cliffhanger, this is because the duology wraps up in Fierce Like a Firestorm which comes out August 21st.
While reading this book, I described it as twin girls trying to discover the truth behind their magic and what has happened to their mother. I would recommend it to older teenagers and adults. 4 out of 5.