Title: Her Crown of Fire
Author: Renee April
Series: Molten Fire # 1
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Date of Publication: November 1, 2019
Publisher: Write Plan
Seventeen-year-old Rose Evermore is just a normal teenager who has no idea what she wants to be when she grows up. That is, until she suddenly discovers her magical affinity for fire and develops dreams that predict the future. Before she knows it, she winds up in a fantasy realm called Lotheria—with her best friend, Tyson, who has no magic. She is taken to the mysterious Academy to learn to use her magic, while Tyson must hide from the authorities—at the risk of death. Rose needs to find a way to get them back home, before Tyson becomes the next target of the headmasters’ frightening wrath.
This book is a real page-turner! I had a hard time putting this book down at bedtime. From the first page I could tell that this was going to be different from other books like this. I kept expecting it to fall into common tropes. While it’s still a book about a girl who discovers her magical powers and is torn away from her life and forced to live in a magical world where she must attend a school for magic, the individual plot points are quite unique from other similar books.
The atmosphere of this story is quite dark, darker than expected, and the Headmasters of the school are far from warm and cuddly. Punishments are severe, and they come with even the teeniest, tiniest of infractions.
At the risk of spoilers, I want to be super vague when I talk about the romance in this story. Rose does not fall for who I was expecting her to fall for, which was a pleasant surprise. I was fully expecting April to write the more obvious of the romances (there are quite a few potential love interests), and she went with someone else entirely. That said, the romance felt rushed towards the end of the book, and I would have preferred if Rose had interacted with her love interest a little more earlier on, had some longing glances and whatnot to build up to their passionate love affair.
I did find a few parts of the book confusing, especially earlier on. When Rose first shows up in this unique world and is taken to the Academy to study magic, she experiences a strange magical… something. Was it a test? A hazing ritual? I’m still not entirely sure what I had read, and it happened early enough in the book that it left me worried that I would experience that level of confusion again. Fortunately, it’s the only part of the book that really left me scratching my head, as everything else was quite easy to follow. If you experience the same while reading this book, I encourage you to push through it, because this read is quite rewarding!
One part of the book that I absolutely adored is the use of Runes. April has created a unique type of magic that leaves me aching for more. You know that a writer has created an interesting type of magic when I long to read a textbook on the subject. Yeah, I know that sounds weird, but I want to read a textbook on Runes written by Renee April. (I am a librarian and researcher, after all! It shouldn’t be so hard to believe). Other aspects of the magic in this world are just as interesting, especially the unique take on soulmates, and I’m eager to explore this world more in the next instalment in this series.
I recommend this book to anyone looking to get lost in a dark, magical world.
*Thank you to Write Plan for the advanced reader copy for review*
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