Fantasy, LGBT, Romance, Young Adult

Review: Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

Of Fire and StarsBetrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. 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.

2 Stars

Young Adult | Fantasy | Romance | LGBT

I was beyond excited about this book – I loved the premise. I enjoy reading romance, it is my binge, my jam comrades and can just say I love LGBT romances. Many cases the connections are always so much more than a heterosexual romance. I love them all but unfortunately that is the only positive thing I will say about this novel – it is an LGBT romance.

What can I say about this book that won’t make people fear my reviews? Well for starters I always have two key things I look for in books, putting genre specifically aside the biggest key elements is the world building then the character dynamics or development. I like depth, intrigue, I love to read an easy flow with entertaining points that don’t leave me questioning my life choices; AKA why the hell do I never DNF books? 

The first issue is the nonexistent world building. There is nothing to give your imagination for the territories that the characters are in, the magic system has absolutely no set up to understanding anything surrounding the backbone of the premise, basically giving me the impression that the fantasy genre label was just randomly picked because the main character can do some fire magic, which random thing the kingdom she is marrying into loathes this magic, but why? Literally this is never explained or perhaps I skimmed or slept through that part. Everything is just rather dull and uninteresting.

As for the characters nothing really happens that is memorable. Neither Denna and Mare have a spectacular set of personality traits to connect with, I was not at all invested in their connection. I enjoyed the slow build of their romantic feelings, I liked how it progressed from a friendship to more lover oriented, yet this still had it’s flaws. They are constantly self-doubting their connection as it grows, fighting the fact they are just friends yet everyone around them seems to be more accepting of this type of relationship. I cannot get over that, I understand the angst to add to the plot but it was unnecessary. 

Even more issues I have with the characters is that because they had barely any type of memorable personality as a solo unit, they were beyond one-dimensional and lacked complete depth and growth. Denna and Mare are portrayed as extremely child-like almost pubescent attitudes. 

Sadly as much as I wanted this book to be amazing it wasn’t. I loved the synopsis, the appeal of the romance and fantasy but honestly I was definitely not pleased at all with the outcome. The development of the characters was beyond lack luster, the romance definitely one-dimensional with very little depth, and the world building is nonexistent – to put it simply… I was bored. I was not impressed with the writing style in the least or the fact that this entire novel seems to be written to appeal to perhaps a younger audience.

5 thoughts on “Review: Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst”

  1. I was disappointed by this book as well. It was pitched to me as “If you like Game of Thrones…” I personally don’t like fluffy romances. For an LGBT book I was surprised that the story still had gender roles in a way? It was also a tad tropey? The girl who doesn’t want to be a princess, but a knight thing was not that surprising… Sigh. I did end up giving it away to my bi friend. I hope she enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I was really disappointed and unimpressed with the hole thing, which sucks because again the premise was amazing & it just wasn’t what I expected in the least. I would still say try to read it, never know your opinion might be different….

      Liked by 1 person

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