Title: Shimmer and Burn
Author: Mary Taranta
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Series: Shimmer and Burn, book one
Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.
I found Shimmer and Burn the way I usually find my library books: a recommendation. I was kind of nervous about it because I've heard mixed things. But I didn't want to write it off entirely; I like seeing for myself if I'm going to like something or not. At first, Shimmer and Burn seemed just like the run of the mill fantasy novel, but before I even realized what was happening, I was glued to the book and finished it within a day and a half! Mary Taranta has penned a beautifully written, dark, edge of your seat fantasy that had me crying, screaming, and cheering! With its strong, flawed female characters, breakneck pacing with twists and turns aplenty, and romance so hot it'll make your knees weak, Shimmer and Burn has become one of my favorite books of 2017! I can't wait for the sequel next summer; I'm just so sad I have to wait that long!
Faris Locke is a girl who longs for more than what her life and station have afforded her. Like her best friend and secret lover, Thaelen, and a father who cares for her and her sister, Cadence, more than his drink. When she is caught trying to escape the kingdom of Brindaigel, she is sold into slavery. Forced against her will to team up with an imperious, brutal princess with political ambitions and a mysterious man named North who is hiding secrets of his own to save her sister, Faris must decide what she is willing to sacrifice for what little she has left, or risk losing everything she knows, even herself...
I really, really liked this book, a lot more than I was expecting! It was a fresh, exciting new take on one of my favorite genres: high fantasy! The cover was really pretty, and frankly, that was what drew my interest at first, but I was really excited by the premise of it. A kingdom devoid of magic and a hard as nails heroine smuggling stolen magic inside? Yes, yes, please! This book had almost everything I love in a fantasy novel: magic, gore, political intrigue, romance, secrets, twists and turns, and best of all, strong female characters that give as good as they get and pull no punches to do what they have to. And that ending! Oh, my goodness, how am I supposed to wait until next summer to find out what happens next? The only real problem I had with it was the worldbuilding: it was vague, and at times, hard to keep up with. Nonetheless, this captivating series debut captured my heart, and I can't wait for more from the promising Mary Taranta! The bottom line: Despite some kinks with the worldbuilding, Shimmer and Burn captivated and bewitched my imagination, and I can't wait for the sequel! Next on deck: Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust!