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Duel of Fire (Steel and Fire Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 269 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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I loved Dara and Prince Siv. I mean, talk about chemistry. And can I just say how refreshing it is to read a male character who isn't a complete jerk? Siv was ALL THE THINGS> handsome, strong, kind to his sisters, generous with Dara, he brought out the parts of her she was too scared to be on her own. I loved that --when Dara was with him she was the best version of herself. But man ... talk about a cliff-hanger regarding these two! Gah! I JUST WANT THEM TO BE HAPPY AND GET MARRIED HAVE FIRE BABIES AND KISS. Okay, but I also love that this book has a very intriguing suspense plot. It is not just about the girl getting the boy. There is a lot of political intrigue and that is really what makes this book stand out and special. Oh, also the rivalry with Dara and Vine --LOVED THAT> seriously I feel like this is going to get all spolier-y. Get the book and fan-girl with me.
I didn't like that there wasn't much of an antagonist. The climax felt slightly short and by the time it happened I imagine people would see where it was going. I wish we had gone further with the climax, but the read was generally fast, easy and pleasant enough that I'll pick up the next one and not mind doing so!
Overall I would recommend it, I just wish the book had done more (even if it would then be longer).
The world building was nicely detailed and unique. I love the idea of fire magic being tied to a mountain where you can just imagine the lava hanging out there waiting on fire wielders to utilize it. The idea of a way to control the amount that can be drawn is pretty unique too and gives the plot a tension between those who control it and the wielders who want more. Great set up for the main conflict.
The protagonist, Dara, is a strong female with her own idea of what she wants out of life. Unable to wield fire, she feels cut off from her family's love. It doesn't help that her wielding sister died (controller's fault) and with that goes the family's hopes of passing the legacy along. She has no desire to be stuck doing the paper end of things despite her mother's wishes. This is a great side conflict between what she wants (dueling) and what her mother wants (boring family business).
The prince protagonist is also a great character. When Dara's trainer makes her confront the prince, he's late, hung over, and doesn't take things seriously. Their sparring over time develops into a friendship where he's helping her with her popularity and she's helping him improve his skills and eventually saves his life. He's also torn between duty to the kingdom and his own wants. It's another good side conflict as these two would be romantically inclined if not for the reality of their places in society.
Finally, while some people you can guess are the 'bad guys', it isn't a sure thing with everyone as to their position in the political turmoil that is brewing. I really like that it wasn't totally predictable and even at the end I still have some doubts on some people. I loved this story and will be delving into book 2 right after hitting submit on this review. Definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys a kick ass heroine fantasy.