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We Are the Fire by [Sam Taylor]
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We Are the Fire Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 33 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—Like the other recruits at the fort, brown-skinned Pran and white-skinned Oksana were stolen from their families as children and trained as soldiers to protect the Vesimaan Empire. All the recruits are given a serum that gives them the power of fire as part of their military training. This serum has caused Pran much physical pain. During his seven years at the fort, he has been aided by Oksana, and the two have fallen in love. Pran plans a rebellion to defeat the Commanders as he wants to help the recruits escape the cruelty forced upon them. Oksana wants the freedom to return home, but finds herself at the mercy of Rootare, the imperial alchemist whose serums give him immense power. This fantasy world is so gritty and dark that for much of the story, there is little hope of a better life for the young trainees. The violence may be disturbing to some readers, and the unremarkable writing and weak characterization do little to make up for the darkness. It is difficult to empathize with Pran when he finds himself with the disquieting choice of killing a traitor to his cause or letting the youngster be tortured at the hands of a Commander. VERDICT Pass on this for more appealing books in this genre like Sabaa Tahir's "An Ember in the Ashes" series.—Elizabeth Kahn, Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy, Avondale, LA --This text refers to the hardcover edition.


Praise for We Are the Fire:

"At once brutal and tender, this heart-pounding debut will make you ponder what it means to be monstrous―and what it costs to be human." ―Joanna Ruth Meyer, author of Echo North and Into the Heartless Wood

"Brutally monstrous and achingly human, We Are the Fire is a tale that is sprawling and intimate, beautiful and grotesque. Told at breakneck speed, the narrative is as unforgiving as its world, where love is dangerous, hope is fleeting, and the same fire that built the empire can tear it back down." ―Nicki Pau Preto, author of Crown of Feathers

"Beautiful, haunting, and fierce, We Are the Fire is a riveting debut that will burn its way into your soul." ―Kim Smejkal, author of Ink in the Blood

"A well-paced fantasy steeped in folklore and alchemy. Deeply developed characters and a sharply written plot give We Are the Fire a dramatic intensity that readers will fall in love with. Perfect for fans of Cursed by Thomas Wheeler." ―B. R. Myers, author of Rogue Princess

"Set to fill the Ember in the Ashes-shaped void in your heart." ―Culturess

"The character development is so robust and real: both Oksana and Pran are fully-fleshed out people who I love and who infuriate me at the same time. I haven't read such a dynamic relationship in a long time―where nothing is black and white, both sides are valid, and the heartache is so real. SO GOOD!!!" ―Daisy, reader on

"WOW. ... The plot is fast-paced and exciting, and had me guessing 'HOLY CRAP WHAT’S GONNA HAPPEN HOW ARE THEY GONNA GET OUT OF THIS' until the end. It was a fantastic read, and I cannot recommend it enough!!" ―LindsayLHess, reader on

"The writing is beautiful, and I love how much tension is packed in each chapter. I couldn't stop reading. It's one of those stories that has stayed with me long after reading it." ―Kimberly, reader on

--This text refers to the hardcover edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08DMK592C
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Swoon Reads (February 16, 2021)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ February 16, 2021
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 8527 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 408 pages
  • Page numbers source ISBN ‏ : ‎ 1250241421
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 33 ratings

Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
33 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on July 24, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on July 10, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on February 19, 2021
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4.0 out of 5 stars Review - We Are the Fire
By Monica Khan on February 19, 2021
Initial Thoughts

I was super excited to be chosen for this tour. I did an ARC tour on Instagram about a month ago and really wanted to read this book so I’m so glad I was given the chance to read and review it!

Some Things I Liked

Epic fantasy in a standalone. I loved that this book packed such a punch for being a single book series. I really connected with the characters and wanted to learn more about them. It’s hard to attain this with only one book to grab my attention but Sam Taylor did that here.
Dual POVs. Again, I really loved this. I’m always a fan of multiple POVs and it was done so well here. I loved that Oksana and Pran had different opinions on things and that was highlighted through their POV chapters.
Romance from the jump. Again, something different for me. Usually, YA romance stories follow the hero or heroine finding someone to love or realizing they love a childhood friend. Pran and Oksana start out in love and we get to see how their relationship changed over time. I really enjoyed that and thought it was unique for a YA novel.

One Thing I Wasn’t Crazy About

Names and world building. Unfortunately, when you write a standalone novel, the world building has to all be done more quickly than in a series. Therefore, I struggled with some of the names and concepts in this book. I think if I read it again, I’d be fine but I had moments of confusion during this read.

Series Value

I liked that this was a standalone. I do, however, think that it easily could have stretched into more. This is a fascinating world and I’d love to see more stories set here.

Final Thoughts

I really enjoyed this book. I read it all in one sitting and could easily see myself reading it again. It’s not often that I find a standalone fantasy book that I like and this one really hit the mark.


Recommendations for Further Reading

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – if you enjoyed the dual POVs and action in this story, definitely try this series by Sabaa Tahir.
Blood and Honor by Miranda Lyn – if you enjoyed the magic and world building, give this upper YA / NA series a try.
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Reviewed in the United States on February 19, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on February 16, 2021
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