I’m officially casting A Fate of Wrath & Flame as my biggest surprise of the year because, wow, I was not expecting this book at all! K.A. Tucker is an author whose been on my radar for her contemporary romance novels (which I haven’t quite gotten to yet despite their high praise) so curiosity (and all the amazing reviews) got the best of me when I saw this and decided to give it a shot. Let me just say that A Fate of Wrath & Flame has everything you could want in a new adult fantasy book!
The enemies-to-lovers, slow-burn angsty romance between the main character and the love interest and their warring countries reminded me of The Bridge Kingdom, meanwhile the magic and vampiric elements of the world were reminiscent of reading From Blood and Ash. It’s hard not to compare this to FBAA as there are a good amount of similarities. But while I love JLA, there’s no question that FBAA leaves a lot to be desired regarding the worldbuilding and protagonist. The worldbuilding here is incredible. Honestly, one of the best I’ve read in a long time. Everything came together so nicely and organically within the descriptions. I was able to fully understand the politics, the magic system, and the history of the world without getting pages of info dumps.
There were times where I felt like I didn’t know what was going on plot-wise, but only because the protagonist, Romeria, also had no idea what the hell was happening (understandably, given her circumstances). The feelings of confusion resolved over the course of the book as both myself and Romeria became privy to important pieces of information. And speaking of Romeria, I absolutely loved her character! She was resourceful, courageous, and fierce. Her connection with Zander was palpable and the angsty romancethat develops was so freaking amazing. I’m a sucker for a good slow-burn but add some hate-to-love into the mix and we have ourselves a winning combination!
There’s a lot to enjoy in A Fate of Wrath & Flame. The characters, the worldbuilding, the plot. Everything about the book felt extremely well-written, intriguing, and fresh. I’m aching to get my hands on the next book!
Title: For the Wolf Author: Hannah F. Whitten Rating: ★★★
I’ve been looking forward to reading this for a very long time and I think this is one of those instances where my own expectations got the best of me. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with For the Wolf – overall, I enjoyed the characters and the reading experience, but it wasn’t exactly what I had been expecting and honestly, there wasn’t much to set it apart from other fantasy novels with similar plots.
I will start by saying that I really liked Redarys and Eammon as characters. I enjoyed reading Red’s POV and found her to be an extremely likable protagonist. I also really loved the relationship that developed between her and Eammon. The two of them are what ended up carrying the story for me and I found myself more invested in their romance than the actually plot.
A lot of the story felt familiar…and it felt familiar because it wasn’t entirely unique. The book has certain aspects that feel very similar to other books of the fantasy genre. For some readers, that may not be a problem but for me personally it made it hard for the book to stand out. There was a sense of “been there, done that” when I was reading.
The one other complaint I have is that I was very confused by the magic system and backstory with the Five Kings. I kept thinking things would make more sense as the book went but it didn’t. After awhile I accepted the fact that I would just have to be okay with not understanding most of what was going on. I think the magic system had good bones and was a really intriguing idea, it simply wasn’t executed in the best of ways.
For the Wolf was one of my most anticipated releases for the year and a book I have been looking forward to for a very long time. Because of my anticipated and high expectations, I was disappointed when it didn’t quite meet them. A lot of the story felt overdone and the magic was convoluted which added to the letdown.