Bursts of Fire by Susan Forest
Rating: 5/5 stars
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Series: Addicted to Heaven (#1)
Publisher: Laksa Media Groups Inc.
Release Date: August 6, 2019
To survive. To fight. To restore balance.
The Falkyn sisters bear a burden and a legacy. Their mother, the imperial magiel of the kingdom of Orumon, protects her people from the horrors of the afterlife by calling upon the Gods with a precious Prayer Stone. But war among the kingdoms has brought fire and destruction to their sheltered world. When a mad king's desire to destroy the Prayer Stones shatters their family, the three girls are scattered to the wilderness, relying on their wits and powers they don't yet master.
Assassin. Battle tactician. Magic wielder. Driven by different ambitions, Meg, Janat, and Rennika are destined to become all these and more. To reclaim their birth right, they must overcome doubtful loyalties within a rising rebellion; more, they must challenge a dogma-driven chancellor's influence on the prince raised to inherit his father's war: a prince struggling to unravel the mystery of his brother's addiction to Heaven.
(blurb as found on goodreads.)
This book is exactly how epic fantasy should be written.
It took me a while to get into it, but once I was in, I was in, and I think I read most of the book in one afternoon! The world is interesting and complicated, with high stakes, and easy to cheer for characters. I especially loved the dynamic of the sisters, and how the magic system is never fully explained, but certain aspects are eluded to (like how the girls move in time when they use their magic).
Part of what makes this book so good, is that it takes it time to get to places and builds up the characters and the world. I find some books have trouble balancing the high stakes of the plot, with the smaller arcs for the characters, but this one found a pretty good balance between them. I especially enjoyed some of the sister drama. It’s drama on such a small level compared to what’s happening, but really, the girls are so young, that nobody should be surprised by it.
I’d recommend this to people who love slow-build epic fantasy and want to baste in a world, not rush through it! Overall, a stunning beginning to a series, and I can’t wait for the next one.
NOTE: I noticed a couple of reviews calling this young adult. Just wanted to highlight that in the description I received when I got my copy, it is NOT recommended for readers under 16.
Check out an excerpt of the book here.
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