Cast in Firelight by Dana Swift — ARC Review

Cast in Firelight by Dana SwiftSummary:

The first book in an epic, heart-pounding fantasy duology about two royal heirs betrothed to be married, but whose loyalties are torn, and a ruthless enemy who threatens their world, perfect for fans of Sabaa Tahir, Hafsah Faizal, and Renée Ahdieh.

Adraa is the royal heir of Belwar, a talented witch on the cusp of taking her royal ceremony test, and a girl who just wants to prove her worth to her people.

Jatin is the royal heir to Naupure, a competitive wizard who’s mastered all nine colors of magic, and a boy anxious to return home for the first time since he was a child.

Together, their arranged marriage will unite two of Wickery’s most powerful kingdoms. But after years of rivalry from afar, Adraa and Jatin only agree on one thing: their reunion will be anything but sweet.

Only, destiny has other plans and with the criminal underbelly of Belwar suddenly making a move for control, their paths cross…and neither realizes who the other is, adopting separate secret identities instead.

Between dodging deathly spells and keeping their true selves hidden, the pair must learn to put their trust in the other if either is to uncover the real threat. Now Wickery’s fate is in the hands of rivals..? Fiancées..? Partners..? Whatever they are, it’s complicated and bound for greatness or destruction.

Review: 5 Stars

Cast in Firelight is a book that I stumbled upon by chance and I am so glad that I did. I hadn’t heard of this book at all, but when I saw it and read the blurb and discovered that there were 9 types of color magic I knew I would probably enjoy this book. It grabbed my attention instantly and I found myself absolutely loving this story and these characters. I am so impressed that this is a debut novel and am psyched that it is going to be a series. Cast in Firelight is a read that you won’t want to miss!

I really loved these characters. Adraa and Jatin’s romance was so much fun to read about and I couldn’t help but root for them. Adraa is determined to hate her fiance Jatin when she meets him, but they meet when they are both pretending to be different people. They wind up having the opportunity to get to know each other without the pressure of their titles. Their romance was flirty, fun and full of sarcasm and banter. It is a slow burn romance that was written the best way and it really felt like true love, not just a lusty attraction like in most books lately.

This world felt so incredibly unique. I am a sucker for an interesting magic system and the one built in this book was amazing. There were 9 gods, each represented by a color and a power. People could have all 9 powers, or a few, or even none at all. Those who had multiple colors of magic have one color that they specialize in, The politics around the magic in different countries were fascinating and I believe that the sequel will expand upon how different beliefs about magic can be divisive.

The plot was amazing. While the romance is at the center of the book it never took away from the plot. Cast in Firelight was action packed and had so much going for it. There were undercover missions and a classic fight against evil. There was so much packed into this novel that I never wanted to set it down. It was hard for me to find a lull in the action just so I could get some sleep.

I can’t believe that Cast in Firelight is a debut because it was just so incredible. It had all the makings of an amazing fantasy, there were characters that you rooted for and were incredibly well developed, a unique magic system that was incredibly fascinating and a plot that kept me flipping the pages late into the night. Cast in Firelight deserves all the hype and I can’t wait for others to read it. I am so excited that this is going to be a series and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book. Dana Swift is an incredible new voice in the YA fantasy scene and I expect great things from anything she writes.

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