February 02, 2022

#BookReview: Cast in Firelight (Wickery, #1) by Dana Swift

Synopsis: 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.

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, Susan Dennard, and Mary E. Pearson.


Rating: 1 Star
My Review:  It looks like I might be in the minority for reading this book.  I just didn't like it at all.  The characters were so full of snark I just hated everyone and it really just got to me after a few chapters.  I couldn't get used to it all.  The entire prologue was actually really good.  The chapter titles were weird though.  I felt they would have been better suited for a contemporary not a fantasy. It was like the author was trying to get the snarky funny chapters like from Breaking Dawn when we get to have POVs from Jacob.  But unfortunately it just didn't work for me.   

The magic system was very interesting and I was kind of intrigued with the entire thing.  But again the inner dialogue and all the snark just made it hard to read.   And I wont even get into the fact that this was a POC book from an author that I guess she isn't POC?  Which just seems super weird. 

Overall, if you want to check this one out?  I would say try the library.   

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up-Debut author Swift has created an exciting and romantic fantasy featuring witches and wizards set in a richly detailed South Asian world, where magic is bestowed upon people by nine Deities. It's a land governed by those with the Touch, who can cast up to nine colors (fortes) of magic, and the Untouched, who have no magic. Princess Adraa has been betrothed to the neighboring country's Prince Jatin since she was eight. She hasn't seen him since a disastrous meeting nine years ago. He's returning from his wizard studies and they're expected to marry upon Adraa's upcoming 18th birthday. Adraa assumes Jatin will be as arrogant now as he was as a child. He could cast magic using all nine colors when he was young, but aside from her forte for fire, Adraa believes she's not as skilled. She's not Touched on both arms like most others and is ashamed of being different. Adraa's determined to stop a gang from distributing an addictive drug throughout her country and in finding out where the magic-fueled firelight she invented for her city is being diverted. As Adraa and Jatin alternate points-of-view, readers discover they are keeping secrets not only from each other, but from their families as well. VERDICT A satisfying romantic fantasy with a badass heroine and memorable setting. Readers of this first book in a duology will relish knowing tantalizing secrets before the characters dos. Recommend to fans of Susan Dennard and Roshani Chokshi.-Sharon Rawlins, New Jersey State Library, Trentonα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


A fun, fast-paced fantasy saturated in wonder with a pair of dynamic heroes who will steal your heart. You won’t want it to end!”—KAYLYNN FLANDERS, author of Shielded

An enchanting adventure full of fast-paced action and fantastic characters. Set in a richly imagined fantasy world, Cast in Firelight delights on every level.”—ROSEMARY CLEMENT-MOORE, author of Texas Gothic and Spirit and Dust

“I was hooked from beginning to end. The romance and adventure unfolded brilliantly, and the world and its characters swept me away. I enthusiastically recommend it!”—KATHRYN PURDIE, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Burning Glass and Bone Crier’s Moon
Cast in Firelight sparks with quick humor and crystal prose, a vivid elemental magic system, a burning romance, and a heroine whose courage and wit light up the pages. A fantasy with a fresh voice equal-parts fun, romance, and action.”—AMELIE WEN ZHAO, author of the Blood Heir series
Absorbing, perfectly plotted, and heartfeltCast in Firelight will have you turning pages and rooting for Dana Swift’s fierce, original heroine.”—LESLIE LUTZ, author of Fractured Tide
A spell-binding debut with cage-fighting witches, vigilante heroism, and an intoxicating slow-burn romance. Fans of Serpent & Dove’s smart-alecky Lou and The Wrath and the Dawn’s cunning Sharhzard should prepare themselves to fall head over heels for the fiery Adraa.”—KELLY COON, author of the Gravedmaidens duology
A satisfying romantic fantasy with a badass heroine and memorable setting….[Perfect for] fans of Susan Dennard and Roshani Chokshi.”—SLJ
“The intricate world with magic-fueled, action-packed fight scenes and snarky, colloquial banter is loosely infused with Asian Indian cultural references…will appeal to fans of fast-moving fantasy adventures.”—Kirkus Reviews

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