For fans of Young Adult fiction.
WHAT’S THE BOOK ABOUT
As electrifying as it is heartbreaking, Sam Taylor’s explosive fantasy debut We Are the Fire is perfect for fans of An Ember in the Ashes and the legend of Spartacus.
In the cold, treacherous land of Vesimaa, children are stolen from their families by a cruel emperor, forced to undergo a horrific transformative procedure, and serve in the army as magical fire-wielding soldiers. Pran and Oksana―both taken from their homeland at a young age―only have each other to hold onto in this heartless place.
Pran dreams of one day rebelling against their oppressors and destroying the empire; Oksana only dreams of returning home and creating a peaceful life for them both.
When they discover the emperor has a new, more terrible mission than ever for their kind, Pran and Oksana vow to escape his tyranny once and for all. But their methods and ideals differ drastically, driving a wedge between them. Worse still, they both soon find that the only way to defeat the monsters that subjugated them may be to become monsters themselves.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK
The blurb of We are the Fire by Sam Taylor is promising, so is the beginning. What would Oksana and Pran do to thwart the Emperor’s cruel plans? Taylor explains the cruelty that the Tuliikobrets must undergo to become fire-wielding soldiers in exquisite detail. They underwent torture for seven years which changed them, physically and mentally. It is a world where only the strongest and the most powerful survive. Taylor shows the hierarchy in the Tuliikobrets army in detail. She gives a no-holds-barred portrayal of the scrambling for power, the torture of the subordinates to stay in power, and the snatching of children from their homes.
However, it is in the middle, where the Tuliikobrets plan to thwart the Emperor, that I could not connect to the protagonists, as well as the plot. I was not convinced of their plan. To take down such a seemingly invincible empire, it takes more than a scheming group of teenagers in my humble opinion.
Moreover, there were one or two scenes where Pran is in severe pain (so severe that he should not be able to do anything), yet he has to kiss Oksana. I found this to be an exaggeration of the insta-kissing trope in the YA genre. The conclusion is better because the cracks in the plan show, resulting in inevitable failure and unforeseen deaths.
We are the Fire is vividly descriptive. Some parts are excellent such as all the fight sequences especially the ones involving Oksana when she tries to control her Snapping.
Overall, I found it to be good. The story is neatly wrapped up in the end.
This was one of my most anticipated books of the year. So, I expected more from this book. It is a good book. It has plenty of action sequences and fire. Lots and lots of fire. The world-building is good too. However, I could not immerse myself fully in the Vesimaan world.
Fans of the young adult genre would enjoy it.
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Tour-wide giveaway (INT)
Print copy of We Are the Fire. Click here.
Many thanks to Giselle @ Xpresso Book Tours for organizing this blog tour. Many thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book. This does not affect my opinion on the book. I opted to provide an honest review on my blog.
Sam Taylor grew up in Arizona’s deserts and now lives among Connecticut’s trees. She spends her days writing, being mom to the world’s cutest boys, whirling through dance workouts, and baking too many cakes. She does not possess fire magic, but does have one fire-colored cat. We Are the Fire is her debut novel.