Sunday, 24 March 2013

Daughter of the Flames by Zoe Marriott: Review

Because I loved FrostFire, I immediately looked for other books by Zoe Marriott. I found Daughter of the Flames, the first book in the Ruan series. It’s a poignant, heart-wrenching story that takes us through war, betrayal, racial hatred, and finally, love.

Zira was orphaned when the Sedorne invaded her country, Ruan. For ten years she’s been hiding, training to be a warrior priestess. That’s until she recklessly – but nobly – rushes to the aid of Lord Sorin, the Sedorne ruler of her district, when he’s attacked in the market place. This single act changes Zira’s life. King Abheron, who had paid the assassins, is none too pleased when Sorin survives. Zira and Sorin are thrust together in a fight to free Ruan from Abheron’s brutal reign and to restore the rightful queen to the throne. (I’ll leave it to you to figure who that queen might be!) To her credit, Zira and her sword proved more than capable of taking on that war. She is a girl who can definitely kick-butt if she has too. But she also has a vulnerability that is very appealing.

I loved this book. The characters are so real and, for the most part, likeable. The exception of course is Mad King Abheron. He’s a great bad guy. A complex man with twisted, but very believable motives, he’s one of the best villains I’ve met in ages – perhaps since The Darkling in Smoke and Bone.

The relationship between Zira and Sorin is anything but predictable. For her, he’s a Sedorne – the enemy – whom she hates. But as the blurb on the cover asks: What if your true love was your deadliest enemy? Zoe Marriott develops this love so sensitively. It was a joy watching it unfold.

As for the world building . . . I could smell the dust in the streets and taste the prawns frying in the marketplace. Ruan is as real as my own back garden.

I give Daughter of the Flame five stars. I will definitely be reading it again.



PS: Don't forget to enter my Kick-Butt Blog Hop giveaway in which you can stand a chance to win a copy of FrostFire by Zoe Marriott or Throne of Glass by Julie J. Maas

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