Review: FLAMECASTER by Cinda Williams Chima

Review: FLAMECASTER by Cinda Williams ChimaFlamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima
Series: Shattered Realms #1
Also in this series: Shadowcaster
Published by HarperCollins on April 5th 2016
Pages: 544
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Action & Adventure, General, Social Themes, Friendship, Social Issues
Also by this author: Shadowcaster, The Demon King, The Exiled Queen, The Gray Wolf Throne, The Crimson Crown
eARC provided by HarperCollins

AmazonBook Depository

Set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Seven Realms series, a generation later, this is a breathtaking story of dark magic, chilling threats, and two unforgettable characters walking a knife-sharp line between life and death. This dazzling beginning to a new series is indispensable for fans of Cinda Williams Chima and a perfect starting point for readers who are new to her work.
Adrian sul’Han, known as Ash, is a trained healer with a powerful gift of magic—and a thirst for revenge. Ash is forced into hiding after a series of murders throws the queendom into chaos. Now he’s closer than ever to killing the man responsible, the cruel king of Arden. With time running out, Ash faces an excruciating choice: Can he use his powers not to save a life but to take it?
Abandoned at birth, Jenna Bandelow was told that the magemark on the back of her neck would make her a target. But when the King’s Guard launches a relentless search for a girl with a mark like hers, Jenna assumes that it has more to do with her role as a saboteur than any birth-based curse. Though Jenna doesn’t know why she’s being hunted, she knows that she can’t get caught. 
Eventually, Ash’s and Jenna’s paths will collide in Arden. Thrown together by chance and joined by their hatred of the ruthless king, they will come to rescue each other in ways they cannot yet imagine.

Reading time 3 mins

This review might not be coherent. I really loved this story, but it’s complicated. It’s hard to explain. My love for this book is hard to talk about. Bear with me as I try to put my thoughts about this book into words.

Famecaster is one of those stories that has everything I want in a fantasy. This story had many layers, well drawn characters, descriptive world building, magic, dragons, and a promise of more to come. Yes, I did say dragons. There is a bloody dragon in this story! I am scared of dragons in fiction, honestly. Making them seem real is difficult and not everyone can pull it off. *Adds Cinda Williams Chima to the very short list of people that can make a dragon seem real.*

The beginning of this book was addictive and the action didn’t let up throughout the story. I loved the descriptive writing and the promise of magic, so I became hooked right away. The writing in this story is amazing. Seriously, I am blown away. The world building is so exciting. We get to see a snippet of the Seven Realms. Ash is in a school in Oden’s Ford, then he travels The West Road with Lila. He makes his way to Ardenscourt. In Ardenscourt, we explore everything from the dungeons to the tower. Meanwhile, Destin gets sent to Deliphi. Jenna is a resident there. Destin is on a mission to bring Jenna to Ardencourt. Then Ash and Jenna meet… (there’s also a map if you want to follow along like I did)

Adrian sul’Han (aka Ash) is on a mission to kill the King of Arden. Ash is a mage and the son of Han? (don’t fault me for not knowing who Han is people, I am new to this author)

Jenna Bandelow (aka Flamecaster) was raised by step-parents. She was abandoned by her own parents because of a mage mark on her neck basically targeting her. She is immune to magic and everyone is looking for her.

Ash + Jenna.

Those are the main characters. We also get a perspective from Lila Barrowhill, who is on a mission to protect Ash. She might be my favorite character b/c she is a smuggler/black-marketer. Lila is a bad ass. I want to learn more about her. The other character who gets some attention is Destin Karn. He is a character working intelligence directly for the king. I am not sure how he is going to fit into all of this because his loyalty seems to be to the king of Arden, but we’ll see how he plays out.

This is my first book by Cinda Williams Chima, but it won’t be my last. I am looking into getting every single book this author has ever penned and adding it to my collection. I really want to read the Seven Realms series now. Plus, it will give me something to do while I count the minutes to the sequel for this book. Don’t try to tell me not to. I know a lot of people said I couldn’t read The Grisha Trilogy after I read Six of Crows and I did it and enjoyed all of them.

If you are a fan of YA fantasy, you need to read this book. That is all.

My Rating


About Cinda Williams Chima

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima grew up with talking animals and kick-butt Barbies. She began writing poetry and stories in third grade and novels in junior high school. These days she writes fantasy fiction for teens of all ages. Her Heir Chronicles contemporary fantasy series includes The Warrior Heir (2006), The Wizard Heir (2007), The Dragon Heir (2008), The Enchanter Heir (2013) and The Sorcerer Heir (2014).

Chima’s high fantasy Seven Realms series launched with The Demon King (2009), followed by The Exiled Queen (September, 2010) The Gray Wolf Throne (2011) and The Crimson Crown (2012).

Both series have been New York Times bestsellers.

Chima’s Shattered Realms high fantasy series is forthcoming from HarperCollins. The first novel, Flamecaster, is scheduled for Spring, 2016.

Chima’s books have received starred reviews in Kirkus and VOYA, among others. They have been named Booksense and Indie Next picks, an International Reading Association Young Adult Choice, a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age, to the Kirkus Best YA list, and the VOYA Editors’ Choice, Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, and Perfect Tens lists. Her books also appear on numerous state awards lists and won the Buckeye Teen Book Award in 2011.

Chima was a recipient of the 2008 Lit Award for Fiction from the Cleveland Lit and was named a Cleveland Magazine Interesting Person 2009. She lives in Ohio with her family, and is always working on her next novel.

I received this product free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.

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By | 2017-12-16T10:23:54+00:00 Monday, April 11, 2016|Fantasy, reviews, YA|7 Comments

About the Author:

Mother, Lover, Writer, Reviewer, Social Media Princess. Karen has been a blogger since 2010. She is a US Army veteran, a medical professional, and the mother of four. Karen is the owner of That Book Store llc. She reviews books and shares mind vomit for this blog in her 'spare' time. Karen lives in New England.


  1. Judy Cox April 14, 2016 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    I love YA Fantasy and I love this cover!! I will be reading this.

  2. danielle hammelef April 16, 2016 at 10:24 am - Reply

    I haven’t read this author before, but based on the review here, I will start reading her books.

  3. bn100 April 16, 2016 at 7:21 pm - Reply

    nice review; doesn’t sound like my kind of book

  4. I actually love reviews that really show how much you loved the story, to the point of not feeling like you have enough or the right words to explain why.
    Have a great Sunday, Karen!
    Check Out Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews’s most recent post- The Sunday Post – Weekly Wrap-Up #79 – Much Needed WeekendMy Profile

    • Karen Blue
      April 17, 2016 at 9:51 pm - Reply

      Thanks Lexxie! I really love reading those reviews as well. Those reviews are part of the reason my TBR is out of control.

  5. Samantha D April 20, 2016 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    Def reading this next! Thank you for ur informative review!!

  6. Lily M. April 30, 2016 at 11:29 pm - Reply

    I always see Cinda Williams Chime books, I haven’t read any yet 😞 but they are on my TBR. I really need to get started on them 😊 Thank you for the review 😊

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