Flamecaster, Cinda Williams Chima

Caution, mild spoilers ahead.

“We don’t protect them because they’re weak. We protect them because they are strong, and strong people make enemies.”

This was one of the books that I got to pass the time while I was on my 20-day trip. I rarely read so many books, so fast and one after another. I read fast, but normally I don’t have enough time for it.

I have not read Seven Realm series and maybe I missed something, I think all the fans of C. W. Chima will tell me that of course, I did. But I came in green and I found it as a good start for the YA series Shattered Realms, even though it is clearly meant to be a part of a larger story.

Flamecaster… I still don’t understand why this was the name of this book… Well, technically one of the main characters was called this way and C. W. Chima tells us why, but I didn’t feel like it was enough. The explanation certainly didn’t satisfy me.

There is a lot of work done on character development. They all have their problems, their stakes in the conflict and its resolution. They all have a different point of view which is understandable since they all have a different background. We can easily relate to all of the characters in the book.

I liked the writing, it was sharp, concise, showing enough of the world to leave the rest to my imagination. The characters were attractive, keeping me turning the pages to figure out what is going to happen to them, to discover who they are.

But what I don’t like about some books is when there is a need to show a scene or a few from the point of view of a secondary character to avoid any future plot-holes. Such is the case for the part of the book narrated from Destin and Lila. I think the author easily switched from one character to another, showing the world through their eyes, each with his or her own view. But the constant change in the narrator kept me wondering who were the real protagonists of the book.

And the same went for the story arc. I understand that this is a part of a series, but even though I had trouble figuring out the conflict for a long time. I mean, yes, it is kind of obvious, but with so many different protagonists I had too many doubts. I still don’t understand the reason for the presence of the St Malthus Priests in the book, except to cause tension in the moments when it is much needed. I guess the explanation will follow in the next books in the series, but for me, it will rest a mystery.

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