Dennaleia has been training all her life to leave her home in Havemont, marry Prince Thandilimon and become Queen of Mynaria. So when she arrives in her new home and her fire Affinity — a forbidden magical power she’s kept hidden for years — grows unwieldy, she fears the life she’s trained for is about to be ripped out from under her. What’s more, shortly after her arrival in Mynaria, an assassination attempt on the King leaves the kingdom in shock. When Dennaleia joins forces with her betrothed’s sister, Mare, to find the culprit, the friendship becomes something more than she’d bargained for, and she begins to question whether the life she’s always envisioned is the life she wants after all.
Audrey Colthurst’s debut novel, Of Fire and Stars, is a captivating story that follows the young royals as they grapple with the roles they’ve been assigned and their true passions. Dennaleia and Mare are a compelling pair — both whip smart in their own ways, with complementary talents and plenty to teach one another. Supporting characters, from palace guards to Dennaleia’s fiancé, are complex and relatable, and grow over the course of the novel.
If Colthurst’s world is a bit underdeveloped—the rules of both physics and magic are sometimes unclear—she makes up for it in sharp prose and characters whose spirit, tenacity and deep humanity drive the story from beginning to end.
This review was originally written for and published on BookPage.