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Cleveland Plain Dealer review - Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima
by Susan Glaser, April 21, 2016

Sixteen-year-old Adrian sul'Han is a prince in hiding, waiting for the right moment to avenge his father's death at the hands of rival leader Gerard Montaigne. Jenna Bandelow is a 16-year-old rebel in hiding, also fighting to overthrow the immoral Montaigne, king of Arden…

Their paths come together about halfway through "Flamecaster," Cinda Williams Chima's newest young adult fantasy novel that
is equal parts adventure tale, romance and political drama.

The setting will be familiar to fans of Chima's Seven Realms series ("The Demon King," "The Exiled Queen," "The Gray Wolf
Throne," "The Crimson Crown"). But don't worry if you're a first-time Realms reader. This book needs no introduction.

…Brought together in the kingdom, Ash and Jenna form an alliance of sorts, in an effort to get to the truth....The protagonists, primarily Ash and Jenna, are well-drawn and sympathetic.

As in most fantasy tales, the characters here fall into two main camps, good versus evil, though there are a few that defy easy
classification, including Ash's classmate, Lila Barrowhill, and Destin Karn, one of the king's guards. It's nice to have a few folks
whose motives keep you guessing.

Chima… has an easygoing writing style that moves the story along with dialogue and fast action… With three more books to come in the series, Chima leaves many questions unanswered. But they are answers worth waiting for. And the good news: We won't have to wait long. The second in the series, "Shadowcaster," is due in early 2017.

* Kirkus Reviews - Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima [Starred Review]
Review Issue Date: February 15, 2016
Online Publish Date: February 2, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen

Chima revisits the Seven Realms for the next generation of warfare, intrigue, romance, and magic. Adrian "Ash" sul'Han, young prince of the Fells, has lost too much to the monstrous king of Arden and runs away to train as a wizard healer, devoting his spare time to assassination. Jenna Bandelow, destitute Ardenine coal miner, has suffered even more, and she joins the guerrillas rebelling against the crown. Years later their winding paths collide at the Ardenine court, with one a slave and the other a prisoner. Between Ash's deadly skills and magical power and Jenna's saboteur training and mysterious magemark, together they might achieve the vengeance neither could accomplish alone….A welcome return for loyal fans and a splendid jumping-on point for new ones. Both will be panting for the next installment. (Fantasy. 12 & up) Flamecaster Review

Vilma's Book Blog review of Flamecaster, posted March 29, 2016

Chima’s distinctive plot and character depth, along with her slow-build tension accentuated by pulse-pounding, heart-rending scenes, makes this a novel impossible to put down. I love her twisty, slowly unraveling brand of storytelling, her world building, her clear mastery of forging an epic fantasy readers are sure to follow. I know I’ll follow her anywhere, especially as she sets it up for exciting, sinister things to come. A definite must-read for fantasy lovers, and an immediate favorite this year!

It’s easy to die, Mageling… It’s staying alive that’s hard work.


School Library Journal, March 2016 - CHIMA, Cinda Williams. Flamecaster.
544p. (Shattered Realms: Bk. 1). ebook available. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. Apr. 2016. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780062380968.

Gr 8 Up – Set in the same world as the “Seven Realms” books (Disney-Hyperion), this series opener starts with Adrian sul’Han (Ash) fleeing into exile after the death of his sister on the battlefield and the murder of his father before his eyes. He is determined to kill the person behind it all, the king of Arden—a goal he unwittingly shares with Jenna, a girl from an oppressed mining town who bears a strange birthmark. Jenna’s two closest friends were killed in a confrontation with the king, and now she will stop at nothing to take him down. But when Ash must escape the place he has been hiding and the king begins to hunt down a girl with Jenna’s birthmark, fate flings the two together and catapults them into greater danger. Readers do not have to be familiar with Chima’s other books to jump right into this new series, but those who love the world she built in the “Seven Realms” will enjoy getting to live in it once more…. VERDICT A solid fantasy story for fans of the genre.–Gretchen Kolderup, New York Public Library

Flamecaster Awards

Flamecaster debuted on the New York Times Best Sellers List for YA Hardcover April 24, 2016