Book Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 / 5 stars)
Her whole life, Feia has been bullied and treated poorly at the Temple of Light, until one day she unleashes a dangerous spirit gift deep within her core: fire. That, coupled with the odd dreams she’s having about destruction in the Spire, sends her on a journey across the realm to prevent inevitable destruction. With the help of a hunter, Rhyode, and her dear friend, Vesta, Feia attempts to reach the Spire to prevent the destruction…as well as discover the truth about herself.
In a classic adventure fantasy, Fiona Jeeves takes us on Feia’s adventure to the Spire. The world building is carefully woven into the story, giving us a sense of who the Sisters of Light are, why certain people have spirit gifts, and who and what wants Feia captured and killed. It adds depth to Feia’s travels, and keeps the reader engaged throughout the entire story. The world that Jeeves built is well though out, making a very typical story unique in its own right.
On top of Jeeve’s fantastic world building, she is able to construct action scenes that really bring the reader into the moment. Fast paced, but with enough details, we not only get a sense of the action, but also a sense of Feia’s feelings and emotions, leading to how she herself perceives the battle and reacts to it. This is not easy to do, and I wanted to take a moment to compliment Jeeve’s this. For a brief moment, I was there with Feia amid the action, and my heart raced as each arrow flew and each defense fell.
Through the constant action, the reader is also made acutely aware of each of the character’s personalities: Vesta, the motherly, Rhyode, the brooding, and Feia, the typical perplexed and noble-hearted protagonist. While I do wish we could have sat with the characters away from the action, watching them banter or talk like young adults typically do, I still understood these characters at their core.
I think my only hang up on this novel was how rushed the ending felt compared to the first 65% of the book. The moment Feia and her companions arrive in the Spire it is constant revelation after revelation, without much time to build suspense or let it breathe. I would have preferred a longer encounter with the Spire Lord, especially with how he was built up throughout the story.
That being said though, while I wouldn’t call Burning Embers revolutionary, it is certainly an amazing start to The Shadow Returns series. We’re introduced to a world filled with spirits and power, and while I want to learn more about both Feia and Rhyode’s abilities, I anticipate I’ll discover much more in the next book.
So if you’re looking for a fantasy adventure that will set your life ablaze, look no further. This book is definitely worth the read.
Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What’s it about?
After years of bullying it is time for Feia to break free. A young woman haunted by nightmares of her homeland destroyed she seeks to prevent a terrible tragedy. Leaving behind all that she knew, she sets out to protect a family that abandoned her as an infant. Guided by visions of a future that no one believes and with a dangerous gift growing within, Feia has to learn that the most powerful thing in any world, is learning to love and accept who she is. Those who have the power to do that, have the power to do anything.
A young adult fantasy, with danger, romance and a desperate need for self-discovery.