This book is on fire! (spoiler-free review)

Title – For a Muse of Fire

Author – Heidi Heilig

Rating – 4/5

Release Date – September 25th, 2018

Publisher – Greenwillow Books

Format – ARC received for free from publisher (Harper Collins Canada / HCC Frenzy) in exchange for an honest review

Hello friends! Long time no see, I know! I am finally free from the claws of exam season and am starting a new semester with (hopefully) more time to read and blog! I have a jam-packed semester (my last one of high school eeek) but I’m hoping that I can manage my time better to make room for what I love. Anyways, now onto my review.

For a Muse of Fire¬†is the first in a new trilogy following a girl named Jetta, a member of the family that has the title of the most talented shadow players. Behind the screen Jetta can make it seem as if the puppets are moving without any string. Jetta’s secret is that she can see the souls of beings both human and animal and bind them to the puppets with her blood. This must be kept secret because these are the old ways, and the old ways are forbidden since the colonizing army took control of their country. Jetta must never let anyone discover her secret, her skill and fame are her family’s only hope. The hope that they can make enough to get to Aquitan where shadow plays are insanely popular and where the King is rumoured to have something that can cure illness, a cure that Jetta so desperately needs. Things change when the rebellion gains ground and Jetta meets a smuggler, with only danger and tough decisions to follow.

Sounds amazing, right? I KNOW! I ate this book up. The plot was so perfectly paced. Even in places that felt like nothing much was happening, the book just leaves a lingering thought that there is something crazy brewing. It is so addicting and just flies by. I would sit down to read a chapter and the next thing I knew I had read 100 pages! While it could technically have been a bit of a shorter book in my opinion, it did a fine job as a long book since it didn’t drag on.

The format of the book was also really cool. I read it as an ARC, but I know that these little details will make so much of an aesthetic contribution in the finished copy (that I haven’t been able to get my hands on yet). There were chapters set up like a play, there were telegraphs and letters and poems at the beginning of each “Act” (yes, the book was set up like a play too where there were sections but they were referred to as acts?! I love it!). The poems added a lot of lyrical beauty to the story which I really appreciated.

There was a bit of the French language sprinkled throughout the book which I thought was really unique and personally found enjoyable. It added a lot of depth to the characters because when the characters used a different language they felt more expressive (revealed a bit of their personality).

This is a bit of a side note but there was a character list at the beginning with who the characters all were which was SO helpful!

I really loved the characters and Leo was especially adorable. Leo was very kind but also very mysterious. Jetta was quite the interesting character and I wish we got to know a bit more about her (I’m hoping the next book goes more into her development, which I’m predicting it will considering where the plot is going). I really appreciated the heavy focus on family as one of the main plot points because that is not seen enough in YA.

One of the things that I was not really a fan of throughout the book was that there were some things that just worked out a little too conveniently in my opinion. I understand that the author is trying to set up a trilogy, but considering the length of the novel I feel that there would have been a better way to make some of these situations play out a bit more realistically. The good thing about this is that the ending did not work out conveniently at all. It was kind of insane?! I’m really looking forward to the next book to see what happens!

The romance was definitely not the focus of the novel (which is also something that I appreciate since it is not seen much in YA either) which I am very glad about because it could have been bad. In my opinion is was developing really nicely (definitely not insta-lovey) but then all of a sudden things moved really quickly and kind of threw all of that nice development out the window. It made me sad but I’m hoping that the next book will take the pace back down with the romance.

I would really recommend this book to anyone looking for a unique and moderately paced fantasy read!

Have you picked this book up? If so, let me know your spoiler-free thoughts! If not, are you planning on picking it up? What was your first read of the year? Did you like it? What are you planning on reading in February? 

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