Monday, December 26, 2016

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

Of Fire and Stars
Audrey Coulthurst
2/5 stars

Princess Dennaleia comes to the kingdom of Mynaria  to prepare for her marriage to the crown prince.  Mynaria is a horse-centered country, so she must learn to ride for her wedding ceremony, and is taught by her prickly, soon-to-be sister-in-law, Mare.   Denna is possessed of magic that is banned in Mynaira, leading to potential danger--or death.  Furthermore, a foreign power is attempting to assassinate Mynarian leaders, using magic.  Mare and Denna band together to search out the culprits, before Denna can be suspected, and end up falling in love along the way.

Despite how exciting it sounds, Of Fire and Stars is one of the most dull books I've read this year. The intrigue was slow to develop, then described in near mind-numbing detail, while the plot dragged on with nothing happening for most of the book.  I nearly gave up several times, only finishing it because it was recommended by a source I trust.

The horses that play such an important part in Mynaria also played a leading role in the book, with much attention paid to lessons, riding, grooming, and general discussion.  I'm not a horse person, so I found this a tedious filler.

The romance  grew in a natural and believable way, but the characters of Denna and Mare were not well-rounded, and at times seemed to be mere stereotypes.  The minor characters were even more stale, with very little personality to each.

By the end, when the action finally came, it was too little, too late.  I was past the point of being interested in the characters or the plot.

Overall, Of Fire and Stars was a book with great promise, but it failed to deliver.

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