Thursday, August 23, 2012

Daughter of the Flames by Zoë Marriott

Yeah, I know, my updates are pretty random. I'm working on it, sorry. Anyway...
Zahira is a young woman of the conquered Rua people, their country occupied by another, very different culture - the Sedorne. Zahira is an orphan and has been raised to despise and distrust the occupying population, as well as to be a devout follower of the native religion. But everything changes for Zahira when her home and foster family are destroyed and she finds out some shocking truths about her heritage and real family. Realizing that it is up to her to do something about the violence and upheaval that are tearing her country apart, she must learn to accept her Sedorne origins and try to bridge the gap between the warring cultures. But when her own people suspect her of treachery for her ideas - especially after she saves the life of a Sedorne nobleman and begins to fall in love - the epic task ahead of her seems insurmountable...
I think this book is pretty underrated. I don't know anyone who's read it, and it seems to kind of fly under the radar. I really liked it, though. It has a Graceling-esque feel to it, combined with The Girl of Fire and Thorns. There's a review of both in the archives somewhere if you haven't read them. Now, I can't give it equal status to Graceling, because Graceling's just that good, but I can say that it was a very good book and I would happily read it again. It has that somewhere-in-Asia, timelessly old feel that sometimes comes with a fantasy novel, and the visuals are excellent. Religion plays a fair part in this, but it fits right into the setting and characters. As a pretty nonreligious person, I can tell you that it didn't detract from the book at all; quite the opposite, it helped shape the main character and enriched the story. The supporting characters were charismatic, though they could have been a tad more developed. I would certainly recommend reading this, there's a copy at Kettleson.

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