Review: Cast in Firelight
Title: Cast in Firelight
Series: Wickery #1
Author: Dana Swift
Date Published: January 19th 2021
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: YA Fantasy
Adraa is the royal heir of Belwar, a talented witch on the cusp of taking her royal ceremony test, and a girl who just wants to prove her worth to her people. Jatin is the royal heir to Naupure, a competitive wizard who's mastered all nine colors of magic, and a boy anxious to return home for the first time since he was a child. Together, their arranged marriage will unite two of Wickery's most powerful kingdoms. But after years of rivalry from afar, Adraa and Jatin only agree on one thing: their reunion will be anything but sweet. Only, destiny has other plans and with the criminal underbelly of Belwar suddenly making a move for control, their paths cross...and neither realizes who the other is, adopting separate secret identities instead. Between dodging deathly spells and keeping their true selves hidden, the pair must learn to put their trust in the other if either is to uncover the real threat. Now Wickery's fate is in the hands of rivals..? Fiancées..? Partners..? Whatever they are, it's complicated and bound for greatness or destruction.
A book that advertises arranged marriage and hidden identities? Yes, please. I was very excited about this one, it promised a lot of fun and magic and it did not disappoint. Cast in firelight was a great read, set in a world where people who have a ‘Touch’ can cast certain types of coloured magic, it gave me excitement, magic battles, sleuthing, and ya romance. I loved the magic concept; it was easy to follow and a fun way to show/ explain the different types of magic. This was a nice change from the complex magic systems some books portray.
Adraa and Jatin were our main characters, and I loved them both. The book gave us dual POV and it great to see both sides of their experiences and how they were both viewing the situation. Adraa was such a great MC, she was fierce, stubborn, and determined as she moved through life, fighting for what she believes in whilst also dealing with her own concerns and insecurities. Jatin was powerful, determined, and kind, I loved how much heart he had and that he showed this consistently throughout. I really enjoyed the hidden identities aspect and that this gave our MC’s time to fall in love without the pressure that would have been present if they had known. This trope worked so well with the storyline and I really enjoyed seeing their relationship develop. However, as much as I did enjoy it, I wish the characters had found out the truth sooner as I was frustrated for having to wait so long as I was so invested!
The book mainly focussed on Adraa’s homeland, but we did get an idea of the other lands and the political situation between them. The author showed us that each land/ country had its own problems and that each society was divided for different reasons and they each suffered for those reasons. I really liked that each land had a different way to set the social order, be it power superiority, religious beliefs that some Gods were better than others, or just whether people had any magic or not. This was added an extra layer and I hope that this gets explore further in the sequel.
The overall villain and the plot were both great, the story flowed easily, and each chapter had value and added to the story. Overall, the book had great writing, entertaining characters, a fast-moving storyline, and an intriguing world. I would definitely recommend it for people looking for an easy, enjoyable, and magical read, and I am already very excited for the sequel.
Rating: 4.5 Stars