Shimmer and Burn – Mary Taranta

Shimmer and BurnFrom the publisher, “Faris grew up fighting to survive in the slums of Brindaigel while caring for her sister, Cadence. But when Cadence is caught trying to flee the kingdom and is sold into slavery, Faris reluctantly agrees to a lucrative scheme to buy her back, inadvertently binding herself to the power-hungry Princess Bryn, who wants to steal her father’s throne.

Now Faris must smuggle stolen magic into neighboring Avinea to incite its prince to alliance—magic that addicts in the war-torn country can sense in her blood and can steal with a touch. She and Bryn turn to a handsome traveling magician, North, who offers protection from Avinea’s many dangers, but he cannot save Faris from Bryn’s cruelty as she leverages Cadence’s freedom to force Faris to do anything—or kill anyone—she asks. Yet Faris is as fierce as Bryn, and even as she finds herself falling for North, she develops schemes of her own.

With the fate of kingdoms at stake, Faris, Bryn, and North maneuver through a dangerous game of magical and political machinations, where lives can be destroyed—or saved—with only a touch.”

This nonstop political fantasy does not let the reader catch a breath!  On the first page, when Faris was only 6, her mother stabbed her.  Next, we are in the sewers for a dramatic escape gone horribly wrong.  Faris is a fantastic heroine, strong yet vulnerable and refuses to be the pawn that she seems to be to just about everyone.  North is the brave and gallant hero, doing his very best and against great odds.  There are no mis-steps in this book.  The sequel, Splendor and Spark will be published in the Summer of 2018.  I am eager to read what is next for Faris and North.  Highly recommend!

eGalley review                                                    Publication date 8.8.17

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