Book Review: Her Crown of Fire by Renee April (ARC)

Her Crown of Fire

Author: Renee April

Publication Date: 01 November 2019

Genre: YA Fantasy

Pages: 387

Publisher: Write Plan

In the dull, everyday world, seventeen-year-old Rose Evermore struggles to plan beyond her final year of high school. But when fire suddenly obeys her every command and her dreams predict the future, she becomes hungry for more of this strange power.

Under her dreams’ guidance, Rose lands in the fantasy realm of Lotheria–with a tagalong. Tyson, her best friend since childhood, winds up there with her, just as confused and a hell of a lot more vulnerable. In Lotheria, Rose is welcomed and celebrated as a fire mage at the Academy, while the very un-magical Tyson is forced into hiding under threat of death from the headmasters of Rose’s new school.

As Rose’s talent in fire magic draws unwanted attention and Tyson struggles to transition from high school student to blacksmith, Rose must find a way to return Tyson to their own world before the headmasters discover and execute him–no matter the cost.

I immediately gravitated towards this book because of the synopsis. I mean a girl who can command fire? A secret magical academy in another world? Yes please! 

Her Crown of Fire opens with Rose and Tyson in the human world (the Other). Rose realizes that she’s able to command fire. When she tries to show her mom and grandmother, they want her committed to the psych ward. Rose escapes and she finds herself in Lotheria with her best friend Tyson…they are definitely a long way from Kansas, I mean home. 

The way that Rose and Tyson entered Lotheria reminded me of how Quentin discovered Brakebills in The Magicians. One moment they were in the human world, the next, not so much. The similarities stop there though. Those in power in Lotheria are the mages of the Academy. The non-magi are not even allowed to mingle with the mages, as this is punishable by death. 

I’ll admit, when I first heard about The Academy, I was like sign me up, but it’s essentially a glorified prison. If children show any magic, they are taken from their families to study at The Academy. They have no say in the matter, and while you’re there you must obey their every wish. Oh, and after you graduate you must repay your debts to them. These debts range from wage garnishing and unable to travel for a decade or to sacrificing your life in war. 

This book really blew me away once I oriented myself in Lotheria and what was happening. Lotheria is frighteningly dark, and the author doesn’t shy away from gore and violence. The world building is incredible. I was able to completely immerse myself in this story, and I felt like I was at Rose’s side trying to fight for her friends. There’s so much betrayal and sacrifice in this book. Every time I thought I finally understood where the plot was going, more twists, turns, and revelations where thrown my way. 

Overall, Her Crown of Fire is a fantastic debut by Renee April, which immerses you into a dark fantasy world dripping in magic, blood, secrets, and betrayal. I can’t wait to see where the series goes from here.

Thank you to Write Plan for providing an ARC. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

Get your copy of Her Crown of Fire here.


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