Thursday, April 18, 2013

Fireblood (Fireblood #1) by Trisha Wolfe: review

Goodreads rating: 4.85
Paperback328 pages
Expected publication: October 8th 2013 by Spencer Hill Press
Series: Fireblood #1
Genre: Young Adult fantasy
Source: for review from the author

To save a kingdom, Zara must choose between a prince who could be the answer and a rising rebellion that threatens to take control.

When Zara Dane is chosen to marry Prince Sebastian Hart, son of the man who ordered her father’s capture, Zara knows she must fight to save everything she loves from ruin. 

Being betrothed to the prince means a life trapped behind the towering stone walls of the Camelot-forged realm. Under the watchful eye of the prince's first knight, Sir Devlan Capra, changing her future becomes difficult. 

When an unlikely rebel reveals the truth about the deadly secrets that fuel King Hart’s twisted world, Zara’s path to rescue her father becomes clouded by deception. The Rebels clear her path by forcing Zara’s hand with an ultimatum: sway Prince Sebastian to join the Rebels, convincing him of his father’s evil nature, or they will take him out. 

But Zara is uncertain about a future under the Rebels’ command and where the prince’s heart truly lies. She must decide who to trust, what to believe, and what she’s truly fighting for before the king destroys all of Karm, including her heart.

WARNING: I read this as a beta reader, so some of my problems I have with the book may have been fixed.

Trisha Wolfe has created a magical world made of Camelot, dystopian and sci-fi, mixed with a sizzling romance between a queen-to-be and her betrothed's delicious first knight. I was lucky enough to be chosen as a beta reader for Fireblood, but because of this I really had no idea what to expect. It turns out there's a lot to love about this book! First off, I am in love with this cover. Devlan (or at least I assume its Devlan) looks really hot and the appropriate age for how he's described in the book. And the background with the castle is just as I imagined it. The setting is also beyond awesome. It's basically a high tech Camelot, named Karm. We're started off with Zara and her best friend, who was really well-developed for the small part that she had in the book. Zara is keeping her father a secret, because he's sick and no one knows about it. But when Zara is picked to be married to Prince Sebastian Hart, her father is captured (an order given by Sebastian's tyrannical father), and whenever someone with the disease is taken, they never come back. The creepy thing is that he has to always stay inside the house because the king has cameras everywhere, watching all the time. Needless to say, there's a rebellion underneath the surface for a reason. That's why, when she ends up being sort of recruited by the rebels, they ask her to convince Sebastian that his father is corrupt and therefore he should join the rebels, or they'll kill him. One way or another, change is coming to Karm, and Zara is a part of it whether she wants to be or not. That's one thing I loved about Zara. She had some really difficult decisions to make, and she never took them lightly.

I never really liked Sebastian (though I don't think we're supposed to), so there was never really a love triangle for me. It's more like Zara has come to care for Sebastian as a friend because she knows there's something about him that's not like his controlling father. Sebastian is actually a lot like his father in his basic instincts, but you could tell he was trying to change, and that's what made me care about what happened to him. Devlan definitely has my heart, though. He's typically standoffish at first, but he's forced to be around Zara because of Sebastian's command that she learn the palace life, which he cannot help her with himself. I loved the budding romance between these two. While Zara is trying to fend off Sebastian's advances, she spends more and more time with Devlan. He doesn't seem to think much of her at first, and she kind of hates him because of that, but as they spend more time together, they come to like each other and enjoy each other's company. And despite a big secret that Devlan is keeping that involves Zara, they challenge each other and make each other stronger, and so they fall in love. Devlan is definitely a fictional boyfriend, and I can't wait to read about him again in the finished copy!

And, of course, there's always court politics, and other people out to get Zara, including a girl that is after Sebastian and has been since before Zara got there. I forget her name, but she's really the least of Zara's worries. Once Zara is recruited by the rebellion, she has little time to first decide if she even wants to be in it and make the commitment to be a true traitor to her country, and then decide how far she has to go in order to convince Sebastian that he has to join the rebels and that his father is completely corrupt. But Sebastian is pretty pig-headed, and is obviously infatuated with Zara even thought she wants nothing to do with him and honestly creeped me--and Zara--out. Luckily, she has Devlan as a distraction and as protection. He obviously has to keep up appearances around Zara, but it gets more difficult as they fall harder for each other. The world-building in this book was amazing! Seriously, just imagine Camelot (the dress, the language, everything!) and then add dystopian technology and corrupt politics. It's really difficult to put this in one single genre, but that's a good thing! I only had a few things that I thought needed fixing, but they're either spoilery or they've likely been fixed since I read it in December of last year. I did feel like pacing was off at times, but that was really about it. This story is very intriguing, and I can't wait to read this again, and then see what happens next

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