Of Fire and Stars was looked forward to as a great book in the LGBT genre. Lesbian romance in the popular YA genre is not very common. So, it was a big disappointment for me when it didn’t turn out as good as I’d hoped. And this is why…
The plot was fairly predictable. It’s one used in so many novels. Political espionage, arranged marriages, and lots of ridiculous decisions. The King and his advisors make decisions that make no sense. They decide to not bother investigating a murder, because they want to start a war. They deliberately ignore evidence to the extreme. Plus, the world wasn’t developed well at all. There was a lot going on politically that was unexplained and didn’t make sense. Like why the sudden decision to hate magic users? Anyway, there’s a lot that wasn’t developed. The only thing that makes this novel unique is the lesbian romance.
The writing style of Of Fire and Stars was very unremarkable. There was plenty of cliches, but not enough that it significantly bothered me. It was easy to see that it was her first novel. Her voice isn’t very developed yet. I feel like she has potential here.
Denna is a very flat character. She’s the traditional good girl in every book. She likes reading and playing the harp and that’s about it. She is pretty flat until the end when she discovers her courage and lets loose her magic for real. Her magic is the unique thing about her that kept me interested. Her character could use some development though.
Mare is Denna’s opposite in the most traditional of ways. She is basically a twelve-year-old tomboy. She’s over the top, rude, and childish. She loves horses and her nickname is Mare. Too much, just too much. There’s a point when she’s upset and she turns to make a face at a guard who’s walking away. She throws a shoe at her door when she’s upset. She makes a big scene, then doesn’t understand why no one takes her seriously. It took me a long time to even stop being bothered by her childishness.
He has no depth of character. All his character is, is a prince. He has no personality besides that. Honestly, that’s most of the side characters in a nutshell. Their role in the story is their complete personality.
I’m not going to name him so I don’t spoil it for anyone who wants to read it, but I was disappointed in him. I liked him better before it came out that he was the villain. No spoilers, I just wish there was more likable adults in Of Fire and Stars.
The best part! There was no insta-love at all! Mare and Denna’s relationship starts out slow. Mare doesn’t initially like Denna. Denna initially is intimidates by Mare. They spend a lot of time together and slowly grow closer. Denna and Mare have a few intimate moments before they finally admit their feelings for each other. When they do finally admit that they love each other. It’s really quite sweet. The only thing about their love that bothered me is that they sleep together while Denna is still engaged to the Prince. I get that you two are in love, but that’s not okay. Mara and Denna both show little remorse for this, even when Prince Thandi finds out. He’s devastated! But both girls don’t care at all. Overall though, their love story is passionate and sweet, but it wasn’t enough to carry the story.
It was a disappointing read, honestly. Of Fire and Stars was billed as a a fantastic LGBT novel and it didn’t live up to the hype.
Have you read it? What did you think? Feeling curious? Buy it here.
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