Fallen Flame by J.M. Miller is an action-packed YA fantasy story about a girl with magic, in a world without magic. The premise sounds a little unoriginal and now that I think back of it, the whole story isn’t really that original, it is a fun book though.
Fallen Flame by J.M. Miller
Nineteen years ago, on the island kingdom of Garlin, a girl was born. With charred skin as rough as rock, Vala was instantly feared. For how could one be scorched by magic when it had perished ages before?
Recognizing an asset, the royal family welcomed her on their Guard. Her detail: the prince.
To watch. To protect. She has grown with him, lives her life for him.
When the high kingdom’s princess comes to assess the prince, assassins of rival courtiers come to claim his life. One nearly succeeds in his mission. But with shadowy movements and charred skin like her own, Vala knows he is not like the rest.
As threats to the prince continue and questions about Vala’s life begin to rise, she faces a fear worse than fire or water, worse even than losing him.
She fears finding out who she truly is.
Fallen Flame is about Vala, a girl whose body is scorched by magic, meaning that her skin is rough, stone-like. Vala is the guard of the prince, called Caulden, who is also one of her best friends. They grew up together and are therefore really close. There is also some romantic tension between the two, which was an aspect I didn’t really like. It felt like an overused trope, the guard and the prince falling in love. Vala herself is an interesting character, though after reading this entire book, I still don’t know much about her. She’s determined, curious and protective but besides that? She lives for her work and especially in the beginning, I found her to be very one-dimensional. She had no interests besides protecting Caulden.
“My thoughts, my dreams, they had been nothing in comparison. They were a single drop of water, and this, the whole sea.”
The story itself was very enjoyable. It was fast-paced and there was a lot of action happening. I liked the introduction of Xavyn and the mystery surrounding him. He starts to play a very important role in the story and lead to Vala trying to find out more about her past. The ending still feels a bit strange for me, but considering it is the first book in a series, there will probably be a lot resolved in the other books.
“The feelings that had once lifted me, that I’d once ached for, were like embers in the night fog, drifting into nothing, extinguished.”
I really liked the writing style of the book, it really kept you interested in the story. Many of the chapters ended in a sentence that was so intriguing that you wanted to read the next chapter immediately. I wasn’t a big fan of the first-person perspective, but that is just a personal thing.
Overall, this book wasn’t a bad start for a trilogy. I think the characters can really use some more development, and perhaps the next book will be a little less predictable. I enjoyed the writing style and the pacing of the book, but sadly, I couldn’t connect to any of the characters and they felt a little flat. Besides Vala’s skin condition, there was no diversity in this book. I am giving this book 3.5 stars because it was decent, but could have been a lot better.
*I received an ecopy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
p.s. If you hadn’t noticed yet, my blog design has changed!