- Author: Sam Taylor
- Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
- Page Count: 416
- Publication Date: February 16th, 2021
A Brief Description
As electrifying as it is heartbreaking, Sam Taylor’s explosive fantasy debut We Are the Fire is perfect for fans of An Ember in the Ashes and the legend of Spartacus.
In the cold, treacherous land of Vesimaa, children are stolen from their families by a cruel emperor, forced to undergo a horrific transformative procedure, and serve in the army as magical fire-wielding soldiers. Pran and Oksana―both taken from their homeland at a young age―only have each other to hold onto in this heartless place.
Pran dreams of one day rebelling against their oppressors and destroying the empire; Oksana only dreams of returning home and creating a peaceful life for them both.
When they discover the emperor has a new, more terrible mission than ever for their kind, Pran and Oksana vow to escape his tyranny once and for all. But their methods and ideals differ drastically, driving a wedge between them. Worse still, they both soon find that the only way to defeat the monsters that subjugated them may be to become monsters themselves.
Note: I received this book from the author through Xpresso Book Tours. I wanted to thank them for this opportunity! If you click the link below, you can see the full schedule.
Xpresso Book Tours: Tour Schedule
So, it has been quite a bit since I’ve written a review, but I’m back again. Below is my review of We Are the Fire by Sam Taylor. This book was provided to me at no cost through Xpresso Book Tours, in exchange for a review. All thoughts below are my own.
This is a story told from the perspective of Oksana and Pran, two members of the Tuliikoberts army, who were stolen away as young children and transformed into ruthless killers of the Emperor’s army of fire wielders. Pran dreams of freedom, of rebelling against their oppressors and destroying the empire, while Oksana dreams only of returning home. They uncover secrets about the future of the Emperor’s plans for the army and vow to end the tyranny once and for all.
The world-building in this was good and felt well fleshed out. The magic was interesting, and well thought out as well. The idea of these kids being stolen from their homes and being changed to have this magical fire to fight wars for an evil emperor was incredibly interesting to read about. You could tell that the author put a lot of effort into the magic system and the way that it irrevocably changed things for our characters. I wish that the environment itself, the country of Vesimaa for example, had a little bit more to it. I feel like we didn’t get to see a lot outside of the military fort of the Tuliikoberts. The military was ruthless and also built in a way that felt realistic. There was very tense conflict of those who were forced to undergo this transformation against the Commanders, and the Emperor. The tension felt just right. The fact that the tensions build and that the characters motivations are so different really made me want to keep reading. Their motivations and reactions to the events being so different was realistic and made them so much more complex.
Speaking of the characters, it took me a little bit to get into the individual voices of these characters, as it felt like their voices were very similar at first, but once I got into the book, it was easier to tell them apart. Pran fights hard for what he cares about and you can tell that he cares for Oksana and his friends very much. He’s also ruthless and will stop at nothing to ensure they are safe. Oksana is stubborn and also fights for what she believes in. She is cunning as well. She knows what she wants and will trick those in power to get it if she needs to. The romance was also already there before the book started, and I almost would have liked to see it develop on the backdrop of the revolution, but it was certainly a new thing to read about, as I haven’t read many books that have a romance that has already been established.
The plot was interesting as well. The pacing was a little stilted. I felt like there were some periods where nothing was happening, and those dragged, and then it would pick up to an almost breakneck pace. I think that besides that, the plot was good. There were some unexpected twists that left me with my mouth hanging open. This is a standard YA Fantasy novel that I think many will love. I’m not going to go to deep into this since I don’t want to give any spoilers. I feel like the comparison to Ember in the Ashes is apt. I’d say it’s a mix of Shadow and Bone and an Ember in the Ashes, mixed with the tale of Spartucus. I’d say if you liked any of those stories, you’ll love this one.
Overall I liked this one. I’d highly recommend this to anyone who loved the above mentioned comparisons. Let me know if you read this, and what you think. Don’t forget to sign up for the giveaway below! You can win a print copy of We are the Fire by Sam Taylor! (Pst, it’s also open internationally). What have you been reading lately?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sam Taylor grew up in Arizona’s deserts and now lives among Connecticut’s trees. She spends her days writing, being mom to the world’s cutest boys, whirling through dance workouts, and baking too many cakes. She does not possess fire magic, but does have one fire-colored cat. We Are the Fire is her debut novel.
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This has been my stop on the We Are The Fire Book Tour! Check out the schedule posted at the beginning of this post to check out more posts by other content creators on this tour!