ARC Review: Fireblood

Fireblood by Trisha Wolfe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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.

The premise of Fireblood is a blending of historical into a dystopic world. The citizens of Hart live in accordance with how Camelot was, only difference being they have a tyrannical king who monitors their actions via cameras. I get why they would want to establish a society as per King Arthur’s kingdom but why would they go the extra mile with all the period costumes and everything? They even drive horse carraiges for gods sake, while the King’s Force can use tasers, communicators and all. The disparity between the ruling and the ruled is depicted well but I don’t get why the people agreed to it in the first place. So, I had a fundamental conflict with the developmental of the society itself, which is a crucial factor when it comes to dystopia.

Zara is engaged to the prince Sebastian and being brought up by a Rebel father, she despises the king and doesn’t want to be the princess. When she enters the palace, she finds herself deeper into the Rebel’s plot to overthrow the King and the prince she is supposed to bring over to their side is not all that good. He has a mean streak a mile wide, is extremely temperamental and basically a spoiled rich brat. She still sees some goodness in him (how?) and hopes that he can be the King that Karm needs. Zara, as a character, was a good heroine – she adapts to her situation fast, isn’t afraid of a little violence to get things done and fortunately, doesn’t get all caught up in her emotions. She is ruthless when needed and even-tempered when needed. Same for Devlan – he wasn’t being all “I will protect you because you need to be” and all which was good. He let her do her thing, he did what was required of him. The romance was predictable like the storyline, so I didn’t really enjoy it much. Also, I couldn’t really get the characters – they just had so many mood swings, particularly Devlan and Sebastian. Other characters don’t really play much of a role, which is sad because I would have loved more of Xander and Fallon.

The writing however was pretty good, which more than made up for the predictable plot. I enjoyed reading it depsite having an inkling of what might happen next, and I found this the best part of the book. The storytelling was rich enough to cover up any other shortcomings – it told the story beautifully whichever way you look at it, dystopian or historical. While I wasn’t really convinced on the merge of the two genres, I would still pick up the sequel readily as it seems to be quite an interesting series.

Received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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