I was so sure I was going to love this one.
Not surprisingly, it let me down, as books I have high expectations for tend to do. This was compared to An Ember In the Ashes, which I enjoyed, so this caught my attention. Unfortunately, I was let down, but there were still some aspects that I found interesting.
Sam Taylor ☾ February 16, 2021
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.
Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for providing an eARC of this book in exchange for a spot on this blog tour! This did not affect my opinions in any way.
All quotes are from an advance copy and may differ in final publication.
We Are the Fire follows Pran and Oksana, two of many who were taken from their families to serve in the army of Vesimaa. As their goals get in the way of their love for each other, they get tangled up in a web of lies, deaths, and corruption.
You’ve seen how quickly sparks can become a bonfire. And bonfires show little discretion in what, or whom, they devour–even the hands that made them.
Oksana is an alchemist who fiercely cares for those she loves, but blames herself for everything, even the things that are out of her control. Pran is the self-appointed ‘leader’ of the secret rebellion. Though he was a complex character to read about, he annoyed me at times. There was a character arc for both of them, but my lack of investment in both Oksana and Pran just slowed it down.
I felt disjointed from the romance, to say the least. Pran and Oksana already had an established connection when the book starts off, which didn’t allow much room for development and time for the two to get to know each other. However, it was captivating to see them in the ups and downs of their relationship, and how their hopes for their futures lead them farther away from each other.
Rebel with flame, and you die by flame.
The writing was rich and evocative, but some scenes felt so short, while others seemed to drag on forever. Although things got more interesting in the second half, the beginning was a bit too slow for my liking.
Overall, We Are the Fire was a solid debut and had an interesting concept, but it had so much more potential and I personally thought it was lacking in many aspects.
content warnings ☾physical, emotional, verbal abuse by adults toward children and teens (on-page), discussions of death and grief, violent burnings of property and people (on-page), body horror, vomiting, syringes and injections
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.
Xpresso Book Tours is giving away one (1) print copy of We Are the Fire to one (1) winner! The giveaway is open internationally until February 25. Enter here!!