Book Reviews, Young Adult

Shimmer & Burn by Mary Taranta | Book Review

32333246Title: Shimmer & Burn

Author: Mary Taranta

Series: Shimmer & Burn #1

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, High Fantasy, Romance

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Publication date: August 8th, 2017

Pages: 336

My ratingimg_1496


Faris grew up fighting to survive in the slums of Brindaigel while caring for her sister, Cadence. But when Cadence is caught trying to flee the kingdom and is sold into slavery, Faris reluctantly agrees to a lucrative scheme to buy her back, inadvertently binding herself to the power-hungry Princess Bryn, who wants to steal her father’s throne.

Now Faris must smuggle stolen magic into neighboring Avinea to incite its prince to alliance—magic that addicts in the war-torn country can sense in her blood and can steal with a touch. She and Bryn turn to a handsome traveling magician, North, who offers protection from Avinea’s many dangers, but he cannot save Faris from Bryn’s cruelty as she leverages Cadence’s freedom to force Faris to do anything—or kill anyone—she asks. Yet Faris is as fierce as Bryn, and even as she finds herself falling for North, she develops schemes of her own.

With the fate of kingdoms at stake, Faris, Bryn, and North maneuver through a dangerous game of magical and political machinations, where lives can be destroyed—or saved—with only a touch.


“The only thing my mothet left behind that night was my broken heart, awoken to the idea that there was gold in the world, that there was more.

And she wanted it more than she wanted me.”

I cannot tell you how excited I was to read this book. I bought it right before it came out, and since I was in a fantasy kick a few weeks ago (and still am) I decided to finally pick it up. And… I liked it, but it could have been better. I don’t know if my high expectations crushed because they were too high, or if it was the book that was the problem.

The main problem was that this book felt like a prologue instead of a first installment. Did I like the story? Well, sure. But it was so slow and most of the times it seemed like nothing was really happening. And that made me lose interest in the book as I kept reading it.

“What if after all this time, it wasn’t the beast in the dungeon I needed to fear, but the beauty who lived in the castle above him?”

I found very interesting how magic worked in this fantasy world. It was really fastinating to read more about it, and it was really well explained thoughout the book, I would say better as you continued reading it. There were differences between where she lived (I’m sorry I can’t remember the name, blame my shitty memory) and the outside world. Like, A LOT. And that was something that was really fun to read.

However, I hated the princess. Ugh, not only she was brat and annoying, but she was a shitty person as well. Let me tell you everytime she appeared I wanted to throw the book to the wall because I was mad and a very salty potato. I think I even hated her more once I finished the book. God… she was terrible.

I wasn’t a big fan of Faris, but holy guacamole, I pitied her sometimes because of the way she was treated. Sometimes I got why she didn’t raise her voice and fight, but other times? Well, let’s say it was a bit too much. Also the romance in this book was a bit weird. I mean, I still don’t fully get it, because it happened super fast and came out of nowhere.

“My palms are not on the floor, I tell myself, and I am not defeated. I am stronger than this.

I have to be.”

However, I loved the last hundred pages (I feel like that’s going to be a motto in most of my future reviews). Since you already knew a bit more about the world and the magic system, it all started to developed a bit faster and it took me less to get into the story.

I also saw a bit of development in our main character towards the end, and mayb that’s why I started to enjoy the story more. She fought back and not only that, but there was a really interesting base there for the next book, so I’m excited to see how everything’s going to perform.

Overall, even though the first half of the book was super slow and nothing really was hapenning, I still had a good time reading this book, and I think I’ll be picking the next installment once it comes out.


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