The first book in an epic, heart-pounding fantasy duology about two royal heirs betrothed to be married, but whose loyalties are torn, and a ruthless enemy who threatens their world, perfect for fans of Sabaa Tahir, Hafsah Faizal, and Renée Ahdieh.
Adraa is the royal heir of Belwar, a talented witch on the cusp of taking her royal ceremony test, and a girl who just wants to prove her worth to her people.
Jatin is the royal heir to Naupure, a competitive wizard who’s mastered all nine colors of magic, and a boy anxious to return home for the first time since he was a child.
Together, their arranged marriage will unite two of Wickery’s most powerful kingdoms. But after years of rivalry from afar, Adraa and Jatin only agree on one thing: their reunion will be anything but sweet.
Only, destiny has other plans and with the criminal underbelly of Belwar suddenly making a move for control, their paths cross…and neither realizes who the other is, adopting separate secret identities instead.
Between dodging deathly spells and keeping their true selves hidden, the pair must learn to put their trust in the other if either is to uncover the real threat. Now Wickery’s fate is in the hands of rivals..? Fiancées..? Partners..? Whatever they are, it’s complicated and bound for greatness or destruction.
Title: Cast in Firelight (Wickery, #1)
Author: Dana Swift
Publication Date: January 19, 2021
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
This book!!!! I was captivated from page one and absolutely addicted through the rest. This book was entertaining, insightful, and oh so romantic. I could recommend this book to you a million times and it wouldn’t be enough.
First, the humor in this book was top tier. Adraa, one of the main characters, was so hilarious. That’s what made me like her right off the bat. But she continued to impress me with her courage and fortitude. She was willing to do whatever it took to protect those she loved, including those in her kingdom, despite the weaknesses she had. Speaking of weaknesses, it was great to see her work through those throughout the book. One of the great weaknesses I loved watching her overcome was her perception of herself. Some of our greatest weaknesses can include the way we see ourselves and I love the way Swift wrote about this.
Now, onto our other main character, Jatin. sigh He was…wonderful. Amazing. Kind. Humble. So incredibly sweet. And 100% swoony. I loved that we got his POV throughout the book and not just Adraa’s. He also had such a strength to himself and I think that’s what originally drew me to him. He had many obvious strengths, like his ability to weld the 9 magics, but it was also his ability to admit when he was losing, to follow instead of lead all the time, to listen to others with an open mind. I just loved getting to know him and loved seeing him with Adraa even more. He’s a new favorite book boyfriend of mine.
The last character I want to briefly mention is Jatin’s dad. He’s just so cool! I really hope I don’t have to end up hating him in the next book because I loved getting to know him during this one. It will be interesting to see how his character is used in the coming book.
This world that was described was also so fun to get to know. I loved that things felt modern, but fantastical at the same time. I also love that it didn’t take forever for me to learn it. Some fantasy books have lavish and complex worlds that take me so long to learn that I just get bored and stop reading. This world was just familiar enough new enough to challenge me but familiar enough to encourage me to learn it all. I also felt like things were explained well and the world-building was done well enough that I could truly see things as I was reading. Phenomenal!
Lastly (and maybe most importantly) was the romance. This glorious slow-burn was heartachingly beautiful and had me wanting to yell, more than once, at the characters to just tell each other who they really were. Of course, this frustration is what I love the most about romances because it builds up the tension and makes their love confessions that much sweeter. I’m obsessed with Adraa and Jatin’s relationship and can’t wait to see how things progress in the next book.
Overall, this book had my heart-pounding from the action, made me a little teary-eyed from the romance, and shocked me more than once with the plot. I wish I could read this book again for the first time!!
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
About the Author
Dana Swift started making up fantasy worlds when she was eleven years old and hasn’t stopped since. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned degrees in English and Advertising. While in college, Dana competed as a saber fencer and learned a thing or two about fighting, parrying and how it feels to fall in love with your sparring partner. She currently lives with said husband in Miami, Florida.