Author: Rebecca Bapaye
A winter queen and prince of flame, bound together by fate.
Following a deadly attack on a druid grove, twenty-five-year-old Elia Kolenikova, queen of the Ice Realm, is the first and only monarch to take a stand against the fire priest order, a reclusive band of sorcerers with unlimited power. Determined to find a way to protect druids from further violence, Elia turns to the annals of history, tracing her knowledge of fire priests back to a time when a previous Ice Queen was intimately tied to the rise of the order. There’s just one problem: what Elia reads in those accounts may not be true.
To unravel the mystery, Elia needs more than an ally—she needs a fire priest. An immortal Ice Realm prince who’s been missing from the history books for centuries.
Syllian, like his father before him, sacrificed his mortal body to be born again in flames. Two thousand years later, he’s hunted at every turn by fire priests seeking revenge for his betrayal of the order. The threat means little until a rumor reaches him: Queen Elia Kolenikova is asking questions. About fire priests, about druids, and most dangerously of all, about the truth.
Emerging from the shadows could cost Syllian his life. But if he doesn’t, the lies and propaganda of the fire priest order will cost Elia hers first.
Legacy of Flame was a very entertaining unexpected read. I admit that I did not go into this novel with the highest expectations as there are many others that are similar on the surface. However, I was proven wrong very early on during my reading experience as I was almost instantaneously captivated by the entire novel and did not want to put it down. There is a companion prequel novella, Blood of Ice that gives further background to the story. Although I have not read it, I will definitely be returning to give a try. This was an excellent debut novel and I will gladly read more from this author.
The story follows Elia, queen of the Ice Realm, trying to do the best that she can for her people despite the many obstacles that exist in her past. She is kind and clever, yet still naïve at times, where she is also brave yet guarded. She is a very approachable and relatable character as she was a very relatable blend of flaws and perfection. Her quest in this story is to protect the Druid refugees in her land, a group that’s been historically oppressed by the mysterious Fire Priest order. Along the way she learns more about the Ice Realm’s past and finds new truths about her kingdom.
The world-building in this story was excellent as it was very easy to imagine the unique world the characters live. There are a few more details that I would have liked to learn about the magical orders and politics, but I realize that there is only so much that can be done in a standalone novel. On the other hand, it can at times feel like a lot of information as there are parts that feature some backstory 2000 years in the past. It was all greatly enjoyable, but just took my mind a little bit to adjust to reading each part. At times, I wished this was at least a duology as I wanted to learn more, but I also loved it as a standalone.
The story also featured Syllian, a fire mage that is over two thousand years old. He was an excellent character and I loved his interactions with any character. All the characters were written well and I liked that each of them had a unique voice where I could tell which character was speaking at any given time and did not have a need to be explicitly told. Although other readers may not feel the same for this point as they may prefer more distinction in the dialogue.
Overall, this was a greatly enjoyable novel. There is a lot packed in to the novel, but it generally easy to understand and follow. Like most novels, the pacing goes up and down a little as there is some slower bits with the world-building and faster portions where the action takes place. There are moments where I wanted a little more action as there are some portions where there is a threat of danger that does not come to fruition. There is still action though, but I just wanted a little more. This was a great novel for those that are fans of the genre and also for those that want to give it a try!
**I want to give a special thank you to Book Sirens and the author, Rebecca Bapaye, for a review copy of this very entertaining novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**