Unfortunately, this will be my last post for FaRoFeb. I’d hoped to get a few more books read and reviewed, but alas. I just read other things instead. I’m pleased that I did manage at least two books. And I do still plan on reading most of the others that I listed in my post. Just not the wizard one as that was a DNF. Yikes.
A Fate Of Wrath & Flame is a New Adult Fantasy Romance novel by K.A. Tucker, who may be better known for her contemporary romance. This book follows Romeria, a gifted thief who has been living on the streets since she was a teen. On a job one night, she runs into a mysterious woman who tells her she has a job for her. Not wanting to take it on but not having a choice, Romeria goes along with her. The mission turns out to be in another world on the verge of war and filled with elemental magic. Romeria’s quest should be simple. She has to steal a stone from a sacred garden. But the identity she has assumed turns out to be that of a captured Princess, an enemy who had just poisoned the previous King and Queen. Not to mention the fiance of the new one. Romeria winds up pulled into a scheme by the King, but that’s fine by her. It might just allow her to complete her mission.
The first thing I obviously have to talk about is romance. In Zander’s mind, this is a second-chance romance. But as a reader, we know that this Romeria is different. You understand why Zander doesn’t want to trust her. You get why none of the characters trusts her, actually. But Romeria is also having to come to terms with this identity. This world is different, and the real princess committed some horrific crimes. Due to these reasons, the romance is obviously a bit of a slow burn. They are attracted to each other pretty early on, but some things put Romeria off Zander at first. He has secrets from her, things that wouldn’t be a secret to anyone from their world, and it makes things strained. But that was also what made it kind of interesting. It’s hate-to-love but not necessarily in a way you usually expect to see. The hate is somewhat due to the way he treated her. But also due to things he can’t change. Things she learns to accept because it’s just down to differences in their worlds. I quite liked that, as it meant that there was some character growth.
With this book going from our world to another, world-building was important. With Tucker mostly being a contemporary romance author, you wouldn’t assume that world-building is her strong point. Yet she did a great job in this one. This is a world with multiple species, countries and people, all unlike our own. Their customs are different, and though there are some that Romeria understandably can’t abide by, a lot of it she comes to accept. The things she doesn’t like? Xander and many others aren’t a fan of either and wish to change. I will note that many of these issues do relate to slavery and even sex trafficking. So if that’s something you’re not comfortable reading, this won’t be the book for you. Tucker does it in a way that you feel for those characters, and like Romeria, you want to see changes made.
Romeria is someone poor and out on the street. She knows what it’s like to have nothing, but now she’s instantly been raised to have everything. We know this will make her a good Queen, and it was wonderful to see her coming into that role. Yes, technically, it’s a role that belongs to someone else. But that’s also why you know she’ll do a great job of it.
The other fantasy elements of this plot lead to plenty of court intrigue and interesting magic. The characters are mostly elementals, but seers and healers are featured too. The magic system is somewhat limited with the possibility of powerful characters. You get plenty of information regarding the magic, as Romeria needs to learn, but I definitely want to learn more. And I’m pretty sure we’ll be getting that in book two.
If you’re looking for a fantasy romance with monster elements, then this is one for you. I can’t go into too much detail as spoilers, but the gods of this world have created monsters. You’ll come across demon-like monsters that hunt humans. You’ll also see some more human-looking monsters that you might not quite be expecting. I know I wasn’t. I enjoyed the twists and the backstory behind these elements, and I think it was really well done. These monster elements impact the path Romeria chooses, as well as the romance itself. This book has been compared to From Blood and Ash, and with these elements, I can see why. But I think that perhaps A Fate of Wrath and Flame was more to my preference.
I listened to this book in audio and I will admit that even though it’s not that long, it did take me over a week to get through. Usually, I’d say that’s a bad thing, but it actually worked in this book’s favour. I was able to slow down and really enjoy the book rather than feeling like I wanted to finish it as soon as possible. I was able to stop listening for a few days, yet when I picked the book back up? I wasn’t at all lost, and I didn’t need to go back at all. This was a book I could dip in and out of.
After finishing the first one, I want to continue with this series. The second book is out in July 2022, so it’s one I’m going to think about putting on preorder. And even if I don’t? I’ll definitely be reading it at some point. After the ending, I’m curious as to where the magical elements and plot are going to go. I also want to see how the romance develops now that Romeria’s secret has been revealed.
Title: A Fate of Wrath & Flame
Author: K.A. Tucker
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Age Range: New Adult