Monday, November 7, 2016

Review: Burn the Sky by Jaye McKenna

Prince Garrik is the Heir Presumptive of Altan, next in line to be crowned Wytch King. There’s only one problem: in order for Garrik to be crowned, he must possess Wytch power of his own, and thus far, whatever power Garrik might possess has shown no sign of awakening. As things stand, it is Garrik’s younger brother, Jaire—a dreamer completely unsuited to wear the crown—who will take the throne after their father.

Things come to a head when the Wytch King, who has grown increasingly impatient with the situation, demands that Garrik’s power be forcibly awakened. Hoping to protect his brother from the burden of rule, Garrik allows the attempt—with disastrous results. Now, Garrik must learn to control the fiery dragon that rages within him before he destroys everything he loves.

Wytch Master Ilya has been alone for years. Learning to control the icy beast slumbering deep within him has already cost him his family and his lover, and Ilya will never open himself up to that kind of pain again. Summoned to Altan to avert disaster if he can, Ilya has no intention of allowing anyone to thaw the ice in his heart. When he meets Prince Garrik, sparks fly, and Ilya finds himself fighting feelings he’d thought long buried.

Can Garrik’s fire melt Ilya’s icy heart? Or will Ilya be forced to use his ice to quench the flames that burn within Garrik once and for all?

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My Review:
3 stars

I had conflicting feelings regarding this book. While it sets up an interesting world full of entertaining characters and awesome magic that I would love to see more about, I also felt a bit let down. First, I loved the characters. I enjoyed getting to see the book from both Garrik's and Ilya's point of view, as it really helped me connect with both characters. Ilya especially ended up stealing the show for me, and I would love to learn more about him in a sequel. I also really liked both Jaire and Kian, and just want to see all of these characters again.

I also liked the plot progression here. Getting to see Garrik and Ilya in their own worlds before we saw them interacting helped build up the tension between the two which then blossomed into love. However, I had a problem with the timing in this book. The way the book was written, I thought that the training was taking days or weeks. Then all of a sudden, there was a mention that Garrik and Ilya had only been training for a week. This timeline didn't seem to match what had been happening and made me doubt the connection between Garrik and Ilya. It turned their relationship from being something that came about over time into insta-love/lust rather than lasting love. Plus, it made the ending feel a bit rushed since everything happened so fast afterwards.

I also felt that the ending of the book was anti-climatic and a bit of a let down. The book started out with a lot of promise, building up several conflicts that I thought were going to come into play later in the book. However, they didn't. I had a lot of questions at the end of this book and I'm not sure if the sequel will address them since it focuses on different characters. On the other hand, I really liked the end solution between Garrik and Ilya and I would love to see a sequel with these two (maybe set significantly in the future).

WARNING: Potential spoilers in this paragraph
For instance, I kept expecting them to do something about the Council. All the characters were complaining throughout the book about it, to the point where I wanted to know what they were going to do. The Council came across as a very manipulative organization, and I was expecting something more to be done with it than just some complaining.

Even with my mixed feelings about aspects of the book, I did enjoy it and will read the sequel to see if some of my questions are answered there. I also recommend this series to anyone looking for an interesting magic or dragon shifter read.

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