REVIEW: FIRE DANCER BY CATHERINE JONES PAYNE

Fire dancer

Title: FIRE DANCER
Series: FIRE DANCER #1
Author: CATHERINE JONES PAYNE
Publication Date: OCTOBER 1, 2019
Rating: 5/5

SYNOPSIS

So You Think You Can Dance meets Storm Siren

Fire is a dangerous magic.

Sixteen-year-old Kyla is preparing for the test of her life: a high-stakes dance competition to win the role of principal dancer in the fire festival’s elite troupe. When she’s not sneaking off into the woods to practice forbidden magic, that is. Among her people, only the men are entrusted with the mysteries of magecraft. But Kyla’s been learning in secret for ten years, and she’s never backed down from a challenge.

As danger ignites, Kyla must maintain a tight control on her magic. For more than her ambition is in peril. She must stay a step ahead of her enemies—a backstabbing dancer, a repressive council, and a crazed arsonist. If she can’t withstand the inferno, the people she loves most will die.

Fire Dancer is the heart-pounding first novel in a trilogy go YA elemental fantasy books. If you like fierce girl power, slow-burn romance, and harrowing danger, you’ll love Catherine Jones Payne’s fire world.My reviewThis one is actually pretty cool. It has a very unique concept, and an absolutely amazing world-building. Honestly, this is hands down the most easiest fantasy story to read and understand. It wasn’t complicated, and it doesn’t have too much of intense magical things going on like most fantasy stories do. This is basically the most simple fantasy story, and very much entertaining.

The whole time I read this book, I was like, “damn, must’ve been so hot living in Orivesi due to all the fires.” The fires was deadly enough that it made me think who did it? And what was the purpose of the person for burning all those trees? I was still wondering about it, and the story doesn’t reveal too much information on that one, except for it was the work of an arsonist—someone who couldn’t control their own magic due to anger or frustration.

The magic here is mainly fire magic. There wasn’t a mention of other magic, and although there was a mentioned of earth wizards and water witch, the story doesn’t reveal what powers do they have. Both the earth wizards and water witch have minor roles in the story, which is fine by me since this isn’t about them. But it was nice to see some of the earth wizards communicating with Kyla in the story, even for a brief moment.

To me, the fire magic is dangerous if no one can contain or control it, like what happened when an arsonist lose their temper. Even though this story doesn’t have a villain or the big bad, I still feel like the arsonist is the main threat. I don’t see the arsonist as the villain just yet since their purpose of burning down all those trees hasn’t been revealed. But, with the arsonist couldn’t control their magic, they will probably causing more chaos and threatening the lives of others in Orivesi. Perhaps the sequel will reveal more about this arsonist, who are they and what is their purpose. The mystery is still huge, and it just makes me so eager to read the sequel.

The story can also be stressful due to all the rules that the characters has to follow. Like for example; female in the Fintan clan can’t be a mage, and they can’t practice magic. Their only option is to be a fire dancer, get married and have children. No wonder Kyla easily get stressed. Whatever they wanted to do, they need to wait for the answers from the council. The council was very strict, and their rules makes it more hard for females in the Fintan clan to have their own freedom. Honestly, I wasn’t fond of the council and their rules. I’m all for Kyla breaking all the rules and changing histories, because she along with the female members of the clan deserved better.

And not to mention her mother doesn’t help her situation either. I just dislike Kyla’s mother, and never get her intention. She wanted to pair Kyla with a guy who she doesn’t have feelings for. I’m so frustrated with her mother throughout the story. At one point she said, ”you’re not as valuable as you are now in the marriage market.” She said that to Kyla, her 16-year-old daughter! I’m so furious, because it hurts me seeing Kyla’s mother only see her daughter as a girl who she can easily sell to some other guy for marriage, instead of seeing her daughter as a bright and brilliant girl with a lot of talents. Kyla isn’t even legal yet, and all her mother can think of is to get Kyla to settle down and have her own family. I’m so disgusted!

Kyla like I said is a bright and brilliant young girl. She has a lot of talents when it comes to dancing and magic. As the heroine of the story, she is hands down one of the best heroine. She’s so fierce, and doesn’t back down so easily. I was glad that she stood up for herself when her mother was pressuring her about marriage, and I was also happy she did what she like to do without letting her mother’s words affect her. Kyla has shown too many times how miserable she was because of her mother and the council. I truly get her, because if I’m in her position, I would be miserable too if people try to force me to do what I don’t want to do. And also, if people try to make a choice for me when I’m capable of making my own choices.

I can relate to Kyla in so many ways. Aside from that, she was also the first girl to ever change the history of the Fintan. There was a twist about her magic and what she really is. I truly didn’t see that coming. Through her sacrifice, and selflessness, she has become something more than just a legend. She has become something so powerful that made her worthy, and something bigger than when she was a fire dancer. When she made the council listen to her and agree to her requests, that was the moment that proved she’s better off as a mage than a dancer. And it was also the moment that marks her as the first female mage, the only teenage girl who changed the rules of the council and the first girl in Fintan history to opens up the door to so many possibilities for the future of the female in the Fintan clan. I can’t wait to see what she will do in the sequel, and how she will handle her new powers. I’m so excited to see her development.

Nolan is an amazing guy. He’s so patient, so selfless, and an all-round a great guy. His personality and kind attitude are what makes me like his character more. I really loved how patient he was with Kyla, and how he never pressuring her to make a decision regarding her future. He stood out the most, and I really find him so interesting. Seeing him cry broke my heart, and I was weak seeing when it comes to seeing him in tears. It was sad that he wasn’t part of the Fintan clan, even though he has Fintan blood in him. The fact that he and his siblings had to face the consequences of their father’s action saddens me. He could have a great life living with the rest of the Fintan clan, but I was happy that Kyla managed to help him in the end. Things will change for the better, I hope so!

There are so many potential that his character can reach. He’s a great mage, and know how to properly control his own powers. He even teach Kyla, and to me he’d shown how great of a mage he already is. I can’t wait to see what will happen to him and his siblings next, and what kind of task he will have to do as a Fintan mage. I really admired his magic skills, and I want to see more of it.

There are no romance in this book, but fingers crossed there will be one in the sequel. I’m hoping for Nolan and Kyla. It was obvious since the beginning that these two like each other but not in a friendly way. It appeared that way, but as the story went on, what they felt for each other changed. It was pretty transparent to see the shift in their feelings. Kyla obviously has romantic feelings toward Nolan and so does Nolan to Kyla. Their attraction was undeniable, and I loved how through their strong friendship bond, they eventually develop a strong romantic feelings for one another. Now let’s just hope Kyla’s mother doesn’t do something that try to separate these two.

I hope the sequel will bring more happiness to these two. Kyla and Nolan truly deserve each other, and as much as I love their strong and precious friendship, I also would like to see them as a couple. I want to see how they will handle their relationship, not just as friends but as two people who are in love with one another. These two are so compatible in a lot of ways, and the fact that they still keep on seeing each other despite the protest from Kyla’s mother was quite funny to me, but also it was nice seeing them spending their time together. Kyla is a rebel and that’s one of the many reasons why I really like her character. She really doesn’t care what her mother said, and still keep on seeing Nolan. I’m happy they never stop seeing each other, and also I was glad that they talk about the future and what they want to do together. Honestly, I’m more excited to see what will happen between them, and I hope great things are waiting for them next.

Aside from that, this book also shown a great bond between two sisters. As much as Nolan and Kyla’s friendship is important, the bond between Kyla and her sister, Brienna, is also important. I loved the heart-to-heart talk these two always had, and how Brienna has been so supportive of Kyla and give her some advice regarding what choice she has to make in her life. I feel like the only one who understands Kyla are Nolan, her sister and her father. These three are the most important people in Kyla’s life. Seeing Brienna always talking with Kyla about life, love, and dancing was truly one of the best and memorable moments. I enjoyed seeing these two sisters sharing things that they don’t usually share with other people. I hope to see more of these two spending their time just talking about their lives in the sequel.

The whole story was very interesting, and the plot was really incredible. There are so many great things happening in the story, but personally for me, Nolan and Kyla’s moments are the highlight of the story. I need to see these two teaming up together in the next book, and just make them do whatever mission the council ask them to do. I’m also interested to see Kyla exploring her new power and how she’ll cope with the fact that she’s not a dancer anymore. I’m looking forward to read the sequel after I was done with this one, it only up my excitement for the next book.

see you soon

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