Publishing Date: July 2019
Publisher’s Description: Only monsters summon fire by magic. It’s a sin against the sun god and a crime against the king. The punishment is death. But when sixteen-year-old Mina discovers fire magic runs in her family’s blood, it’s just the beginning of the secrets her father has been keeping from her. When her father is murdered, this half-starved peasant girl finds herself on the run—pursued across the desert by the soldiers and guards of the noble Houses. To survive, she knows she’ll have to abandon her past and learn the way of the sword. But only boys are allowed to carry a blade. There’s only one solution…
Review: The cover art is hideous.
This novel had everything I loathe and more. Super speshully main character, and “leering and sneering” bad guys smirking their way across the pages under an Oliver type story line.
Mina is an alley rat whom is not only gifted with powers she doesn’t want but somehow gets into a sword fighting academy disguised as a boy and proceeds to fool everyone of said. Right. She is slight of build but manages to kick ass against full grown, battle hardened men utilizing her “Sand Dance”. <Sigh>. Which you really have to accept on faith, as the Sand Dance fight scenes are clogged with a visual mirage where, through discernment, you find that nothing makes sense.
The supporting caste either suck outright (i.e.: Snidley Whiplash) or are fairly well built and have some depth despite the limited development time. The world is pleasantly creative and moves in a descriptively robust manner from realm to realm.
At the end of this read the story line is what really elevated my interest. The movement never stops and each turn reveals something new and interesting. Mina grows on you as does her plight and that echoes the talents of a good writer. Well done.