Title: Spark of the Everflame
Author: Penn Cole
Publication: June 1, 2023
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
When old secrets catch fire, everything will burn.
In a mortal world colonized by the gods and ruled over by the Descended, their cruel offspring, Diem Bellator yearns to escape the insular life of her poor village.
Her mother’s sudden disappearance—and the discovery of a dangerous secret about her past—offer Diem an unexpected opportunity to enter the dark world of Descended royalty and unlock the web of mysteries her mother left behind.
With the dying King’s handsome, mysterious heir watching her every move, and a ruthless mortal alliance recruiting her to join the growing civil war, Diem will have to navigate the unwritten rules of love, power, and politics in order to save her family—and all of mortalkind.
**This book is free to read for Kindle Unlimited members.**
One line was what cemented my thoughts and feelings on this book. “But I was made of swinging fists and rash words, my edges too jagged and my temper too hot. Nothing about me was delicate.” Diem was any other strong female main character to me until that quote. It changed how I read the rest of this book.
The world-building is very thorough in this first book and paints a very good picture of what’s to come as far as characters and plot. I love a good morally grey landscape. There is a light and dark sort of conflict but it’s smartly written. As a character, I love Diem Bellator. She’s a young woman so her choices aren’t always great and her emotions constantly overwhelm her. That’s what endears her to me. She’s so very flawed and it reminded me a little of my younger self.
There is an enemies-to-lovers trope here but it is very light in this first book. I felt like a lot of the hints were there, but I had to read between the lines. Prince Luther, my absolute favorite person in this entire book, is written very well. For everything he doesn’t say, his actions are a clear giveaway of who he is at his core. I really love that not everything is spelled out and it forces me to pay closer attention.
If you are into ‘spicy’ books, there isn’t any of that in this book. There are a few scenes but they are not the focus. I found myself getting frustrated with Diem more than once but I feel that’s a compliment to the author. I did struggle with the first one hundred pages because it felt slow and I wish Diem’s mother had more of a background because I didn’t quite feel the relationship between the two.
Regardless, this book is a FULL five stars for me. The magic is different from what we usually see. The hatred between mortal and Descended people is painful and real. The undercurrent of emotion between Diem and Luther is worth reading this alone. I encourage you to give it a read and I dare you to stop after book one!