New Young Adult Fiction: Of Fire and Stars – Audrey Coulthurst

I love it when booksellers alert me to the strong reads. Early in the season Steph Appell, the children’s book buyer at Parnassus, called to rave about this novel and asked to include it in the store’s YA signed first editions subscription series, Parnassus Next. She compares it to the epic fantasy of Tamora Pierce and Kristin Cashore. And no less that Mercedes Lackey praises it, saying “I devoured Of Fire and Stars in two sittings; it’s a delightful debut, full of all the things I like best in a fantasy story, including not one but two wonderful heroines.”

It’s a Winter Indie Next pick and arrives with strong advance reviews.

At the start of Coulthurst’s spectacular debut, seven-year-old Princess Dennaleia of Havemont discovers that she has a magical ‘Affinity’ for fire. Unfortunately, she is already betrothed to Prince Thandilimon of Mynaria, a kingdom where the practice of magic is considered heresy. ….But Dennaleia is faced with difficult choices about her future after something other than friendship unexpectedly develops between the two princesses. Dennaleia and Amaranthine’s narratives combine to create a powerful and exquisite love story that also provides incisive political commentary and cautions against zealotry, vengeance, and intolerance. The central mystery is intriguing, Coulthurst’s worldbuilding is excellent, and the book’s explosive conclusion both thrills and satisfies.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Lovely…a worthy debut that succeeds as both an adventure and a romance.”

“Murder, mayhem, magic, romance-and horses…a romantic fantasy that will appeal to those who appreciate character-driven novels.”
Kirkus Reviews

 Of Fire and Stars is the most self-assured fantasy debut I’ve read since Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes. It simply hits all the right notes with perfect pitch. Fans of Tamora Pierce, Kristin Cashore, and Rae Carson will not want to miss it.”
— Stephanie Appell, Parnassus Books. Nashville, TN

Of Fire and Stars (9780062433251) by Audrey Coulthurst. $17.99 hardcover. 11/22/16 on sale.

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