Hello, friends! I’m so excited to be back with another blog tour and this time it’s with the lovely TBR & Beyond Tours for Ignite the Sun by Hanna Howard. Thanks to ladies behind TBR & Beyond for organising this blog tour and to the author for providing the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Be sure to click on the banner above to check out the rest of the amazing bloggers on tour!
Goodreads: Ignite the Sun
Publication Date: 18 August 2020
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Once upon a time, there was something called the sun… In a kingdom ruled by an evil witch, the sun is just part of a legend about light-filled days of old. Luckily for everybody in the kingdom, Siria Nightingale is headed to the heart of the darkness to try and restore the light–or she will lose everything trying.
Sixteen year-old Siria Nightingale has never seen the sun. The light is dangerous, according to Queen Iyzabel, an evil witch who has shrouded the kingdom in shadow.
Siria has always hated the darkness and revels in the stories of the light-filled old days that she hears from her best friend and his grandfather. Besides them, nobody else understands her fascination with the sun, especially not her strict and demanding parents. Siria’s need to please them is greater even than her fear of the dark. So she heads to the royal city–the very center of the darkness–for a chance at a place in Queen Iyzabel’s court.
But what Siria discovers at the Choosing Ball sends her on a quest toward the last vestiges of the sun with a ragtag group of rebels who could help her bring back the Light … or doom the kingdom to shadow forever.
Hanna C. Howard spent most of her childhood wondering how she might avoid growing up, and eventually solved the conundrum by becoming an artist and a writer. She considers tea an essential food group, has more books than shelf space, and thinks the ultimate geek triumvirate is Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Doctor Who. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with her husband and son, their Disreputable Dog, and a cat skilled in the martial arts.
Note: The quotes below are taken from an advanced/unfinished copy and are subject to change in the final version.
“Once upon a time, there was something called the sun.”
Ignite the Sun is a fast paced YA fantasy that’s set in a unique world that once was filled with light but for the last 15 years has been engulfed by darkness. This was a pretty “easy” fantasy to read and one that I would recommend to newbie fantasy readers as the world building and magical system isn’t complex and the story follows a linear plot. There aren’t any major surprises and it’s full of many tropes you’d find in YA fantasy and although there were some things that I wish had been done better, overall it was an enjoyable read.
My favourite part of the story was the rag-tag team of rebels because of those found family vibes. I loved that they were a good mix of ages and also the various magical beings that can be found in this world such as mages, naiads, elves, and banshees to name a few. A big chunk of the book is filled with traveling scenes as the rebels make their way north on foot over a ‘two month’ period and while not that much really happens, you do get to know the world, the magic and the characters a bit more. That said, I wished the world building (including the magic) and character development had been done better because I felt that a lot of it was just “surface” level and didn’t go into much depth.
“Being afraid doesn’t make you a coward. It’s how you react that makes you a coward.”
Siria Nightingale is our MC and on her sixteenth birthday, she learns of a life-altering secret at the Choosing Ball that completely throws everything she thought she knew upside down. I struggled with her initially because she came across as a very petulant, spoiled young woman, and there was a strong “reluctant hero” quality to her when secrets are revealed. But there’s no doubt that throughout the journey her character experiences a tremendous amount of growth. However, as the story is very much focused on Siria’s experience, I feel that the side characters were sadly underdeveloped and while I liked what little we saw and learned about them, they’re just there as filler for the plot and MC’s story. There’s a bit of a sweet ‘friends-to-lovers’ romance in the story but it’s very PG and thankfully doesn’t take over the plot, which I appreciated. The villain herself was a little underwhelming
There was and wasn’t a lot of action in this book (if that makes sense). We’re thrown into the thick of it from the beginning and with the story broken up into short and easy to read chapters, it kept the story moving at a good pace that seemed full of action but was actually just one big travel/training/exploring montage. As soon as there was some fighting, the MC would conveniently black out and she’d wake up once the action over. This happened every time and it honestly started to get frustrating because it felt too easy. Thankfully the final showdown wasn’t a black out scene because it really kept the tension up until the end.
TL;DR: Although there weren’t any major surprises and the story didn’t bring anything new to the YA fantasy genre, this was still an enjoyable and fast paced read. I think this would be perfect for YA fantasy newbies or even for those that enjoy stories full of fantasy tropes that have a unique setting, many travel/training montages, and a good dose of found family vibes.
Enter the Giveaway (US Only) for a signed finished copy of Ignite the Sun + an exclusive mug swag pack ➡ HERE.
Giveaway ENDS 18 August so be sure to enter ASAP!
Have you read Ignite the Sun or is it on your TBR?