I loved this book! Flame by Hilari Bell, Book 1 of The Book of Sorahb series, was simply amazing. Even though the book really picked up in the last couple chapters, the first half of the book helped a lot with background and character building. You really came to understand the people and relationships, and the plot was really intricate. However, I suggest reading it with the second book, because you’ll be dying to find out what happens, as it leaves off right in the middle of something intriguing! Here’s a little blurb, courtesy of Simon and Schuster:
Who was Sorahb?
Stories are told of a hero who will come to Farsala’s aid when the need is greatest. But for thousands of years the prosperous land of Farsala has felt no such need, as it has enjoyed the peace that comes from being both feared and respected. Now a new enemy approaches Farsala’s borders, one that neither fears nor respects its name and legend. But the rulers of Farsala still believe that they can beat any opponent. Three young people are less sure of Farsala’s invincibility. Jiaan, Soraya, and Kavi see Time’s Wheel turning, with Farsala heading toward the Flames of Destruction. What they cannot see is how inextricably their lives are linked to Farsala’s fate – until it’s too late. In Flame, the first volume of The Book of Sorahb, Hilari Bell introduces readers to a world of honor, danger, and magic in this spellbinding tale of self-discovery.
One of my favorite parts of this book is the pure emotion embedded in the words because of the background provided. It was amazing to see the paths the characters took, whether because of circumstance or choice. The politics of the two main countries involved were thoroughly explained and added a lot of depth to the book. The customs also added depth; this book was by no means a book with everything on the surface.
One other comment for this book that I have: there was no romance, at least so far. I liked that, because almost every YA book you read these days have romance in it, so I was glad to get to know these characters better for the lack of a love life and the endless supply of adventure, conflict, decisions, and growing-up that the people experienced. I highly recommend this book, definitely for teens, and even for middle graders.
Starting the second, review to come soon,