Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for gifting me with the e-ARC of Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova (I actually ended up reading the absolutely stunning Fairyloot edition pictured below). This is going to be a hard one to keep spoiler free, especially when talking about my favourite character, but I’m going to do it.
So the blurb for this book (taken from Goodreads) is:
I am Renata Convida.
I have lived a hundred stolen lives.
Now I live my own.
Renata Convida was only a child when she was kidnapped by the King’s Justice and brought to the luxurious palace of Andalucia. As a Robari, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria, Renata’s ability to steal memories from royal enemies enabled the King’s Wrath, a siege that resulted in the deaths of thousands of her own people.
Now Renata is one of the Whispers, rebel spies working against the crown and helping the remaining Moria escape the kingdom bent on their destruction. The Whispers may have rescued Renata from the palace years ago, but she cannot escape their mistrust and hatred–or the overpowering memories of the hundreds of souls she turned “hollow” during her time in the palace.
When Dez, the commander of her unit, is taken captive by the notorious Sangrado Prince, Renata will do anything to save the boy whose love makes her place among the Whispers bearable. But a disastrous rescue attempt means Renata must return to the palace under cover and complete Dez’s top secret mission. Can Renata convince her former captors that she remains loyal, even as she burns for vengeance against the brutal, enigmatic prince? Her life and the fate of the Moria depend on it.
But returning to the palace stirs childhood memories long locked away. As Renata grows more deeply embedded in the politics of the royal court, she uncovers a secret in her past that could change the entire fate of the kingdom–and end the war that has cost her everything.
This was one of my most anticipated reads of the first half of the year and I’m so happy that it lived up to my expectations. I was already invested in the plotting and betrayal that we see in just the blurb alone, and there was a lot of it – also ‘brutal, enigmatic prince’, I’m there for it.
I thought the way the world and the magic system were written was so interesting, the magic system especially. The fact that those with power are the ones that are hunted (literal witch hunt), and I liked the different types of magic that differen people have – Ren’s powers are especially interesting as she can take memories from people with just a touch. I’m hoping we get more information about the different types of magic in the next book as it was my favourite thing about it (apart from that brutal, enigmatic prince I mentioned earlier – honestly I have a type okay). And there’s a few twists which for once I saw coming, but I don’t think everyone did because not many people guessed it on the Fairyloot readalong I joined in on. Which is a big deal for me because I never figure things out in books until just before they happen so I’m proud of this one. But regardless I’m excited to see how this twist continues into the second book.
So I really loved the wide range of characters, even thouhg the book is only told from Ren’s perspective, there are so many different characters and they’re all pretty distinguishable; whether that’s by them being Moria (mnagical) or not, what power they have if they are Moria, their relationship with Ren, and generally just their actions and voices. If you haven’t got my not so subtle hints by now, Prince Castian is my favourite character, which is terrible I know because he’s literally the person the main character wants to kill, but nope he’s my favourite. I love how we get to know him more aswell, through certain events that take place, which I cannot actually say more on.