From Unseen Fire (Aven Cycle #1)
Author: Cass Morris
Rated M for a mass of magic and malicious intent for divine corruption.
The Dictator is dead; long live the Republic.
Senators, generals, and elemental mages vie for the power to shape the future of the city of Aven. Latona, mage of spirit and fire, is put right at the center of it. With the dictator dead, she is now free from his obligations. New opportunities and potential new allies (or more) surface as unrest across the city is on the rise.
An ambitious senator, Sempronius Tarren harbors a deadly secret. Sacred law dictates that no mage can hold a political position let alone make an attempt for the Dictator’s chair. But, Sempronius Tarren is a shadow mage.
Latona and Sempronius are drawn together during this new age. The city, the people, and magic will be forever changed.
With a list of Who’s Who and a map, I was pretty excited to start this. Buuuut, when I finally did I was also ready to be done with it. My intrigue was piqued by the idea of 300 meets Shadow and Bone. I only wish I could’ve latched on and enjoyed this.
Information overload! The plot was lost on me pretty quick due to a mixture of incredible world-building and extensive character depth. Neither of those are bad, but again, the plot was lost when those overtook most of the book. I also have zero intrigue for political intrigue. It’s a trope that just never did anything for me. Not even forbidden and secret romance could snag me. So much was happening that I couldn’t fully keep track. Across such a large scope, it can be difficult to keep track of what’s happening where and that became the case here. At first, it was like diving into a vast world like LOTR or Percy Jackson, but that excitement quickly faded.
With that, this world build was pretty incredible. Morris spared no expense in immersing readers in a stunning, deadly yet beautiful world that’s obviously inspired by Rome. Though the political intrigue lost me, the magic kept me hanging on until the end. The spectrum of magic was vast amid its specific sectors. I do wish the magic hadn’t felt so suppressed in the book.
Romance…I could feel it there, but it was faint. The romance between Latona and Sepronius was so slow that I would doze off. Not proud of it, but it happened. I’m not saying the pace had to go at the speed of light. However, I didn’t expect it would be slower than the college student in Monsters University that took all year just to get to his class. These two had a chance to light an inextinguishable fire, but there was barely a spark. I was disappointed. Though, with so much happening all at once, this was minor.
This was difficult to read. I am not a fan of politics and trying to blend magic with it didn’t engage my attention. I was glad to give this a shot, but I won’t be continuing the series.
“There are many who would say we should know as little as possible about it. That we should kill them before their methods can infect ours.” (p. 229)
More to come soon…
Song Today? Bells in Santa Fe by Halsey.
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