For A Muse of Fire
By: Heidi Heilig
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Page Count: 512
Synopsis: A young woman with a dangerous power she barely understands. A smuggler with secrets of his own. A country torn between a merciless colonial army, a terrifying tyrant, and a feared rebel leader. The first book in a new trilogy from Heidi Heilig.
Jetta’s family is famed as the most talented troupe of shadow players in the land. With Jetta behind the scrim, their puppets seem to move without string or stick a trade secret, they say. In truth, Jetta can see the souls of the recently departed and bind them to the puppets with her blood. But the old ways are forbidden ever since the colonial army conquered their country, so Jetta must never show never tell. Her skill and fame are her family’s way to earn a spot aboard the royal ship to Aquitan, where shadow plays are the latest rage, and where rumor has it the Mad King has a spring that cures his ills. Because seeing spirits is not the only thing that plagues Jetta. But as rebellion seethes and as Jetta meets a young smuggler, she will face truths and decisions that she never imagined—and safety will never seem so far away.
Heidi Heilig creates a world inspired by Asian cultures and French colonialism.
This review will be spoiler free.
First, before I get into the review I think we need to take a moment to appreciate the absolute beauty that is this book cover! I mean it is so pretty and I almost just want to put it on my shelf to look at and not even read. That would of course be wrong because this was a great book and it definitely lives up to its cover. I didn’t know much about this book going in, I actually loved that the synopsis didn’t give a lot of the plot away. It was a very unique book, I have never really read anything like it. It incorporated actual sheet music, poems and script style narratives in-between the chapters. It definitely took me some time to get used to because I would be reading and then all of a sudden there was a couple of pages of sheet music and I just felt confused! but after a little while I found that I loved how these additions gave the book variety, and I never knew what was coming next.
The world that this book created was very immersive and beautifully written. however, my one complaint would be that there was very little background given in the start, and I felt a little like I was navigating the story in the dark for the first half of the book. I did learn more about the world and the relationship between the characters as the story went on, but it would have been nice to have just a little bit more at the beginning so I didn’t have to spend so much of the book feeling confused and lost.
As you know if you are a frequent reader of this blog (if not I will forgive you just this once), I am a big fan of badass female characters who don’t have to sacrifice all of their femininity to be badass. Jetta was definitely one of these amazing characters (they are sadly hard to find in YA fantasy) and I loved how complex and flawed she was, without being a sob-story or an annoying narrator. She honestly stole the show for me, and I realize that that was probably the point seeing as the book is mostly through her point of view, but she was so engaging I almost didn’t care about the other characters. I would recommend this book to any fantasy fans, especially if you are looking for something new and unique!
Have you read this book? let me know your thoughts down in the comments! What do you guys think about authors incorporating different writing styles into their book (such as poems, songs, plays, etc.), do you think it adds to or detracts form the story?