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For a Muse of Fire

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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for For a Muse of Fire

  1. 5 out of 5

    Heidi Heilig

    Okay I'm going to paste my preliminary author's note here, because it includes content notes at the bottom and I want to get those in front of people now because ARCs will become available soonish and I don't want anyone to be taken by surprise! I will format with spoiler tags as well, to keep anyone from being spoiled. So! Here goes: Sometimes, the inside of my head seems like the pile of returned books on a library cart. A well-worn high fantasy beside an account of the lives of party girls i Okay I'm going to paste my preliminary author's note here, because it includes content notes at the bottom and I want to get those in front of people now because ARCs will become available soonish and I don't want anyone to be taken by surprise! I will format with spoiler tags as well, to keep anyone from being spoiled. So! Here goes: Sometimes, the inside of my head seems like the pile of returned books on a library cart. A well-worn high fantasy beside an account of the lives of party girls in Bohemian New York . . . a Shakespeare play sandwiched between a history of French colonialism and a book about shadow puppetry. These flying leaps from topic to topic are one of my favorite things about my own bipolar disorder, and they inform my world building in unexpected ways. When I set out to write FOR A MUSE OF FIRE, I wanted to write about a main character who shares my mental illness, and seeks a real life treatment for it. (view spoiler)[ (Lithium, which occurs naturally in springs around the world, is a historical treatment but is still widely prescribed for bipolar. I took it myself for a while.) (hide spoiler)] But I also wanted to create a magical second world out of my obsessions, which are in turn informed by my own malheur: I spent a long time in theatre in my youth, where my manic highs let me shine in the limelight. I was obsessed with death and spirits for a while, those thoughts meshing with my maudlin lows. There is a hedonism to mania as well, which is so often reviled in young women (unfortunately, I was no exception), so the cast of Le Perl gives me especial joy. And of course, my heritage and upbringing creeps in. I am half Chinese, but raised in a rainy valley in Hawaii down the road from a taro farm where a water buffalo grazed. I must admit, as a biracial person, I have sometimes felt like a man without a country, as it were. In this book, I leaned into the freedom that feeling can bring: inspiration for food, styles of puppetry, and language are taken from a broad cross-section of places and times. The technology, too, is a bit out of history. Though the headers on the letters from the Aquitans note that the year is 1874, the year is not quite analogous to our own 19th century history. (view spoiler)[ The repeating rifle came a bit earlier, copper jacketed bullets came a bit later. Electric street lights existed in our own 1874, but were not widespread for years. And of course, the evolution of flight came later, as did vaudeville and burlesque. (hide spoiler)] Lastly, please note that while Aquitan and Chakrana are inspired in part by France and South East Asia, so many cultural, linguistic, political, historical, and religious liberties were taken that the story is truly a fantasy, and not an allegory or a close second world version. This might be most noticeable in the inexact but French-like nature of the Aquitan words. CONTENT NOTES: (view spoiler)[ Mental illness (bipolar), blood use in magic, gun violence, war, colonialism, racism, descriptions of dead bodies, mention of reproductive coercion, mentions of torture, mention of suicide (hide spoiler)]

  2. 5 out of 5

    Elise (TheBookishActress)

    I am... so excited to have an arc of this oh my god ⬆ check ⬆ out ⬆ this ⬆ awesome ⬆ cover ⬆ [ and the excerpt too] ✨Arc received from the publisher via my local bookstore for an honest review. [ releases: September 2018.]

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cesar

    Originally, I was going to power through this in a few days, but I just can't. This isn't a DNF, I'm just going to put it back on my to-read pile and pick it up later in the future. I don't hate it, but after 100 pages, I just can't get into it. Nothing has really captured my attention. Even the necromancy is lacking substance. Hopefully I can read the story all the way, but for now, I'm setting it down.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Acqua

    “To the mad ones” I knew I was going to like this book right from the dedication. For a Muse of Fire is the first book in a YA trilogy set in a high fantasy world inspired by Southeast Asia during French colonization. It's the story of Jetta, a girl with bipolar disorder who is trying to get to a "magic" spring whose waters should be able to help her (because of the lithium which naturally occurs there). It means a lot to me when I find SFF in which the main character is mentally ill. For two reaso “To the mad ones” I knew I was going to like this book right from the dedication. For a Muse of Fire is the first book in a YA trilogy set in a high fantasy world inspired by Southeast Asia during French colonization. It's the story of Jetta, a girl with bipolar disorder who is trying to get to a "magic" spring whose waters should be able to help her (because of the lithium which naturally occurs there). It means a lot to me when I find SFF in which the main character is mentally ill. For two reasons: mental illness representation is only common in contemporary novels, but as I do not live in the US, they do not reflect my experience of living in a country in which there's very little (or: even less) awareness on these topics. The other reasons is that I like seeing mentally ill people being heroes in all genres. I loved the representation of Jetta's bipolar disorder. It's subtler than I thought it was going to be: Jetta's lows are basically shown as a time jumps in the story. I think variety in representation of mental illness - books that do not show depressive episodes to avoid being too triggering and books that explicitly engage with the topics of depression or suicide - is really important, especially when it's ownvoices like this book. "Subtle", of course, doesn't mean the representation wasn't there: Jetta's "malheur" is relevant to the plot and to her characterization. I really liked following Jetta and her family through Chakrana as they try to figure out how to live in a place where the tension between colonizers and the rebellion is rising. I especially liked reading about shadow plays and the way this aspect was tied to the magic system. The magic system itself was really interesting and imaginative: in For a Muse of Fire, you'll find necromancy in a way you've never seen it before. Another thing that made this book stand out was the mixed media format: some of the chapters are told like plays, there's sheet music, there are maps, letters and telegrams. Until now, I talked about what made For a Muse of Fire stand out. However, it didn't stand out as much as I hoped it would. While the themes are very different from the average YA fantasy, I found the plot very formulaic. There are people in power, there's a rebellion, at the beginning of the novel the main character thinks the people in power are not that bad, but then she changes her minds and falls in love with a boy in the process. Formulaic diverse stories are important - and the diversity here wasn't just a dressing to make the story feel new without any actual depth to it, it isn't tokenism - but sometimes I wonder whether I've read too much YA fantasy. I predicted every single twist from the beginning. It didn't help that the romance was very bland. There wasn't anything wrong with Leo, the love interest, he was just so forgettable that I had to look up his name, and I finished this yesterday. He doesn't stand out from a sea of very similar YA fantasy love interests. The dancers at Le Perl - especially Cheeky, I want to know more about her - were far more interesting characters. This is also the only YA novel I know that has positive sex worker representation. This book definitely could have been better in terms of predictability, but I didn't think it was just average: it's one of the books that executed this kind of plot better. For a Muse of Fire is set in a colonized country, and the author shows the ways colonization affects a culture through the details - clothing, language, religion, even buildings - without any infodumps. I'm often disappointed by the worldbuilding in YA fantasy books, but I wasn't here. The writing was solid, but I can't say it stood out. I love atmospheric books, and I would have loved if this had been one of them - I wanted to feel as if I was there with Jetta, but I couldn't always visualize how things looked. I always say that books longer than 500 pages are longer than they need to be and usually have pacing problems. Here, this was true only for the ending, in which I felt like too much and not enough was happening at the same time. Anyway, the pacing was very good for most of it - I finished this 512-page book in less than three days. One more thing: some parts of this book hint Jetta is also into girls, and I definitely read her as bi/pan. I didn't know whether to recommend For a Muse of Fire as a queer book, but the author mentioned Jetta is queer in a tweet, so it's canon.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lauren ✨ (YABookers)

    Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes. Jetta is a member of a famed troupe of shadow players, where a story is told through the shadows cast by puppets. But Jetta and her parents have a secret to their success – Jetta's has necromancy powers and uses it to bind souls to her puppets so they can move without strings. With her skills and their fame, Jetta and her family are trying to make their way from Aquitan and Chakrana (the former inspired by South East Asia, and Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes. Jetta is a member of a famed troupe of shadow players, where a story is told through the shadows cast by puppets. But Jetta and her parents have a secret to their success – Jetta's has necromancy powers and uses it to bind souls to her puppets so they can move without strings. With her skills and their fame, Jetta and her family are trying to make their way from Aquitan and Chakrana (the former inspired by South East Asia, and the latter by France, their interaction and history based on French colonialism), fleeing the rising rebellion, but also where rumor has it the Mad King has a spring to cure his ills, because the spirits of the dead are not the only thing that plagues Jetta. But as the rebellion lands on her front step, Jetta finds herself facing truths and decisions she never imagined. I am a massive fan of Heidi Heilig's duology THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE, and so I was ecstatic to get my hands on an e-ARC of FOR A MUSE OF FIRE. It did not disappoint - not in the slightest. It's an Asian inspired fantasy with a vibrant and dynamic cast of characters, fantastic world-building, a unique magic system (NECROMANCY!), and such lush writing. The characters – both the main and the secondary – were complex and well-developed and the group dynamics and interactions were exceptional. I adored Jetta, how intelligent, caring, and kind she was. Jetta's malheur is also very much inspired by the author's #ownvoices experience with bipolar. I adored Leo. I adored the feeling of found family, and I also adored the slow burn romance between Jetta and Leo. Another thing that makes this book so unique, aside from the exceptional world-building and unique magic system, was that whilst most of it was written in the first-person narrative from Jetta's POV, there were letters and transcripts and folklore stories and it enhanced the reading experience and made it feel so immersive. Even though FOR A MUSE OF FIRE is a fantasy, it is very much based on history, with themes of colonialism. I do think that fans of both fantasy and historical fantasy/fiction will find a lot to love here. FOR A MUSE OF FIRE is a book that I will be recommending to fantasy fans for a long time to come.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dani - Perspective of a Writer

    Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer... In a vivid, rich world inspired by Asian cultures and French colonialism… A bipolar 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. Told from Jetta’s first-person point-of-view, as well as chapters written as play scripts and ephemera such as telegrams and letters, we are taken on a journey that weaves Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer... In a vivid, rich world inspired by Asian cultures and French colonialism… A bipolar 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. Told from Jetta’s first-person point-of-view, as well as chapters written as play scripts and ephemera such as telegrams and letters, we are taken on a journey that weaves magic, simmering romance, and the deep bonds of family with the high stakes of epic adventure. The short review... Let me preface this entire review by saying I enjoyed For a Muse of Fire!! That is important to note because I also had a bunch of stuff bug me... It didn't ruin the read but was quite a disconnect for me at times. I feel like the best way to distill my jumbled thoughts (that I've spent two days trying to pull together) is through a lovely list!! So please decide for yourself if this is a book for you!! What I enjoyed?! -The Added POVs. We got other POVs through the plays, telegrams and letters in between chapters. That was neat even if I didn't really understand where these fragments came from (Who was writing the plays? Why was someone collecting this information?) I really enjoy getting more than just the main female's POV. -I really liked Jetta!! Such was NOT the case with The Girl from Everywhere so I was really happy about that. I felt for her that she lost her brother and that her and her parents last hope was this ship. I wanted to fully understand what was so forbidden about her art and to experience the trials of colonialism... And for the most part I got that all through Jetta. -The shadow puppetry, necromancy and blood magic! Yes, these all three are sort of the same thing and a little different. Suffice to say THESE are the REASON TO READ THE BOOK! I found it a rather incredible use of necromancy and I loved that it was used in such a benign way as a livelihood. The spirits and the puppetry truly felt from South Asia too! -The oppression of an invading country. Heilig has always been really great at creating intriguing worlds even if they don't always make sense... and this one does have both that creativity and that problem... But it DOES feel like a country that is being overtaken by another country's army. Their people are told their old ways are no good and are being killed when they don't accept being oppressed. What I didn't... -The bi-polar rep. I actually forgot that it was in the book... Jetta kept calling it "malheur" and I kept wondering what the heck she was talking about because she didn't seem to be anything but normal?! Then when they introduced the "treatment" I remembered! But looking back at Jetta's actions I never saw a manic high or a maudlin low. I know quite a few people who are all bi-polar to varying degrees and yeah not a whiff of it here. Really I LOVE MENTAL HEALTH!! I would give props to even hints of it. But frankly Wintersong is a better representation of bi-polar disorder. I applaud the publisher for mentioning it in the blurb so readers would be alerted but that effort was really wasted... -This won't feel very Asian. Now I know it IS based on legitimate South Asia cultures. I've read a couple books about Cambodia and it lightly felt like hints of that country if I stretched it (shadow puppetry, the jungle setting, the temple). Here's the thing though... it felt MORE French. Like even Jetta felt French. Her parents felt even MORE French. It was so freaking odd! Even the half blood felt... FRENCH! And yet all the Aquitans (the invading colonists) were described as blondes (a sea of blondes was mentioned often)... and there are French blondes, but honestly they are mostly dark haired so I became so freaking confused! It honestly felt like a FRENCH world being oppressed by Vikings (or late Englishmen) and NOT Asian at all! The two racial names of the people (Aquitans and Chakrans) were used so often to keep the two people separate that it became one of the few markers of the world. It was hard to visualize what each meant... So all I had to go on was the day to day life I experienced and that felt... FRENCH! Unfortunately I READ For a Muse of Fire BECAUSE of the bi-polar mental health and the Asian culture!! So to be disappointed in these two things is pretty disheartening... The thing is though that I enjoyed the story without the bi-polar bit (it added zero even if I believed it) and without the cover and the blurb I wouldn't have thought this was so much Asian and so wouldn't have been disappointed that it lacked that element. The shadow puppetry, necromancy and blood magic ROCKED it!! Seriously I rated this such as I did because it elevated the story that much... Cover & Title grade -> F Between the cover with a huge Asian dragon and the blurb that boldly states a "vivid, rich world inspired by Asian cultures" I was expecting a vivid and rich Asian world... and that is decidedly NOT what I got... The expectations were all off... To me I would have played up the shadow puppetry and the blood magic instead... because that is what really slays in this book! As a result the cover gets the lowest rating possible for deceiving me and I don't much like the title either... Is Jetta the muse? What does fire have to do with it? Things did burn... but why is that made to sound like a positive thing due to the title?! Personally as a graphic designer... I would have made a vector drawing of the dragon puppet to put on the cover... that would have been so awesome... I would have bought the book for that cover... As a Writer... I applaud utilizing your #ownvoices in the writing of your book as a writer myself. Even though I don't LOOK Asian I still apply my love for my culture to my own writing... I'm sure the author's feelings as a bi-polar and Asian POC are totally accurate and real... I just didn't feel it come across the page. *shrug* It's pretty bad when I can't even remember what the hell malheur was or why it was such a concern! And as a reader it makes me uncomfortable when I start rationalizing for the author why I'm not getting the world building I was told was going to be front and center. That's a risk we authors take putting ourselves out there at the poster child for our story... I really enjoyed the necromancy and blood magic in For a Muse of Fire and feel you'll enjoy it if you read for that. Please though... don't rely on this to get a sense of the bi-polar mental health condition. And don't be disappointed that the Asian culture is quite light... the cover misrepresents the story and that's just a sad, sad thing... ⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐ Authenticity ⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐ Writing Style ⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐ Plot & Pacing ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐ World Building Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. It has not influenced my opinions. ______________________ You can find this review and many others on my book blog @ Perspective of a Writer. See my special perspective at the bottom of my reviews under the typewriter...

  8. 4 out of 5

    Adah Udechukwu

    The cover art is good, the title is good, the novel is not so good. There is a spark of potential that needs to be exploited in subsequent books in the series.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ricky

    Welcome to the fourth in my series of reviews of ARCs for which I traded this August, and for sure one of the best, brightest, and most unique new books of the year! Heidi Heilig impressed me a great deal with her first duology, The Girl from Everywhere and The Ship Beyond Time. Now, she starts a new trilogy in For a Muse of Fire, another stellar fantasy in Heilig's signature style. It's dark and deadly, very lavish, highly critical of colonialism, and decidedly unconventional in its structure. Welcome to the fourth in my series of reviews of ARCs for which I traded this August, and for sure one of the best, brightest, and most unique new books of the year! Heidi Heilig impressed me a great deal with her first duology, The Girl from Everywhere and The Ship Beyond Time. Now, she starts a new trilogy in For a Muse of Fire, another stellar fantasy in Heilig's signature style. It's dark and deadly, very lavish, highly critical of colonialism, and decidedly unconventional in its structure. Between almost every chapter is at least one piece of ephemera - a bit of dialogue between two side characters, presented in the form of a stage play; telegrams between officials in the Aquitaine armée (the colonial power of Aquitan being largely French-inspired, though with some subtle cultural differences; similarly, the Chakran people and civilization aren't inspired by any one Asian country - I sense aspects of Indian, Vietnamese, and Cambodian cultures, unless I miss my guess); in-universe folklore relevant to the story at hand (my personal favorite being the tale of the King of Death - very definitely a high point); that sort of thing. Another major reason to read this book is because it's #ownvoices for Heilig as a bipolar writer. One of the driving forces behind heroine Jetta's journey to Aquitan is the possibility of finding a cure for her own illness in the same spring where the Mad King is said to help himself as well. But as with all the best #ownvoices leads, Jetta is nowhere near 100% defined by her bipolar disorder. Her strong family ties help define her as well, as do her magic (dangerous though it may be, using blood-magic necromancy) and her art (coming from a family of shadow puppeteers as she does.) Though I'm not reading this book #ownvoices, as an #ownvoices writer myself - for autism - I very much appreciate how engaging a protagonist Heilig gives us in Jetta. Heilig also helps set a new standard in the business, ensuring the inclusion of all relevant content warnings on the copyright page - something I'm still seeing in oddly few published books. Perhaps the only issue I had with reading this book as an ARC is that some of the extra artwork details - notably, maps and sheet music - are still TK. For sure, I'll be taking a look at the final product as soon as it comes out to see how glorious these details are - and, knowing the lovely map work Heilig's books have gifted us with before, that's just another way my standards remain high. And one last question - did Heilig name Leo Rath after the actor Jesse Rath? Just curious.

  10. 4 out of 5

    ambsreads

    DNF @ 62% I’ve been pretty good about not DNF’ing this year but I just can’t get into this story. It may be the format (audiobook) but I just can’t connect with the story or world building. I may try this in physical format one day but for now it’s a no.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Hanaa

    “Never show, Never tell.” Okay, before i start the official review, i wanted to know: didn’t that line remind you of Frozen? Just me? That’s fine. I have a feeling a lot of you are going to like this book, and that’s good. Personally I am really not sure about my feelings regarding this book. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. I read every page, i wanted to. But I didn’t devour it. There were some things that I didn’t predict, but unfortunately I predicted most of them. Also if you want to know, i “Never show, Never tell.” Okay, before i start the official review, i wanted to know: didn’t that line remind you of Frozen? Just me? That’s fine. I have a feeling a lot of you are going to like this book, and that’s good. Personally I am really not sure about my feelings regarding this book. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. I read every page, i wanted to. But I didn’t devour it. There were some things that I didn’t predict, but unfortunately I predicted most of them. Also if you want to know, it isn’t like Frozen. The story takes place in Chakra which has been conquered by the Aquitans’, and all magic has been banned. Jetta, is a shadow player, one of the best. She uses her ability of being able to capture dead souls to control her puppets. How? She traps the souls in her puppets and commands them. The problem lies in the fact that the use of , or having such a power could get her killed. However Jetta has another problem, one that is just inside her: she is mentally ill. The only cure that she knows of is the water of a magical fountain and to get there would mean that she would have to secure a place on the king’s ship that would take her to Aquitan. However Jetta and her family are soon in danger when she nearly gives them away. With the help of Leo, a gun smuggler for the rebels, she tries to make her way to Aquitan without being found out. THE CHARACTERS: Jetta- she is brave and willing to do anything for her family. She is also scared of herself, the power she years and what she really is. Leo- the owner of La Perl, a bar and a stripper club and the smuggler for the rebels,though he is not directly in league with them. Even though he was present during most of the book, I would have liked to get to know him better. Captain Le Garde- the army general and an all round asshole. I wish we could have had characters such as the Boy King, Theodora and Cheeky’s explored a bit more. They were important but weren’t really given the necessary attention. The writing was engaging and kept you interested but wasn’t unique. The author uses a few french words in the beginning that may confuse you and like me you may find yourself googling “What is a fantoche?” Themes such as mental illness, colonialism and feminism explored quite well. All in all, the book was an engaging read that most readers will enjoy. I definitely will read the sequel. *Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an arc of this book via Edelweiss*

  12. 5 out of 5

    Scrill

    Full review can be found on my blog here Blog | Bookstagram | Instagram | Twitter

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lilly (Lair Of Books)

    ARC received from the Publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for a honest review Full RTC on LAIR OF BOOKS INITIAL THOUGHTS: There's so much to love about this uniquely dark tale told in play format, 3 acts where we follow our MC Jetta as she is uprooted from the only place she's known as home. A story about Colonialism, mental health, racism, and necromancy that I just could not stop reading. This story will appeal to those who loved Rin Chupeco's The Bone Witch or anyone really who has interest in ARC received from the Publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for a honest review Full RTC on LAIR OF BOOKS INITIAL THOUGHTS: There's so much to love about this uniquely dark tale told in play format, 3 acts where we follow our MC Jetta as she is uprooted from the only place she's known as home. A story about Colonialism, mental health, racism, and necromancy that I just could not stop reading. This story will appeal to those who loved Rin Chupeco's The Bone Witch or anyone really who has interest in reading a book about a Necromancer. The fact that she's also a Puppeteer & can place souls into her puppets or any random object really, makes Jetta one unforgettable fictional character. More in depth thoughts to come in my review...

  14. 4 out of 5

    ✧lilly✧

    Thank you Harper Collins for the early copy! I'm very excited for this!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra

    I received an e-ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Review can be found on *Milky Way of Books* Jetta has an extraordinary ability...which must remain hidden if she and her family want to survive. In this world of Empires, conquered cities and full of spies, revolutionaries, and secrets Jetta will discover the extent of her own abilities and struggle with what she considers to be madness. There were many parts at the beginning of the book that I didn't quite understand but slowly I received an e-ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Review can be found on *Milky Way of Books* Jetta has an extraordinary ability...which must remain hidden if she and her family want to survive. In this world of Empires, conquered cities and full of spies, revolutionaries, and secrets Jetta will discover the extent of her own abilities and struggle with what she considers to be madness. There were many parts at the beginning of the book that I didn't quite understand but slowly all made sense. There are also breaks between the chapters where from the first POV we go to the third and also the scenes are described like a theatre scenario. The plot is engaging and filled with fantasy and rich history.

  16. 5 out of 5

    ALEXA

    It was a little hard to make sense of the world, language and storytelling format initially. But there was just enough of a draw to keep me interested in finding out how things would play out in the end.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Britt

    Necromancy with puppets... French and Asian influences. Magic and epic adventures. For a Muse of Fire is a story about a girl named Jetta. Her family is the Ros Nai – a troupe of shadow players that is on their way to being the most famous in the country. Their puppets seem to move and dance without strings and everyone is always captivated by the stories they tell with her father singing the old tales and her mother playing the thom and flute while Jetta directs the puppets behind the scrim. Learni Necromancy with puppets... French and Asian influences. Magic and epic adventures. For a Muse of Fire is a story about a girl named Jetta. Her family is the Ros Nai – a troupe of shadow players that is on their way to being the most famous in the country. Their puppets seem to move and dance without strings and everyone is always captivated by the stories they tell with her father singing the old tales and her mother playing the thom and flute while Jetta directs the puppets behind the scrim. Learning about Jetta’s dangerous and intriguing magic, while seeing glimpses of her bipolar disorder – all while they are on an epic, hazardous journey is one of the most interesting point of views I have read in a while. I love her character. I also enjoyed the slow-burn romance and her deep connection and love for her family. The Ros Nai troupe is hoping to perform their way to another country where the Mad King is said to drink from a spring that cures his madness. Their family is hoping this spring may also help Jetta. When tensions rise even further between the armèe and the rebellion in their country, Jetta and her family are caught in the middle and their journey turns even more dangerous and difficult. A cast of characters, old folktales, telegrams, sheet music, letters, play scripts, and maps are all comprised to make up this story. I loved the interesting and changing ways of information while still hearing the story from Jetta’s point of view. The world-building was vivid, dark, complex, and captivating. I loved this story and am so happy to hear that there will be more! This is definitely a series to jump on. And in case I needed to say it again - PUPPET NECROMANCY! *Thank you very much to HarperCollins via Edelweiss*

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔

    This sounds quite interesting, and I love the cover <3

  19. 5 out of 5

    Glory

    Весь мир – театр, говорят в народе. Но эта сцена в рисовых полях Для всей Вселенной может стать приютом. Ведь на простой бамбуковой платформе Владычица теней рисует сказку, Сама сокрыта шёлком, а за нею Взлетают искры в бархатное небо. Вспотевший лоб, в глазах восторга пламя. И пляшет тьма для огнеликой музы. По бледному холсту струятся тени, Сплетаясь, будто чары, в нить историй: И в них драконы рвут волков когтями, Крестьянин вдруг на царский трон восходит, А сами боги – жизни, смерти, знаний – Гуляют среди Весь мир – театр, говорят в народе. Но эта сцена в рисовых полях Для всей Вселенной может стать приютом. Ведь на простой бамбуковой платформе Владычица теней рисует сказку, Сама сокрыта шёлком, а за нею Взлетают искры в бархатное небо. Вспотевший лоб, в глазах восторга пламя. И пляшет тьма для огнеликой музы. По бледному холсту струятся тени, Сплетаясь, будто чары, в нить историй: И в них драконы рвут волков когтями, Крестьянин вдруг на царский трон восходит, А сами боги – жизни, смерти, знаний – Гуляют среди смертных, что им служат. Толпа зевак за шёлковой завесой, Попав в сей мир, о прочем забывает: О том, как процветают чужестранцы, А им таких богатств не получить. Как в тёмных джунглях прячутся повстанцы. И как солдаты скоры на расправу. Уж лучше от тревог укрыться в сказке. Для многих только это и доступно. И потому весь час ликует зритель, В сто голосов рыдает и смеётся. Аплодисменты как муссонный ливень Питают влагой жаждущую землю. Все чествуют её, теней хозяйку, Что вырвалась из сгубленного края, Как феникс ввысь из скорлупы и пепла Или душа из сломленного тела. Так начинается эта история. Нет, не так. Сначала, как и положено в театре, нам представляют персонажей, да представляют так, что уже не получится просто закрыть книгу и не заглянуть хотя бы на следующую страницу, а вот там уже такой своеобразный пролог. Я не буду долго говорить о сюжете, ибо в чем-то он весьма банален, автор открыто пользуется шаблонами жанра, просто оборачивает их в необыкновенно яркую и атмосферную упаковку. За основу взята французская экспансия Юго-Восточной Азии века эдак девятнадцатого. В роли Франции выступает Аквитан, в роли захваченной страны – Чакрана. Конечно, это лишь фантазия на заданную тему, а не альтернативная история, потому в Аквитане и Чакране намешано много всякого, что их отнюдь не портит. Зато при чтении можно нехило прокачать французский язык, ибо французских словечек автор навтыкала предостаточно, и притом они каким-то чудом не задавили восточный колорит. Итак, аквитанцы захватывают очередную колонию для своего императора, чакранские повстанцы бегают по джунглям и рисовым полям, отстреливаются и устраивают взрывы. И на фоне этого типичного для янг адалата бунта разворачивается история главной героини – Джетты. Джетта и ее родители (а когда-то и брат) – актеры театра теней. Их труппа лучшая в стране, а то и в империи. Вот только главный секрет их успеха может стоит Джетте жизни – она в одиночку управляет марионетками, так как своей кровью привязывает к ним души умерших. Это запрещенное некромантское искусство, за которое неминуема казнь. Своими выступлениями семья Джетты надеется заполучить приглашение в Аквитан, где театр теней нынче в большой моде. Рвутся они туда не просто так, а в поисках лекарства от недуга героини (как и автор она страдает биполярным расстройством). Но, угодив в разборки мятежников и армии, они теряют шанс, и, как говорится, заверте... Джетта знакомится с Лео – молодым владельцем театра-кабаре (он же контрабандист), и все глубже увязает в мировых разборках, попутно меняя свое мнение и о повстанцах, и о захватчиках. В общем-то, все остальное делают персонажи и подача материала. Перед нами настоящий спектакль: роман разбит не только на главы, но на акты и сцены. Повествование от лица Джетты (в настоящем времени) перемежается с кусками пьесы, телеграммами, афишами, картами, даже нотами. Все вместе это складывается в невероятную картину мира, атмосферную, словно нарисованную тенями на шелковом полотне. В каждом, даже самом второстепенном персонаже, автор раскрывает какую-то болезненную тему. Те же девушки из театра Лео, эдакие секс-работницы определенной эпохи, представлены в довольно неожиданном ключе (и блин, какие ж они получились классные). Генералы, солдаты, безумный мальчик-король, актеры, тени и некромантия... Это было очень красиво, увлекательно и необычно. И я даже рада простому сюжету, ибо окажись он посложнее, такая подача не сыграла бы, лишь запутав и отвратив читателя. От меня все 5 звезд. Жду продолжения серии (планируется трилогия) и надеюсь, что на историю обратят внимание наши издатели. Она того стоит.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Strolle

    SO SO SO SO SO SO SO GOOD

  21. 5 out of 5

    aria [dear darling reader]

    REASON TO ADD TO YOUR TBR: • it says would captivate fans of leigh bardugo (yay!!!!) i'm a bit torn about sabaa tahir and renee ahdieh, but okay. all of these women are fantasy writers so, still a big yeah! • seeing dead people and bind them to puppets??? yessssss!!! • asian culture!!!! yay! for diversity. also, we need more asian representation in books, like, really. • bipolar heroine??? • inserts of play scripts and letters!!!! GIVE THIS TO ME NOW

  22. 4 out of 5

    K

    Heidi Heilig is a master of her craft.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Namera [The Literary Invertebrate]

    OH. MY. GOD. THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING. I started writing this review and it was basically a bunch of fangirling, so I’m starting over again. From the beginning this time. Here goes… PLOT So, Jetta and her parents are shadow players – they tour Chakra and put on plays with puppets. They’re famous for how easily their puppets manoeuvre. But what the audience doesn’t know is that the puppets are essentially alive: they’re animated by souls, because Jetta can do awful necromantic things like that, even i OH. MY. GOD. THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING. I started writing this review and it was basically a bunch of fangirling, so I’m starting over again. From the beginning this time. Here goes… PLOT So, Jetta and her parents are shadow players – they tour Chakra and put on plays with puppets. They’re famous for how easily their puppets manoeuvre. But what the audience doesn’t know is that the puppets are essentially alive: they’re animated by souls, because Jetta can do awful necromantic things like that, even if she knows she must never tell anyone or she’ll be imprisoned. After the reign of terror of Le Trépas, a necromancer who set himself up to rule over Chakra, such things are regarded with the highest suspicion. Jetta has a malheur – a madness – quite separate from her necromancy. It is said that the Mad King of Aquitan has one too, and to bath at the Aquitan springs of Les Chanceux is the only way to cure it. So now Jetta and her family are planning to perform before the King’s half-brother, General Legarde, who’s currently in Chakra, in the hopes that he’ll bring them over the sea with him when he returns home. Right now he’s busy concluding a marriage between his daughter Theodora and Raik Alaika, the Boy King of Chakra (or rather, the Playboy King) who’s been little more than an Aquitan figurehead since they deposed his parents. But enter the Tiger. A ruthless Chakran rebel determined to expel the Aquitans, his machinations put a brutal end to Jetta’s plans. Instead, she’s forced to fall in with Leo, a half-Chakran/half-Aquitan pub proprietor, if she wants to have any hope of reaching Les Chanceux. It’s going to be hard. Leo is deeply untruthworthy, the Tiger and his men menace her at every step, the Aquitans are not in a mood to look favourably on any Chakrans right now, and all the while her madness and her death-gift are sending Jetta’s stress level spiralling ever higher. To make matters worse, the old and feared name of Le Trépas is beginning to feature rather more in her life than it really should be… CHARACTERS Literally every single character was brilliantly drawn. Every. Single. One. Even the vast majority of the minor roles. Every single character was interesting, with a deep story! I’m actually shook at how well Heilig made sure that nobody was a throwaway, even if you saw them for only a page or two before they faded out of Jetta’s story. Jetta of course is in the starring role. She’s sharp-edged, smart but desperate, ambitious, loyal only to those who deserve it. I LOVED HER, if you couldn’t tell. My only complaint would be that although there were frequent references to her madness, none of her actions struck me as particularly insane. In fact, she seemed remarkably clear-headed under her circumstances. Leo remained for the most part an enigma, but we got enough flashes of his personality to know what motivates him. The death of his mother, his relationship with his father, his loyalty for his girls – everything combined to make him just relatable enough to root for, while unpredictable enough to be interesting. Everyone else had their own stories too, from Jetta’s parents to Theodora. WRITING The fusion of cultures in this one was awesome. Aquitan is obviously France, while Chakra is East Asia; although there are several references towards skin colour, I felt like it wasn’t a massive element, despite the book being about colonialism. The whole white-people-taking-over-brown-people’s-land was a major plot point. Jetta herself doesn’t really devote a lot of time to thinking about it, but most other characters do and it’s interesting to see their various cross-purposes. The format of the book is a little more unique than your average YA too. The chapters are all narrated regularly from Jetta’s POV, but in between are inserts from other characters in the form of play scenes. Not surprising, considering the title is a line from Shakespeare’ Henry V and Jetta herself is an actress of sorts. Basically, I’m dying for the next book, and you should totally read this, if only because you’re looking for a YA world a little more interesting than the usual Russian fare. [Blog] - [Bookstagram]

  24. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Arc of For a Muse of Fire provided by Edelweiss and HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.  Warnings (mentioned by author in book): Mental illness (bipolar), blood use in magic, gun violence, war, colonialism, racism, descriptions of dead bodies, mention of reproductive coercion, mentions of torture, mention of suicide Heidi Heilig  has created a piece of art that is multi-faceted in characters, writing structures and plot points. Within this she has interwoven an own voice struggle as a Arc of For a Muse of Fire provided by Edelweiss and HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.  Warnings (mentioned by author in book): Mental illness (bipolar), blood use in magic, gun violence, war, colonialism, racism, descriptions of dead bodies, mention of reproductive coercion, mentions of torture, mention of suicide Heidi Heilig  has created a piece of art that is multi-faceted in characters, writing structures and plot points. Within this she has interwoven an own voice struggle as a bipolar woman through the main character, Jetta, who simply refers to it as her malheur, the french word for misfortune. Heilig discusses writing a bipolar heroine at the end of the book. She balances writing Jetta's manic highs driving her family's successful shadow plays, her ability to defend herself and control spirits through necromancy. However, it also causes rash decisions and leads to actions that harms herself and those she cares the most about. This comes with the depressive lows where she withdraws, panics and sleeps due to the exhaustion of fighting it all because of a driving resilience, intelligence and need to not have her malheur define who she is nor her life. In the same way that Jetta isn't defined by her malheur, while Jetta takes center stage she does not define For a Muse of Fire. There is a cast of characters, literally. I admit it. When I saw the cast of characters at the beginning of the book, I giggled. I thought, why? Then I quickly went back and book marked it to reference. However, even that couldn't spoil the reveals each character had as the story went unfolded. I won't spoil those reveals, either. Needless to say, many characters aren't exactly what they seem having hidden agendas, connections and back stories that won't completely reveal themselves until the final pages and even one shocking cliffhanger.  The depth of character building was dynamic and unique to each voice. The amount of characters did not leave any character out of the story, feeling shallow or out-of-place. Characters weren't left feeling unfulfilled or just left hanging. Each had a unique place, purpose and place in the story. Heilig was able to carry their perspective and tone throughout the story, staying true to their specific cadence.  Layer on top of that the many formats utilized to tell the wonderful main plot and subplots that interact within each other beautifully. Most of it is told from Jetta's first person, point of view. Then you have letters, telegrams, poems, lyrics and prose. Genres such as folktales and maps (which I didn't get to see because they were noted as TK) were also sprinkled in. Although this book overall is a fantasy, bringing in these different flavors along with pieces of different cultures and colonialism periods brings a historical angle to the book that grounds it a bit of reality that is an exception within the genre.  There is one critique I could have for the book but without spoilers it is hard to discuss because I don't think it would actually going to matter in the second book. This is the first book in an announced trilogy that is definitely worth the investment and the time.  

  25. 4 out of 5

    All Things Urban Fantasy

    FOR A MUSE OF FIRE captured my attention--and held it--with its unique magic and believable characters. Jetta contends with family secrets and the horrors of war. The novel pulls no punches and is all the stronger for it. Many readers will no doubt love the letters, telegrams, and plays that are scattered between chapters. For me, the play sections in particular jarred me out of FOR A MUSE OF FIRE. Jetta’s POV is a close first-person, so her story is stopped in its tracks between each telegram or FOR A MUSE OF FIRE captured my attention--and held it--with its unique magic and believable characters. Jetta contends with family secrets and the horrors of war. The novel pulls no punches and is all the stronger for it. Many readers will no doubt love the letters, telegrams, and plays that are scattered between chapters. For me, the play sections in particular jarred me out of FOR A MUSE OF FIRE. Jetta’s POV is a close first-person, so her story is stopped in its tracks between each telegram or letter. These sections quickly explain what else is going on in the world, but I think they would have worked better in a third-person novel. Readers looking for a strong and lyrical narrative will no doubt be pleased with FOR A MUSE OF FIRE. As it is the first in a series, the novel works hard to set up the politics, culture, and magic of Jetta’s world. The plot sometimes becomes a tad lost in the details, but after a powerful climax, all the pieces are in place for a strong sequel.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    The initial set-up of the book was pretty confusing. There is a lot of terminology and a lot of people to keep track of. Although I liked the mash-up of French words in an Asian-style setting, I did find the storyline behind this blurry and odd, at times. I just couldn't connect with the characters or the plot. Putting this down for now.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bianca (The Ultimate Fangirl)

    Actual rating: 3.3 - 3.5 ish? It's right in the middle of a "That was okay, I guess" and a "well, that was fun" rating. I don't know if it's just me but there was a lot to process when it comes to this story. For starters, the pacing was a bit more like an "up-down situation", wherein some parts were laylow but it serves like a calm before a storm. But it's a good thing in a way because it gave me more time to invest myself with the large cast. The different ways it tells the story got me hooked Actual rating: 3.3 - 3.5 ish? It's right in the middle of a "That was okay, I guess" and a "well, that was fun" rating. I don't know if it's just me but there was a lot to process when it comes to this story. For starters, the pacing was a bit more like an "up-down situation", wherein some parts were laylow but it serves like a calm before a storm. But it's a good thing in a way because it gave me more time to invest myself with the large cast. The different ways it tells the story got me hooked from the beginning. The mix between French and Asian inspired world had me confused for a while but over time it's like slowly getting myself into Jetta's world. I was really invested with the plot because it kept me wondering to where they are all heading. I may be a bit conflicted with what to feel for this one but I am really anticipating what will happen next. I should really read more fantasy because I'm missing out on books like this. Much love to JM at Book Freak Revelations for lending me a copy. This did not affect my review in any way. Full review TK. I'm still wrapping my head around this world. (Plus idk why the heck Zuko was in my head the whole time.)

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ruthsic

    Warnings (mentioned by author in book): Mental illness (bipolar), blood use in magic, gun violence, war, colonialism, racism, descriptions of dead bodies, mention of reproductive coercion, mentions of torture, mention of suicide Heilig's latest novel brings out a necromancer's story in a fantasy world influenced by colonialism. Jetta is a part of a troupe of shadow players - an art that uses puppet shadows to play out a story - and with her necromancy talents, which are banned by the rulers by th Warnings (mentioned by author in book): Mental illness (bipolar), blood use in magic, gun violence, war, colonialism, racism, descriptions of dead bodies, mention of reproductive coercion, mentions of torture, mention of suicide Heilig's latest novel brings out a necromancer's story in a fantasy world influenced by colonialism. Jetta is a part of a troupe of shadow players - an art that uses puppet shadows to play out a story - and with her necromancy talents, which are banned by the rulers by the way, she binds souls to puppets to make them move without strings. They are popular and looking for a way out of Chakrana (the colony of Aquitan and which is the Asian-like country) and into Aquitan (the kingdom across the Hundred Days sea, and which is standing in for France here) where she hopes to get a cure for illness (bipolar disorder is being mentioned as her malheur here) but it is getting difficult when they are revolutionary forces as well as a brewing civil war. When I said I wanted diversity in genre fiction, this is what I was asking for. Jetta's story is very much influenced by her illness - her manic episodes make her the performer she is, but it also leads to rash decisions that have unfortunate consequences. Her depressive episodes, the one I related to, felt raw and realistic to experience. Along with this, Jetta being Chakran and her country bound to Aquitan as a colony is also something that Heilig brings out in the narrative - they are being told that the rebel forces are the enemy, and the Aquitans have done a good job of villainising the people against their own countrymen. It doesn't help that the previous ruler did not rein in the mysterious and powerful Le Trepas (a necromancer priest who built a cult around him) and the latter basically terrified the people enough that they fear to even speak his name. A monster, out of legend, when he was still roaming free with death at the tips of his fingers. The story is told mostly in Jetta's first person narrative, but occasionally cuts to letters, telegrams, folklore stories, playbills, and scenes in the form of a script, which is how we get an understanding of how the war is brewing in Chakrana, and what the Aquitan forces stationed there are trying to do. There are people who think they are doing good by 'taming' the culture of the Chakrana while there are others who basically want an excuse to go on a genocidal rampage. But there is another latent threat looming - Le Trepas and his cohort, who still hide in the court they once ruled. Jetta's mother is careful to keep her from that because of her powers, but ultimately, even the truth of what went on in the court and how it connects to their folklore. And isn’t it strange how the Aquitans devour our stories but silence our prayers? A secondary character of interest is Leo, who is Aquitan-Chakran, and runs a theater and is in charge of a troupe of girls. There is a found family feeling to them, but I still didn't understand why he essentially leaves them to go with Jetta. Speaking of the girls, they are a nice bunch and I hope to see more of them in the sequel, especially Tia (who is trans) and Cheeky. Other characters of note are the Chakran prince, who has more going on that initially thought, and Theodora, who is basically an engineer. “Oh! Cheeky.” Leo smothers his smile as he turns to her. “Didn’t hear you coming.” “Never will, with an attitude like that.” Basically, it is a powerful story of a simple girl with a big power and how she and the world she is in affect each other's stories. The writing is good, emotional, and rooted in realism, even with such a fantasy concept. Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Greenwillow Books, via Edelweiss.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Xcess090

    I have discovered that I have a nasty of habit of procrastinating when I don’t have all the books in my TBR in my disposal, because I still didn’t have Shadow of the Fox, my reading time for this one was longer than expected. But after I got Shadow of the Fox, I breezed through this without pause. ─────────────────── So I’ve done it again, I have into a book where I didn’t completely read what it was going to be about to the same extent I should’ve, the cover is just too good for me and my drago I have discovered that I have a nasty of habit of procrastinating when I don’t have all the books in my TBR in my disposal, because I still didn’t have Shadow of the Fox, my reading time for this one was longer than expected. But after I got Shadow of the Fox, I breezed through this without pause. ─────────────────── So I’ve done it again, I have into a book where I didn’t completely read what it was going to be about to the same extent I should’ve, the cover is just too good for me and my dragon loving self. I didn’t really expect to see an Asian inspired story mixed in with a French colonialism of sorts, but I did think that the setting was interesting enough for me to continue with it. The world building in this story has some good parts to it, but it is also lacking in others. For example, we see multiple instances of Jetta’s usage of her special gifts and while the concept of this type of necromancy is not something I’m terribly ignorant about (Some background into Shinto religion and familiars with Onmyougi’s will surely make the image clearer to envision), the types of souls she was dealing with were mostly names on a page rather than actually tangible things for me to think about and recognize to a bigger extent. Because the concept and how Heidi Heilig wove it into the story was so interesting, I found it be a disheartening thing. The usage of many many French words, sometimes in full sentences was also another thing I found to be disheartening. If you’re going to include another language into the book, then please just include a glossary in the back for people like me who actually have English as the only foreign language taught at school. I had the same issue with Mary Weber’s “The Disappearance of Sofi Snow” duology, but the saving grace here is that the language wasn’t just used for kicks and the story in For a Muse of Fire is way more interesting than the before mentioned. These two point cover the issues I had with the book so let me get on with the things I really enjoyed, firstly the fact that our main character, isn’t completely sane. It’s my first time reading about a mentally ill person, and although her illness is not explicitly mentioned in the book to be more memorable, it’s seen through her actions once I got more familiar with her and the situations she was in later on in the book. Jetta is an interesting lead, her amazing abilities on one side and her fears on the other makes me really glad to see the main theme Heidi Heilig gave importance to; family. At the center of this book, the most important thing to Jetta are her parents and vice versa and to me personally it’s so hard to find a YA book recently where a female main character is actually more concerned about her family than a love interest. The other thing I will mention about this though is that Heidi Heilig didn’t forget Jetta’s parents when she wrote about hardships, they too had their fair share of them and dying to make it work regardless for the majority of the book even when it’s so hard to do so was really nice to see. In the proceedings of the book, Jetta ends up meeting a few people and I personally really liked when she met the other girls in the story, Cheeky for example. The thing I enjoyed the most here was the fact that neither girl were being mean for no reason to each other, they actually tried to help whenever they could and this sort of makeshift friendship that started out of the fact that both haven’t had easy lives, was a breathe of fresh air when compared to the usual “mean girls” atmosphere YA books take. Since it’s a YA, what about the love interest? While there has been some very brief hints dropped into the story, the romance wasn’t important in the slightest nor focused on for more than a couple of pages before something happened and I’m sure (and hope) it’s not going to be revisited in the same way ever again because the story is more than strong enough to stand on its own without that added in. I’m excited to see where we go from here, not sure how many books will be there, but I hope for at least a trilogy to cover the world Heidi Heilig built in this book. I may not have talked about the plot as much as I should’ve, but with the amount of similar elements in many YA stories, it wasn’t difficult to predict quite a bit of this book’s reveals and see the direction it was going to take so I opted to focus on the things that actually made it stand out to me instead :) Final rating: 4/5 Was debating on 3.5, but I’ll round it up for this one.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Christina (A Reader of Fictions)

    For a Muse of Fire was too conceptual for me. In the main POV, I struggled with the amount of French sprinkled through the text. I never studied French, and I spent so much time looking things up I couldn't settle into the narrative or the characters. In the sections written in play format, I just scratched my head; it seemed a bit over the top tbh, though I like the idea in theory.

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