April 29, 2020

Incendiary Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway


Incendiary (Hollow Crown #1)
Author: Zoraida Córdova
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: April 28, 2020
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
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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.
Incendiary is the first book in a new young adult fantasy series that fans of the genre and of the author are sure to love. I've read some of the author's other books and loved them, so I have to admit that I had pretty high hopes and expectations going into this one. Overall, I wasn't disappointed. There were a few things that I wish had been different: a more in-depth explanation of the Moria and their different types of magic, better character development and complexity for almost all of the characters except Ren, and maybe a little quicker pace during the first part of the book. These are all just small things that bugged me a little but not enough to make a big impact on my reading experience. Also, please remember that these are my personal thoughts and opinions and not everyone is going to feel the same way as I do. 

Other than the few things I mentioned, this book was fantastic and I really liked it. I've been looking forward to reading it for months now and I was a little afraid that it wasn't going to be as good as I hoped. Luckily for me, it was. I loved our main character, Ren, so much. She's very realistic and I connected with her right from the beginning of the book. I love how the author shows every aspect of her - the good, the bad, and everything in between. She's smart, strong, has rare and awesome magic - but she also has issues with believing in herself, proving herself to others, and lots of stuff surrounding her past. I really liked getting to know her and watching her character change and grow throughout the book.

The plot was exciting and full of twists and turns that you don't see coming. I wasn't expecting most of these twists and they definitely kept me on my toes and reading as fast as I could to see what was going to happen next. I loved learning about the history of the kingdom, especially the Moria and their magic. I wish that the different magics were detailed and explained more in depth because that was a big part of why I wanted to read the book. I don't do spoilers in my reviews, so I can't say much about the plot without giving anything away. Some of the things you can see coming and know are going to happen but then the author throws in these twists that you don't expect. I loved that! And that ending.... Let's just say that I'm so incredibly glad that this is just the first book in a new series because I don't think I could've handled the ending otherwise. 

The writing was very well done and brought Ren's world to life for me. The author uses lots of detailed descriptions and vivid imagery so I could easily picture everything that happens. Another major part of the book for me is the writing style, and if you've read any of my other reviews, you know that it can make or break a book for me. I'm a huge fan of the first person point of view because I think it lets the reader connect on a much deeper level with the narrator. I was so happy that the author wrote this book in the first person from Ren's perspective. I loved learning everything about her - her hopes and dreams, fears and regrets, memories, thoughts and emotions, and everything in between. That really help me bond with her right away and only strengthened that connection over the course of the book. By the end, I felt as if I had known Ren forever and that I had been right alongside her throughout everything that happened in the story. 

Overall, I thought this was a thrilling first book in a very promising new YA fantasy series and I highly recommend it to fans of the genre and readers who like the author's other books.
Zoraida Córdova is the author of many fantasy novels including Star Wars: A Crash of Fate, the Brooklyn Brujas series, and The Vicious Deep trilogy. Her novel Labyrinth Lost won the International Book Award for Best Young Adult Novel in 2017. Her short fiction has appeared in the New York Times bestselling anthology Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View, and Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women and Witchcraft. Her upcoming books include Incendiary, book one in the Hollow Crown duology (Hyperion 2020) and she's the co-editor of Vampires Never Get Old (Imprint 2020). Zoraida was born in Ecuador and raised in Queens, New York. When she isn’t working on her next novel, she’s planning her next adventure.
Win a copy of INCENDIARY by Zoraida Córdova (US Only)
Starts: April 28, 2020
Ends: May 12, 2020

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