Author: Camille Longley
Series: The Flameskin Chronicles – Book 1
Page Length: 400
Publication Date: Nov. 16, 2020
Synopsis: A cursed slave, a dethroned prince, and a heartless thief.
Lark is a flameskin slave, cursed with terrible powers and unable to escape her life of pain. When a smuggling job goes wrong, Lark is abandoned by her slaver to be killed or captured. She is given a chance for freedom, but it comes at a steep price.
Soren can no longer stand by and watch the usurper empress destroy his home, but all his efforts to help his people only create more chaos. When an invading army breeches the empire’s border, Soren is left with a besieged city to save and his honor to salvage.
Maku returns from his long journey overseas to rescue the girl he loves, or at least, the girl he used to love. Maku’s been extinguished—fire has burned away all his emotions. He has one last heist to pull off, but it’s a job that may endanger the one person he’s trying to protect.
This world of treachery and magic and will be sure to leave readers burning for more. Perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sarah J. Maas.
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Flameskin is the first book in The Flameskin Chronicles and centers around Lark and Soren, two very different people from opposing sides of a brewing war who have similar constraints imposed upon them. The story is told from dual perspectives, and chapters switch between Lark and Soren’s point of view.
Lark is a complex protagonist who continually fights her lot in life. A slave, Lark wants nothing more than to be free and to find her family. Lark is powerful and unique, but she doesn’t explore her power because of the fear her owner has instilled in her. Years of abuse have left her mostly submissive to him but fierce in all other aspects of her life. Lark is a survivor, and she never gives up hope. I can see why Maku, her life-long friend, admires her and fights for her freedom.
Lark and Maku have such a complex relationship. Maku is the son of Lark’s owner and has spent the majority of his life loving and trying to protect Lark. At the start of the story, Lark hasn’t seen Maku in two years, and when they reunite, he is very different. However, his feelings toward Lark remain unchanged. Lark, on the other hand, struggles to reconcile her feelings about Maku and what he has done in the two years he’s been gone. Their relationship is lovely, complicated, confusing, and true, and I found myself hoping that they would find their happy ever after.
He held her tight, not wanting to let go. This was why he had done it. This was why he had come back: to hold her, to bask in her happiness. To touch her and love her and call her his.Maku’s feelings toward Lark
Soren is trapped in his own right. The son of a powerful ruling family, Soren is stifled by familial and societal responsibilities, which hinder him from living the life he wants. He doesn’t have the luxury of following his dreams or desires, and the expectations put on him prohibit Soren from leading a full life. Like Lark, he really has no say in his life’s path until he decides to take matters into his own hands.
In addition to the awesome characters, I also love the fantasy elements and vivid world-building. Flameskins like Lark, for example, have pyras that live inside of them, which persistently try to take them over. This gives Flameskins the power of fire. Once the pyra takes over, however, the person is lost to the demon forever. I can see why Flamskins would be feared, as they have insurmountable power, but that fear turns into anger, prejudice, and the persecution of Flameskins. By highlighting the poor treatment of Lark and other Flameskins, the author makes poignant and powerful points about prejudice, racism, and equality.
Flameskin is a captivating story with an immersive plot, dynamically-developed characters, and nail-biting action. I love that I never knew what was going to happen next and was stunned at several unexpected happenings. The strong messages, the battle between good and evil and right and wrong, the romance, and the political manipulations all make for a binge-worthy read. Thanks so much to the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
They never gave her a choice. They always forced her to become the monster they expected her to be.
She’d rather be killed on some foolish escapade with him than live a lifetime without him.
You misunderstand what love it. Love isn’t a feeling. It’s a way of living. And I remember what it was like to love you, the way I once did. I choose to live my life as if I could still feel that.”
If you like fantasy stories with dynamic characters and cool (Well, actually they’re hot. lol) powers, then this is the book for you!