Fallen Flame (Fallen Flame #1) by J.M. Miller
Expected Publication: June 19th, 2017
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
An eArc was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Nineteen years ago, on the island kingdom of Garlin, a girl was born. With charred skin as rough as rock, Vala was instantly feared. For how could one be scorched by magic when it had perished ages before?
Recognizing an asset, the royal family welcomed her on their Guard. Her detail: the prince.
To watch. To protect. She has grown with him, lives her life for him.
When the high kingdom’s princess comes to assess the prince, assassins of rival courtiers come to claim his life. One nearly succeeds in his mission. But with shadowy movements and charred skin like her own, Vala knows he is not like the rest.
As threats to the prince continue and questions about Vala’s life begin to rise, she faces a fear worse than fire or water, worse even than losing him.
She fears finding out who she truly is.
The author is currently doing a release blitz closer to the time the book is published. I was going to join, however, it stated if I was going to give less than 3.5 stars to send them my review first before posting. I didn’t like that requirement, and think that if you, as an author, is sending out arcs for review then you should be able to take the bad with the good. Okay, rant over. Now on to the actual review of the book.
This was book one in the Fallen Flame series, and it was a decent start to this new world. It wasn’t very original in concept, but Miller does a good job in making it her own. Miller does an excellent job of world building on the little island that the entire book takes place on. However, it was a little confusing when they talked about other places in relation to where they were located. Eventually, I figured it out when it kept getting repeated (and maybe looking at the map in the beginning of the book helped out a lot as well).
Vala is the main protagonist in this story, and I enjoyed learning more about her throughout the book. I just wish that the pacing was a little bit faster, I didn’t really enjoy the book until about 80% in. We are told that Vala is different from everyone and that she was cursed when she was born. There is a lot of mystery surrounding that time, and Vala never really questions it until she meets an assassin who looks just like her. Ever since this assassin shows up, Vala starts to question everything about her life and who she really is. Which I thought was more interesting than what was going on in her life as a guard to the prince and eventually princess.
Plotwise, it didn’t seem to be much of one until the mystery of Vala’s past comes up near the end. And then it just seemed as if it was only placed there to set up the next book. Majority of the book was Vala and the guards trailing behind the royals and trying to keep assassins from killing the prince. When Vala is accused of murder, is when the plot really picks up and questions sort of start to get answered.
One aspects of the book that I had a major problem with was the relationship between the prince and Vala. It was always mentioned that Vala has gotten too close to the prince, and vice versa. When Vala is accused of murder, it was like that relationship never existed. He tortured her with water knowing how much pain it causes her, and he wouldn’t even listen to her. I’m glad that she finally realized that he was not someone she needed to give up her life for in order for him to live just because he is the prince.
Overall, this wasn’t a bad book. It set up the world building nicely, introduced the characters very well, and left us with a mystery that just started to be solved near the end. I just wish the pace was a little bit faster.