Shimmer and Burn by Mary Taranta ~ Review

Shimmer and Burn
Hardcover352 pages
Expected publication: August 8th 2017 
by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher
Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars


To save her sister’s life, Faris must smuggle magic into a plague-ridden neighboring kingdom in this exciting and dangerous start to a brand-new fantasy duology.

Faris grew up fighting to survive in the slums of Brindaigel while caring for her sister, Cadence. But when Cadence is caught trying to flee the kingdom and is sold into slavery, Faris reluctantly agrees to a lucrative scheme to buy her back, inadvertently binding herself to the power-hungry Princess Bryn, who wants to steal her father’s throne.

Now Faris must smuggle stolen magic into neighboring Avinea to incite its prince to alliance—magic that addicts in the war-torn country can sense in her blood and can steal with a touch. She and Bryn turn to a handsome traveling magician, North, who offers protection from Avinea’s many dangers, but he cannot save Faris from Bryn’s cruelty as she leverages Cadence’s freedom to force Faris to do anything—or kill anyone—she asks. Yet Faris is as fierce as Bryn, and even as she finds herself falling for North, she develops schemes of her own.

With the fate of kingdoms at stake, Faris, Bryn, and North maneuver through a dangerous game of magical and political machinations, where lives can be destroyed—or saved—with only a touch.


Thank you Simon and Schuster for sending me a copy of Shimmer and Burn for review. This in no way affected my opinion.

When I started Shimmer and Burn I was not in a good head space. I was dealing with the loss of a family member. So for me to still connect with this story and be taken away by Mary Taranta's incredible imagination was completely unexpected. I had some friends who told me I would love it and I knew it was a book I was excited for but I did not realize how much I would love this story.

Some of my favorite characters were side characters. I kind of had an idea of the plot twist but I still loved watching it play out. I definitely need more! This book reminded me of Leigh Bardugo's writing with its own style and world. But this is a dark fantasy with characters both good and bad both light and dark. Shadows that have taken over a world and magic banned. I highly recommend this to all fantasy fans.

Buy Links:

Pre-Order Giveaway

About the Author:

Born the youngest save one in a family of ten, I grew up notoriously quiet but secretly wild, playacting my favorite stories and writing some of my own in the woods behind my family's farmhouse. Originally from a small (very small) town in Ohio, I moved to the larger (much larger) Orlando suburbs kicking and screaming at the age of fifteen. It turned out all right in the end and I'm still here, now with an adorable husband, two useless cats, and an unhealthy reliance on air conditioning. While I'm not old enough to be President, I am too old to sit on the floor without cracking joints when I stand. As a Midwestern Southerner, I've attained Level 9 Politeness and prefer my iced tea sweet. 
Still notoriously quiet, though. Not nearly so wild. 
Fun Facts :
My last name is pronounced "Tah-ron-tah."

I hold a BA degree in History from the University of Central Florida. (Go Knights!)

I'm a largely self-taught artist, with a handful of community college classes to back up my basics. Most of my work is done in Photoshop CS on a Wacom Cintiq named Pem.

My very favorite book is The 13 Clocks by James Thurber. It taught me that writing has rhythm and words have beats and if you orchestrate them in just the right way, writing makes music. (It also bolstered a lifelong love of alliteration and villains with insidious hearts and time-stained gloves.)


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