It’s Pride Month, and that means I get to spend the next few weeks spreading love and rainbows all over The Collective. In past years, I’ve featured LGBTQ+ comics, films, and other features of pop culture. This year, I’m starting with a book review of Audrey Coulthurst’s Of Fire And Stars.
A Brief Synopsis
Princess Dennaleia is betrothed to the prince of a neighboring kingdom, and as she travels to a new land to cement the political alliance, she faces incredible danger and intrigue. The prince’s sister, however, poses threat of a different kind entirely. Dennaleia’s feelings for Amaranthine threaten to collapse the political alliance, and Dennaleia’s biggest secret has the potential to put her as the focus of a treacherous political conspiracy.
Some Thoughts On “Of Fire And Stars”
It’s been a long time since I read a YA novel, and even longer since I actually enjoyed one…but…I’ve had this one on my to-read list for a few years now, and during a lull in my RL job, I finally sat down to read it.
First of all, this is a queer romance between two women. That’s right the princess gets the girl. If you’re a queer woman and you’ve spent many an hour lamenting that there were no f/f romantic fairytales available in a world saturated by Disney films…wait no more. This fairytale is full of the trope-y goodness that we’ve come to expect from YA fantasy novels.
Arranged marriage? Check. Falling in love with someone you’re not supposed to? Check. Protagonist has secret magical ability? Check.
Although the book does tend toward the predictable (it’s a YA novel for chrissakes what else do you expect?), it’s also quite refreshing to see the familiar YA tropes in LGBT characters. And even though the character development and world-building are not the most detailed or developed, there is still enough information for readers to easily follow along and understand the plot.
The biggest draw for this book is the romance between Dennaleia (Denna) and Amaranthine (Mare). The progression of their relationship from barely-tolerating-each-other acquaintances, to friends, to more is…dare I say it…really friggin cute. They complement each other but also challenge each other in a way that encourages them to grow, and, most importantly, they make a hella good team.
If you’re looking for a quick and cute read during Pride, look no further. Also, the sequel Of Ice and Shadows is due to be released later this summer!