Phoenix Flame by Sara Holland ~ 272 pages ~ to be published on March 2, 2021 by Bloomsbury YA
Maddie thought her problems were over. She saved the Inn at Havenfall—a sanctuary between magical worlds—from the evil Silver Prince. Her uncle the Innkeeper is recovering from a mysterious spell that left him not quite human. And there are still a few weeks of summer left to spend with her more-than-friend Brekken.
But there’s more work to be done to protect the Inn—Maddie must put an end to the black-market trading of magical objects and open the Inn’s doors to the once feared land of shapeshifters.
As she tries to accomplish both seemingly impossible tasks, Maddie uncovers secrets that could change everything. What if saving everyone means destroying the only home she’s known?
What I Thought:
*I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.*
I really liked Havenfall when it came out, and it ended on such a cliffhanger that it left me anxious for the sequel. As far as completing the story, Phoenix Flame delivered. However, I was actually a bit disappointed by the story.
Let’s talk about the things that I really liked first. I was excited to get to travel to one of the other worlds in this book. Fiordenkill is a world that is filled with ice and frost, and just so happens to be the home planet of Brekken, our main character’s crush. Getting to see one of the worlds that was so heavily referred to in the first novel was fun. We also got to learn more about the magic system, which got a bit more flushed out in this book.
The love triangle was done in an interesting way in this book. Maddie, the main character, likes two people – Brekken and Taya. As Taya was absent for a fairly long portion of the book, the love triangle was a bit lopsided. This was an intriguing way to handle it though, and made it different than your typical YA love triangle scenario.
As far as things that didn’t really do it for me, there are a few. To try to spare you spoilers, I will be a bit vague. There is someone from Maddie’s past that pops back up in the book, and it should make a big impact on the story and the reader. I didn’t really feel that impact. I was not a big fan of this character, and I didn’t really feel like they really should have caused all of the trouble that they did. (Again, I know this is vague, but I don’t want to give any big spoilers!!) I was also just a little underwhelmed by the storyline in general in this book. It seems like a lot happens, but it feels like it doesn’t at the same time. It was just a bit lackluster for me.
Overall, this was a decent fantasy. It definitely wraps up the storyline from the first book satisfactorily. I would recommend that anyone who read the first book and really wanted to know what happens next pick this one up.
I gave Phoenix Flame 3 Stars!
Are you interested in learning more about this book/series? Check out the links below!
Have you read Havenfall? What are some of your favorite duologies? Let’s chat in the comments!
Love and happy reading,