Shimmer and Burn by Mary Taranta

Thanks to the #kidlitexchange network for the free review copy of his book – all opinions are my own.


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.


I loved reading this book. It was a really exciting, fast-paced teen fantasy and honestly, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. There was magic, there was evil, there were hidden kingdoms, sneaky spying creatures, and escape routes through sewers. And there was hope and perseverance. It had a bit of a historical vibe to it, in regards to some of the ways the characters lived and went about their day-to-day activities, which added another exciting dimension to the story. It was a perfect mix of excitement for my reading tastes.

Overall, I thought this was a very solid teen read and would recommend it to readers looking for an exciting fantasy series to jump into.

Highly recommend. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️

Purchase links: Barnes & NobleIndieBoundAmazon

Books stats: Hardcover, 336 pages, Margaret K. McElderry Books, August 8, 2017

Author stats: WebsiteInstagramTwitter


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