February 7, 2022

ARC REVIEW: Fire Becomes Her by Rosiee Thor

Fire Becomes Her by Rosiee Thor
Rating: 5 Stars
Release Date: February 1, 2022
Format: eARC (Edelweiss)
Publisher: Scholastic

The cover of Rosiee Thor’s Fire Becomes Her was what initially attracted me to the book, and I’m so glad I decided to pick it up. An emotional mix of fantasy, 1920’s glitz and glam, and political intrigue - the author examines themes like power, love, and class disparity through the reflection of the story’s world. Both thought-provoking and entertaining, this is a must-read for all fans of young adult fantasy. 

Ingrid is such a fierce protagonist. Part of her struggle is trying to do the right thing in a world filled with so much injustice, and I related to that struggle more than I can put into words. A lot of the story centers around Ingrid’s desire to belong, and what that ultimately looks like. On the surface, that desire centers around her relationship with Linden but it also involves wanting to be part of a family after what happened with her father. A family should be supportive of who you are - no true family should ever ask you to change to “fit in”. Rosiee Thor echoed this in writing “Just don’t align yourself with people who would sooner destroy you than lose.” 

This is my first exposure to a fantasy character who is on the aromantic spectrum (Ingrid is aromantic spectrum bisexual), and I appreciated the opportunity to learn more about such an underrepresented group in the LGBTQA+ community. Many of Ingrid’s thoughts and statements were quite thought-provoking and enlightening. For example, “The long and short of it was, though Ingrid’s patience for romance was thin on the best of days, she knew her capacity for it was not limited by gender.” I sat back and enjoyed the ride while reading - a more than willing witness to Ingrid’s journey to self-discovery, and learning what she wants for the future (and how her past has shaped that). 

Rosiee Thor explored the idea of love (and what it might look like for someone who is not what society deems “normal”) through the thoughts and actions of the characters in the book. I think it is summed up best in the quote, “You don’t have to fall in love in order to love. You don’t have to fall in love in order to be loved. Nowhere is it written in stone that you must love in only one way, only one person, only one time. You haven’t missed your shot at love, because love isn’t just one thing”. I wholeheartedly agree with this statement, and I wish more people did too. Love is love, people! Who cares if someone else’s definition doesn’t fit yours? Let them love the way they want to (without others sticking their nose in). 

The worldbuilding and the magic system of the story, and how a lot of the power in Candesce is focused on the possession and use of “flare” was awesome. It was reminiscent of the citizens of the Capitol in The Hunger Games, which definitely fits with the heavy emphasis on the “eat-the-rich” theme. The rich have access to so much “flare” that they can afford to eat it during parties - the poor, on the other hand, rely on it for warmth and other basic life necessities. As “flare” is used for voting, it shifts the dynamic of power in Candesce even more - when forced to choose, the poor have to conserve what little “flare” is available to keep themselves alive rather than vote and possibly be able to better their circumstances. It’s a form of voter suppression, as anyone can “technically” vote, though the elite are the only ones that can actually afford to do so. 

Overall, a fantastic book that I think should be on everyone’s reading lists. I apologize if my review was a bit all over the place, but I wanted to make sure I touched on all the highlights of the book (without introducing too many spoiler risks). In short, if a book with queer-platonic relationships, 1920s vibes, an intricate magic system, and lots of political intrigue sounds like something you would enjoy, then do yourself a favor and pick up Fire Becomes Her today! You can thank me later for recommending it to you. 

Thank you to the author, Scholastic, and Edelweiss for my complimentary review copy. I voluntarily read and reviewed Fire Becomes Her; all opinions are my own and not influenced in any way. Also, please note that all quotes were pulled from an early galley of the book, and may not be part of the final published version. 

Trigger Warnings: Abandonment, alcohol consumption, blood, death, fire/fire injury, gaslighting/manipulation, injury/injury detail, misogyny, sexism, violence

About the Author

Rosiee Thor began her career as a storyteller by demanding to tell her mother bedtime stories instead of the other way around. She spent her childhood reading by flashlight in the closet until she came out as queer. She lives in Oregon with a dog, two cats, and an abundance of plants.


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