Of Honey and Wildfires Review
Updated: May 19
I’ve been in a major reading slump, of late. Certainly, the excuses are myriad. Pandemic is one. New baby is another. The fact that my last two most anticipated books were big let downs didn’t help (Burning White and Darkdawn).
So, I’ve been finding myself picking up new books, flipping through the first few chapters, and then tossing them aside. Been trying all sorts to pique my interest, and they‘d all failed
Until Of Honey and Wildfires.
Sarah Chorn has been on my radar for a while, and I thought this new release might be a good place to start. It certainly was. The story—the prologue—gripped me immediately. The only only prologue I can recall grabbing me so thoroughly was Unhewn Throne. I suddenly knew that this was a world I wanted to read about. This was going to be a damned interesting ride.
And it was. It was an emotional one, too.
I’m a father of two now. I am always conscious of missing things, of my children growing up, getting bigger, and potentially losing their use for me. Stories that tackle the complex dynamics of the relationships between children and parents resonate with me on many levels. And that’s what you had with Arlen, Cass, Chris, and Matthew. Cool world aside, I kept reading for these relationships.
I won’t get into plot, but the magic system was cool. Basically, what if folks struck a magical substance that was responsive to the will of the user instead of gold back in 1849? It never fully explained, and I don’t think it needs to be. It’s a pretty unique system, though, and I‘d love to see this world explored to learn more about it.
One of my concerns coming into this book was that I’d heard Chorn’s writing could be lyrical, poetic, and dare I say purple. I’m never a big fan of that, and thankfully it was not distracting (though a few metaphors fell flat for me). It was actually the Ianthe chapters that didn’t land for me, partially because of the purple-ness feeling a little forced. Those chapters were short, though, and I’m sure for some, they will love them the most.
Overall, I highly recommend Of Honey and Wildfires for fantasy fans who want a little deeper dive into emotions. An interesting world is the foundation for even more compelling relationships, and you’ll find yourself wanting to know more about both.