From the moment the first settler dug a well and struck a lode of shine, the world changed. Now, everything revolves around that magical oil.GoodReads
What began as a simple scouting expedition becomes a life-changing ordeal for Arlen Esco. The son of a powerful mogul, Arlen is kidnapped and forced to confront uncomfortable truths his father has kept hidden. In his hands lies a decision that will determine the fate of everyone he loves—and impact the lives of every person in Shine Territory.
The daughter of an infamous saboteur and outlaw, Cassandra has her own dangerous secrets to protect. When the lives of those she loves are threatened, she realizes that she is uniquely placed to change the balance of power in Shine Territory once and for all.
Secrets breed more secrets. Somehow, Arlen and Cassandra must find their own truths in the middle of a garden of lies.
I’m always on the lookout for hidden gems, so after Chorn had been recommended to me by a few people I decided to jump into Of Honey and Wildfires with news of its sequel on the way and I’m thrilled that I did!
I really enjoyed the way that this story was told in terms of how the narrative was divided up. In addition to changes in character perspective, we also jumped all around the timeline of events too. Now, on paper you may think that sounds confusing, however, Chorn flows between them effortlessly and I found it very easy to keep up and understand what was going on with who and when. In fact, I can’t imagine this novel being told in a linear fashion as there is so much depth of character and plot to explore. Each of the sections come together brilliantly and you can begin to piece together different aspects of the plot which makes for some very satisfying reveals.
Through the regular change in perspective between Cassandra, Arlen and Ianthe we get to see the world Chorn has created, as well as other characters, through very different eyes which I think is very important to see. Although we do get to spend time with different characters, I would have liked to understand certain characters more and see more of them. However, through Chorn’s beautiful writing even though I didn’t have a really strong connection to the characters, I still found myself incredibly moved by them and their situations. Throughout the novel you can’t help but root for them and want the best for them, but you constantly question whether that is even possible for them.
In addition to the three protagonists we also spend a lot of time with Cassandra’s family, at first I wasn’t sure if I liked her father, Christopher, after he just left her with his sister Annie. However, the more we read the more we understand that there is so much more going on. I loved how supportive Annie and Jasper were of Cassandra, even if they were a little unsure of her wildness when they first met her. By the end of the novel, I was completely invested in the lives of all of these characters.
Chorn’s lyrical and poetic writing style instantly had me hooked into the novel, you could very clearly see her own passion for these characters and this world which made the book such a delight to read. There are so many quotes that really pack an emotional punch and cause you to just take a pause to contemplate what is happening. The world itself is very interesting and has a lot more exploration potential, a lot of aspects are touched upon in the book (Shine, the Boundary etc) but not going into too much detail about the specifics of it all. I cannot wait to see more of this in the sequel which I will definitely be picking up!
Overall, this was such an enchanting and emotional read which really delves into the complexities of family and a corrupt society. One which I highly recommend!