Thank you so much to Inkyard Press for having me as a part of their Winter 2021 Blog Tour! Today, I’m going to be posting about This Golden Flame, but keep an eye out for my posts for The Iron Raven and These Feathered Flames!
This Golden Flame 4/5 Stars
Summary from Goodreads:
An Ember in the Ashes meets Mask of Shadows in Emily Victoria’s #ownvoices debut YA fantasy, This Golden Flame, in which asexual Karis, a servant to the mysterious Scriptorium, accidentally awakens long-dormant automaton Alix, initiating an epic adventure full of magic, rebellion, and finding where you truly belong.
Orphaned and forced to serve her country’s ruling group of scribes, Karis wants nothing more than to find her brother, long ago shipped away. But family bonds don’t matter to the Scriptorium, whose sole focus is unlocking the magic of an ancient automaton army.
In her search for her brother, Karis does the seemingly impossible- she awakens a hidden automaton. Intelligent, with a conscience of his own, Alix has no idea why he was made. Or why his father- their nation’s greatest traitor- once tried to destroy the automatons.
Suddenly, the Scriptorium isn’t just trying to control Karis; it’s hunting her. Together with Alix, Karis must find her brother…and the secret that’s held her country in its power for centuries.
When I started reading this book, bits and pieces of it reminded me of Rachel Caine’s The Great Library series, which I absolutely loved, so that was the best! There were so many aspects of this book that I really enjoyed- the friendship between Karis and Dane, the fact that Karis sees Alix as a person rather than a machine, the pirates, the whole overthrowing a government/leader that has let their power corrupt them, but the book itself did feel just a little bit too long. It didn’t really take away from the reading experience, I just felt like I was checking my progress to see how far along I was far more often than I normally do. Besides that, I also really enjoyed the world that Emily Victoria built- I wish we had learned more about the actual world though because the characters kept saying places and I wanted to know more about these places, more about their history, more about these wars fought (with or without automaton). I thought the automatons were great too- definitely an interesting concept with runes and there being a mystery around why they had stopped and how to get them back on again. Overall, This Golden Flame was a fun read and if you’re craving fantasy with great friendships, relationships, and accepting anyone no matter who they are, I definitely suggest picking this one up!