Title: IGNITE THE SUN
Author: HANNA HOWARD
Publication Date: AUGUST 18, 2020
Sixteen-year-old Siria Nightingale has never seen the sun. The light is dangerous, according to Queen Iyzabel, an evil witch who has shrouded the kingdom in shadow.
Siria has always hated the darkness and revels in the stories of the light-filled old days that she hears from her best friend and his grandfather. Besides them, nobody else understands her fascination with the sun, especially not her strict and demanding parents. Siria’s need to please them is greater even than her fear of the dark. So she heads to the royal city—the very center of the darkness—for a chance at a place in Queen Iyzabel’s court.
But what Siria discovers at the Choosing Ball sends her on a quest toward the last vestiges of the sun with a ragtag group of rebels who could help her bring back the Light…or doom the kingdom to shadow forever.
This is one of my most anticipated read this year and I had a high expectation of it. Let me just say that this book was phenomenal and it was simply amazing. I loved it and enjoyed it a lot. Not enough words can explain how much I truly enjoyed reading it.
The storyline was really easy to follow and the flow of the story was really smooth, so it won’t be complicated to understand what was going on. It was about a girl named Siria and her other companions on their journey to help Siria reach her full power by escaping the Darkness to find the Sun. Along the way, Siria learns a lot about herself, her past, and her power.
It was a story full of beautiful and dangerous adventure. The journey that all the characters had to go through was rough but what makes it wonderful was the fact that they had each other, and when they are together nothing can stop them from reaching their goals. It was good to know that they don’t have to be alone in their struggles.
I liked how the author wrote Siria’s story in this book and showed the truth about who Siria actually is, what she is, her actual past, and everything that has to do with her and her power. There was a lot information to be honest, but it was all important and helped me to understand why the author chose her as the main protagonist of the story and why her role as the savior is the main focus.
Aside from Siria’s story, the author also took her time to tell a little bit about the other characters’ stories: Linden, Yarrow, Merrell, and Elegy. I liked learning a bit more about these amazing characters who’d been helping Siria throughout the whole book. Each of them have unique and heart-wrenching stories about their past and that shaped them into who they are in the present day. Each of them shared a devastating past, so it was nice to see they had each other and doesn’t have to be or feel alone in the world. All of them played the same important role which is to protect Siria, keep her safe at all times, and guide her so that she can reach to her full power in order to defeat the Darkness.
As for the plot, it was a very well-written one. I loved how the plot was simple and yet still fantastic in so many ways. The plot was to save Siria and get her to the North so that she can finally embracing her full power as a Sunchild and that would eventually make her powerful enough to defeat the Darkness which was controlled by the villain of the story. The things that never stop surprising me was the twists and turns. As I said earlier, the characters that appeared in this book each have their own story to tell, well…from learning about their past, there was a lot of shocking things I’ve learned.
I was shocked and surprised to know the whole truth about Siria and the other characters—mainly her companions and the villain. It was a jaw-dropping surprises and most of it are just unpredictable, I didn’t see it coming. It was obviously the most clever thing to do. The author put as much surprises as she can into the story to surprise the readers, totally unexpected but most importantly, she succeeded.
The world-building was massive and unique, and I’m actually impressed by this beautiful new fantasy world created by the author. I can see the huge effort that the author put into creating this world. Writing a new fantasy world in details are hard, it wasn’t easy at all but the author managed to create this beautiful world and make it interesting. I can already imagined how beautiful it looks.
I loved the concept of the magic here which are very well-explained in the book. The magic of the Darkness and the magic of the Sun. Those who are evil and corrupted, they controlled the Darkness. As for the Sun, it is the source of power for the Sunchildren (people who were born with the power of the Light). The light vs dark and good vs evil is a very common concept in many books, but I loved how the author use it to symbolize the two different magic in this book and making it appear more interesting. It was all so intriguing to the point it felt so unreal.
The characters in this book are so amazing and each of them have different ability due to not all of them are the same. I wasn’t expecting that at all, I just thought they were all the same before I even started reading this book. What I truly liked the most was how the characters are connected to each other by their past, not by blood because majority of them aren’t blood-related, only Siria and her brother do.
This book just doesn’t stop surprising me, especially learning about the characters’ past because that was one hell of a ride learning the whole truth about everyone, and how one is connected to the other and connected to another and connected to Siria—again, not by blood. It was a wonder how my brain doesn’t explode from that many surprises. I was impressed, so that’s a good sign.
Siria Nightingale, let me take a moment to appreciate how good and unique her name is. Okay, now let’s talk a bit about her. She is without a doubt a powerful protagonist. Look, she doesn’t become powerful all of a sudden, unlike most female protagonist do which is very unrealistic. She was trained by Yarrow and Linden a lot, and there was a lot of scenes in this book that showed her training process and how it was progressing. For example: the first time she used her power, how she tried to control it, how to properly use her skills and power in a fight, the endless hours of training she had in order for her to gain full control of her own power, the effort she put into her training just so she can reach her full potential in order to defeat the villain.
Siria never give up. She’s a very determined person and the effort she put into her training only make her one of the best and one of the most likable female protagonist. She’d been working so hard to get to where she was at the end of the story. I really admired her strength and dedication. Despite being young, she had a lot of things to do and that can be a heavy burden on her, and yet she never complained. She knew what her purpose was and what she should do, so she put all of her focus on it and trained as hard as she can to succeed.
Her journey wasn’t all that easy and that’s why I liked her character a lot because of the rough journey she had to go through and the hardships she had to endured, it made her stronger. It didn’t weaken her but instead it motivates her to work harder so that she can be as strong and powerful as she was born to be. She wasn’t just a lost princess of her long-dead kingdom, but she was also a young warrior who saved the entire world from the darkness. Her journey inspired me in some way, it make me look at success in life differently than I did before. Choosing Siria as the protagonist of this story is the right choice, and I’m happy that the author make her character more realistic and likable that I can relate to. How she was written and developed in this book was solid and on point. That’s all I can say about her.
Linden is Siria’s best friend who’ve been protecting her since the beginning. He lost a lot of people in his life but he gained Yarrow and Siria. Learning about his past and how much he had suffered made me feel sad for him. Despite having to face many obstacles in his life, he never give up hope that better things are coming for him and everyone that has been following the right path. He’s strong and even volunteered to train Siria because she needed to harness her skills and know how to use her power properly. He and Yarrow had given Siria a proper training which I really liked seeing the most because without proper training, she might not gain victory at the end.
I get why some people thought Linden is a dull character, that he is not interesting, and his only purpose was to become Siria’s love interest. Well, that was from what I’ve seen people said the most about his character. Honestly to me, his purpose is bigger than most people can grasp. He might not be as special as Siria, but he is indeed strong and powerful in his own way that he was able to give Siria a proper training.
Linden is a lot useful, just like Siria, Yarrow, and Merrell. He wasn’t just there to become Siria’s love interest later on, but he was there to bring Siria to the North, where she can reach her full power. He’d been protecting her from the start, making sure she was safe, and always be the first person to run to her whenever danger was trying to get them. Also, he was smart and there was a scene that proved it (I don’t want to spoil it). For a male protagonist, he is definitely the right choice and also the best one.
Yarrow is like a father figure to both Siria and Linden, and obviously the most experience out of the three of them. He was way too powerful which is understandable. After all, he’d been battling the bad guys his whole life and witnessed all the bad things that happened to the previous Sunchildren before Siria. I totally get his reason to protect her and why he was so hell bent on being extremely careful with their surroundings. He is actually a mentor to both Siria and Linden, and I knew where Linden got his confidence to train Siria and how he possessed all those great skills. With a mentor like Yarrow, there isn’t a doubt that his disciples are bound to be great.
I loved reading the part where Yarrow talked about the past to Siria and told her everything that happened before the Darkness took over the world. I’ve learned a lot more from Yarrow’s story and how easy it was to understand the history of the Darkness and the Sun from his point of view. He wasn’t just an excellent mentor, but he was also a great storyteller. I really liked Yarrow’s character, he’d been so helpful throughout the book.
As for the villain, one thing that you should know is that she was introduced early in the story. I didn’t know who the villain was, and when it was time to meet her I was shocked because never once did I ever thought she would become the villain. I thought the woman could be trustworthy and have a kind heart, but no, I was wrong. She was strong and definitely is the hardest challenge Siria had to face. Her past and what she did all those years ago was disgustingly horrible. I’d rather stay as far away as I can from her if I were to live in this book. Even though her only part was in the beginning and in the final few chapters, she was still an excellent but terrifying villain.
Learning about the vile things she did to become what she is in the present day and to achieved whatever messed up goals she had in her mind made me see the bigger picture of what she truly is. No wonder she was important, and due to her absence for the majority of the book, there wasn’t enough room for her character development as a villain and despite the flaw in her character, I still enjoyed watching her insane act as someone who’d been living with the darkness inside of her for so long that it drove her mad.
Can we please appreciate the friendship between Siria and Linden before they decided to pursue a relationship and become each other’s love interest. Their friendship was really-really wonderful, I really appreciate all the good things coming from their friendship. I know mostly people preferred enemies-to-lovers trope but as a huge fan of the friends-to-lovers trope I’m so happy. I’m happy two see two best friends slowly develop romantic feelings toward one another and to see them slowly fall in love with each other. The upgrade was amazing, like truly amazing. It took them long enough to realize they’ve been having feelings that can’t be described as anything friendly. It wasn’t easy for them to confessed their feelings to one another and it took like 20+ chapters for them to finally get together. Their slow-burn romance was beautifully written.
Most romance in fantasy books can be seen as a weakness, but it was different here. Their love for each other is one of the things that motivates them to become better and stronger so that they can keep each other’s safe and reach the goals they’ve been targeting since the beginning of their journey. They are not each other’s weakness but they are each other’s motivator. Seeing them fight side by side against the bad guys are one of my most favorite moments in the book. What a powerful duo they are, and I was glad the author decided to paired them up romantically. Their love was so pure and so beautiful and a lot more realistic. I really loved them both and thankfully I get to see them becoming more than just friends.
Another thing I liked is the brother-sister relationship between Siria and her brother (I forgot his name). The fact that Siria is the lost princess and she never seen her brother since she was still a baby made her reunion with her brother more epic. She literally didn’t know about his existence beforehand. When she finally met her brother years later, I cried. She thought the man and woman she’d been living with her whole life are her parents but no, they are not her biological parents. And then learning about what happened to her biological parents and siblings made me realize just how many people she had lost in her life, but thankfully her brother is the only biological family member she had left. These two are amazing, seeing them fought the villain together was a great sight to see.
I liked how her brother treated her kindly and even made some jokes to make her smile when they first met which took place during their reunion. They have a naturally strong family bond, hence why despite years of being separated from each other their relationship as brother and sister doesn’t have a single awkwardness in it. Finding out about Siria’s brother is the one thing I didn’t thought the author would include at all. I really thought he was long dead along with their parents and their other sister. It was good to see these two siblings got their epic reunion and got their time to shine as two amazing warriors at the end, they deserved it.
Overall, it was a remarkable story and so interesting too from the beginning until the end. There are so many good and unforgettable moments that made this book phenomenal. I hope once this book comes out, many people would read it. I really enjoyed it and the ending was perfect, really fit for the characters after witnessing the obstacles they had to face throughout their journey. I was speechless by how good it was written, I expected it to be an excellent story and I gladly admit that it was beyond my expectation. I really loved it and I highly recommend it.