Morning Mortals! Hope you’re doing ok this fine morn (it may not be morn, you may not be well, I’m sorry if either of my hopes do not apply). Today I’m reviewing the wonderful Wicked Like a Wildfire which was the book chosen for August’s Fairyloot box. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book so it was an adventure to give it a read. Let’s see how it went!
All the women in Iris and Malina’s family have the unique magical ability or “gleam” to manipulate beauty. Iris sees flowers as fractals and turns her kaleidoscope visions into glasswork, while Malina interprets moods as music. But their mother has strict rules to keep their gifts a secret, even in their secluded sea-side town. Iris and Malina are not allowed to share their magic with anyone, and above all, they are forbidden from falling in love.
But when their mother is mysteriously attacked, the sisters will have to unearth the truth behind the quiet lives their mother has built for them. They will discover a wicked curse that haunts their family line—but will they find that the very magic that bonds them together is destined to tear them apart forever?
Firstly, I want to talk about how phenomenal the ideas for magic are in this book. I can see how Popovic really considered how magical talents might manipulate the senses. I was particularly impressed by Iris’ powers, I’ve never read anything remotely similar to the idea of turning flowers into fractals. That’s phenomenal. It sparked something in my imagination which is exactly what I look for in fantasy books with somewhat unique magic systems.
Characterisation was also interesting. Some might say it’s a little played out to have the grungy sister vs the perfect sister but I think in this case it works. There’s a lot more beyond that surface impression of either sister so the book doesn’t simply become a female Horrid Henry (did anyone else read those as a child, great books?). Moving on.
I feel like a lot of this book could have been really played out. The theme of sisterhood is one that many YA books have explored. For whatever reason, in Wicked Like A Wildfire none of them feel overdone. Something about the combination of themes and Popovic’s writing makes all of this feel new.
This is, I feel, the perfect balance of lovely descriptive language and actually getting on with the plot. It’s beautiful and powerful, but it’s also got an attitude to it, a bite that keeps you on your toes. I think that’s one of the ways in which the cover is absolutely perfect, from a distance it looks frilly and floral but when you get up close there’s some gorgeous details, some of which are pretty dark. There’s more going on than your first realise, and by the time you do you’ve been pulled halfway into storyland and it’s too late to run now.
That went weird. I’m weird. Sorry.
My Rating: 5/5 stars!
All opinions are my own!
What say you? Have you read this? Are you another Fairyloot subscriber? Let me know in the comments below!