Of Honey and Wildfires by Sarah Chorn is a Wild West inspired fantasy, and the first book in the Songs of Sefate series.
I absolutely loved Of Honey and Wildfires – I read it in one sitting as I just couldn’t put it down. I loved the beautiful prose, the characters, the world with its Wild West hints — everything!
The story follows Cassandra Hobson. Her father Christopher is an outlaw, wanted for his terrorist attacks on Shine Company, and her best friend and only love Ianthe is slowly dying of consumption. Meanwhile, Christopher has kidnapped Matthew’s son, Arlen, while he is on a business trip for the Company. Christopher knows a dark secret about the owner of the Shine Company, Matthew Esco — and the two are tied together forever.
The whole book had me gripped from beginning to end. It’s told from the perspective of three different characters — Cassandra, Ianthe, and Arlen — and the timeline switches from their childhoods to the present day. Slowly we uncover their pasts. All three characters are really interesting, unique and loveable, and I really felt for them.
In addition, the story and the way that the characters are all woven together is really clever and I was surprised by a few of the revelations along the way. The switches from the past and present day were really well done, giving just enough context to keep me guessing.
The whole book is so beautifully written. I highlighted so many sections! Her thoughts on the nature of love, in particular, really resonated with me. The author has such an amazing way of words. The whole book is written in this style of beautiful prose that is incredibly moving and poetic.
Love is not soft. Love is the loneliest place in the world. For her, I became an island adrift in a foreign sea. I emptied myself just so I could fit more of her inside of me. Love was the fire, and I walked into it over and over again knowing it would burn me. She was the sweet music of my destruction. The lullaby of my end.
Parts of this book are heartbreaking and upsetting to read. The author describes heartbreak, love and grief perfectly.
In addition, the setting is a Wild West inspired fantasy world. I loved the magic and world building, and found it familiar enough to be easy to understand but also unique enough that I didn’t get confused. Shine and how it works for example is explained really well, in a way that feels very natural, with no huge dumps of information.
Of Honey and Wildfires is one of my favourite books of the year so far! The story is really well-written, with beautiful prose and fantastic characters. I’d really recommend giving this one a try, especially if you have Kindle Unlimited. The sequel in this series, Glass Rhapsody, is released on 30th June and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy — I have pre-ordered it already!
The blurb for Of Honey and Wildfires
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.
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.
About the author, Sarah Chorn
Sarah has been a compulsive reader her whole life. At a young age, she found her reading niche in the fantastic genre of Speculative Fiction. She blames her active imagination for the hobbies that threaten to consume her life. She is a freelance writer and editor, a semi-pro nature photographer, world traveler, three-time cancer survivor with hEDS, and mom to two. In her ideal world, she’d do nothing but drink lots of tea and read from a never-ending pile of speculative fiction books. She has been running the review blog Bookworm Blues for over ten years, has been editing books for four, and has been a published author since 2019.