**This is a spoiler free review**
I recently finished Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popovic, which I received in my August Fairyloot box. Overall, I liked it, but I do have some mixed feelings.
Iris and Malina are twin sisters who live with their mother and work in her bakery. All 3 also have the 'gleam' a magic that allows them to manipulate beauty through the senses. Their mother's past is also shrouded in mystery, and the girls do not even know who their father was. When something happens to their mother, they are thrown into a whole new world they didn't know existed, and one where they must discover their mother's secrets in order to survive.
The first 150 pages of this one were a struggle. I felt like everything that was happening was probably important, but that the story was leading up to something that really didn't need that much build up. This made it hard for me to stay engaged when reading, and I contemplated putting the book aside. Initially, the main character was also hard to relate to, which made it even harder to move past the slow start. Instead of fierce, rebellious, and independent, I was getting angry, bratty, with a strong 'feeling sorry for yourself' vibe.
However: after that the story really picked up and started to take some interesting twists and turns. The main character got much more likeable, and her backstory became much clearer as the story progressed. I found she was fierce, but also able to feel things really deeply, and her character was much more relatable because of it. The plot also started to develop, weaving a tale of magic and sacrifice that kept me reading and unable to put the book down.
When I think about giving it a rating, I almost want to split it in two; first 150 pages, and then everything that comes after. This book is also the first in what I think will be a duology, so keep in mind that while the end of the book does sum up some pajor plot points, there are elements of the story you'll have to wait a while for in order to continue reading. Overall, I did like the book, but it does take a while to get going. If you're looking for a slower, leisurely read, and you don't mind waiting for the next book, then this would be a good fit.
Rating: 6.5/10 stars
You'll like this book if you enjoyed: The Age of Legends series by Kelley Armstrong; Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody; Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen