STARRED REVIEW
May 11, 2020

Incendiary

By Chris Cleave
Review by

Renata is a valuable member of the Whispers, a group of rebels fighting against the brutal king who conquered the kingdom of Puerto Leones and its people, the Moria. When Dez, the leader of Renata’s unit and the boy she loves, is captured on a mission gone awry and taken to the palace as a prisoner, Ren must try to rescue him and complete their mission.

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Renata is a valuable member of the Whispers, a group of rebels fighting against the brutal king who conquered the kingdom of Puerto Leones and its people, the Moria. When Dez, the leader of Renata’s unit and the boy she loves, is captured on a mission gone awry and taken to the palace as a prisoner, Ren must try to rescue him and complete their mission.

The Moria are a magically gifted people, and Ren is what they call a Robári. Her gift is the ability to steal memories; it’s a dangerous power that, in the extreme, can turn people into hollow shells, void of personality and identity. As a child, Ren was kidnapped and held captive by King Ferdinand, who forced her to use her powers to support his Inquisitors, wreaking havoc on the lives of her people. Though she was rescued by the Whispers, her sense of belonging among them is tenuous, and her guilt and inability to face her memories of that time consume her. Returning to the palace to rescue Dez means confronting her past head-on—and uncovering secrets that could change everything.

Zoraida Córdova’s Incendiary is a satisfying fantasy novel set in a world that draws much from the history of medieval Spain. From the novel’s explosive beginning, Córdova’s pacing is efficient and propulsive, every move advancing both the story and the emotional development of her characters. This world works on both macro and micro levels; we understand its alliances and rivalries, but we also feel its heat and dust.

Anchored in Ren’s deeply personal journey, Incendiary tells a tale of love and war with a thrilling, epic scope.

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Incendiary

Incendiary

By Chris Cleave
Knopf
ISBN 9780307262820

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