Flicker is pretty good, but flare is what everyone really wants, because in Fire Becomes Her, the world runs on flare. The magical substance has made the country of Candesce rich and powerful, but Candesce’s political elite decide who deserves access to the precious resource and who will be left in the dark.
Like flicker, the illicit, bootleg version of flare, a good education and social connections not enough for 17-year-old Ingrid Ellis. Wealth and power are what she truly desires. Ingrid yearns to leave behind her impoverished childhood, forced to scrape by on bits of flicker just to keep warm. She longs for a life full of the magic, power and opulence available only to those with unlimited access to pure flare. Senator and presidential candidate Walden Holt’s son, Linden, seems to be the perfect way to get there.
As Ingrid pursues and (maybe, she thinks) falls in love with Linden, she is desperate to win his father’s approval. After she makes an impressive but unexpected display of magical strength during a raid at an underground flicker club, Ingrid is invited to join Senator Holt’s campaign. She offers to embed herself as a spy among the opposition and to pass along information that might ensure Holt’s victory. Things become complicated, however, as Ingrid gets to know the policies and ideals of the candidate she’s spying on. Along the way, her own worldview is shaken to its core.
In their second novel, author Rosiee Thor masterfully blends a fantasy setting inspired by the Prohibition era and a plot dripping with political intrigue. Fire Becomes Her thoughtfully explores complex themes including inequality, social hierarchies, families both found and chosen, and the possibility of redemption. Thor takes every opportunity to let these characters be uniquely themselves, and the range of gender identities and sexualities represented, as well as the nuanced forms of attraction and love depicted, are impressive and will be, for some readers, revelatory.
Fire Becomes Her is an imaginative, glittering tale about what it’s like to hold the kind of power that can truly change the world.