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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
The Mark of Fallen Flame is the first book in the Weapon of Fire and Ash series by Brittany Matsen and it is an explosive opening for an urban fantasy novel with hints of coming of age. Emma Duvall is just two days away from senior year when she is attacked by creatures of the shadows. She is entangled with creatures that are venomous and have beautiful voices, and a wicked beast with red eyes. The strange thing is that the dark power from these creatures flows into her when she touches them and this power awakens a thirst in her that is uncontrollable. But a boy in school has caught her attention and she can’t understand why she hurts so much when she gets close to him. Emma must hide her powers but how can she when the Giborim who hunt the monsters think she is dangerous? Emma is drawn into an ancient conflict and may become the ultimate sacrifice. But can she save the world when a threat knocks at its doors?
Here is a novel that will appeal to fans of I Am Number Four; a narrative that is developed in two conflicting settings, a world with pure humans and one inhabited by monsters. The author does an impeccable job of handling the juxtaposition between the two worlds. Characters are well developed, including Blaze, an ancient man with a deep grudge. His role in the narrative is strong and I was keen to see how he could help Emma in her dilemma. Brittany Matsen's prose is elegant, flowing flawlessly, and the author does an impeccable job with the scenes, capturing the viewpoints of characters so readers enjoy the story. The Mark of Fallen Flame has a strong premise, a powerful conflict, and memorable, elaborately developed characters. A good read for fans of urban fantasy.