Book Reviews

Book Review: Torch

by R.J. Anderson

publisher’s synopsis


How do you fight fire without fire?
When a freak storm uncovers the entrance to a mysterious underground chamber, Ivy and Martin expect to find treasure. But what they discover is even more valuable: a barrow full of sleeping spriggans, magically preserved for centuries. With the vengeful piskey queen Betony determined to capture Ivy and her followers, the secret hideaway could be key to both their peoples’ survival.

But the piskeys and spriggans are ancient enemies, and when Ivy tries to make peace her own followers threaten to turn against her. Plagued by treachery, betrayal and desertion on every side, Ivy must find a way to unite the magical folk of Cornwall—or doom herself, Martin and everyone she loves to death at Betony’s hand.

Yet without the legendary fire-wielding power that marks a true piskey queen, can Ivy convince her people to believe?

I love this series. It’s so fantastic. So let’s talk about Torch.

The characters. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I love Ivy and Martin. And I love the two of them together. They’re so adorable. Also, Martin is just a fantastic character on his own. His quoting of Shakespeare, flair for the dramatics, and wit are great. I loved the side characters as well. Thorn and Martin respectively had me laughing at points.

For those who dislike love triangles, there is a sort of love triangle in Torch. It is a little awkward, but it does make sense in relation to the plot. R.J. doesn’t make it easy for Ivy and Martin to be together. 🙂

The only thing about the characters that bugged me was Ivy’s relationship with her family. While it makes sense for her relationship with Marigold to be awkward, it would have been neat to see Ivy and her mom having to work through the hurt in their relationship and really come to know each other. Mica also made me a little mad. One minute, it seems like he loves Ivy and is trying to support her, and then he’s almost blackmailing her into doing things. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining about the characters or the book. I still love it all. These are just some things that bugged me.

Like with the rest of her books, R.J. paces her books such that they don’t feel like they’re rushing from one thing to the next, but they never drag. I read Torch in one sitting and was gripped the entire time.

I loved getting to explore more the world of the Little Folk of Cornwall, and also getting to revisit the Oak. Like I’ve said in the past, The Fight and Flame trilogy does tie into R.J.’s other No Ordinary Faery Tale series. You can read them independently of each other, but to get the most of the books, I’d recommend reading the No Ordinary Faery Tale series first.

Overall, Torch was a satisfying conclusion to the series. R.J. wrapped everything up well and gave our characters their happy ending. I highly recommend The Flight and Flame Trilogy.

Cautions: moderate romance; several kisses; moderate violence

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