Book Reviews

Book Review: Fire Dancer

by Catherine Jones Payne

publisher’s synopsis:

So You Think You Can Dance meets Storm Siren

Fire is a dangerous magic.

Sixteen-year-old Kyla is preparing for the test of her life: a high-stakes dance competition to win the role of principal dancer in the fire festival’s elite troupe. When she’s not sneaking off into the woods to practice forbidden magic, that is. Among her people, only the men are entrusted with the mysteries of magecraft. But Kyla’s been learning in secret for ten years, and she’s never backed down from a challenge.

As danger ignites, Kyla must maintain a tight control on her magic. For more than her ambition is in peril. She must stay a step ahead of her enemies—a backstabbing dancer, a repressive council, and a crazed arsonist. If she can’t withstand the inferno, the people she loves most will die.

Some Things I Liked:

-The dance culture of the Fintan was neat, partly because I feel like dancing doesn’t pop up super often in books.

-I appreciated that Payne tried to balance having female characters who wanted a career, and characters who wanted to be a mother and homemaker.

What Wasn’t my Favorite:

-Kyla’s internal drive/motivations and thoughts were repeated a lot, especially at the end of chapters. So you knew what was pushing her, but you were told, rather than shown.

-The plot felt a little basic. I think it could have benefited from some further complexity from subplots or plot twists.

-Kyla’s plot arc pacing felt a little off towards the end.


I got Fire Dancer when it was a free kindle deal. I don’t regret taking the time to read it, but I probably won’t continue with the series. It wasn’t bad, but it felt like it could have been more.

Cautions: light romance

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