Title: Incendiary (Hollow crown #1)
Author: Zoraida Córdova
Pub. Date: April 28th. 2020
Genre: YA Fantasy/Historical Fiction
Pages: 384 Pages
Its been some time since a book has kept me up past midnight like Incendiary did in two sittings. I couldn’t flip the pages fast enough to get answers to the many twists & turns this story took. Set during the time of the Spanish Inquisition, our MC Renata Convida who was kidnapped by the Kingdom for her special abilities is now back with her people. Many have died at her hands when she was just a child & unaware that she was being used as a weapon. The ability to extract all of a persons memories leaving them behind a empty shell, a ghost of who they once were. With a huge chip on her shoulder, she feels she has a lot to prove to those that have labeled her a traitor to her own kind. In this Kingdom, those with special abilities are viewed as diseased Heretics. However, a rebel group called the Whispers has formed with intent to put an end to the persecution of their people. We follow Renata and a close few as plans are formed, thwarted, and secrets are uncovered. Court politics, revenge, and an unraveling web of lies come together in this high stakes new Fantasy by Zoraida Córdova.
“I know two truths: The King’s justice will stop at nothing to destroy its enemies, and we’re waging a war we cannot win. But I keep fighting, maybe because it is all I’ve ever known, or maybe because the alternative is dying and I can’t do that until I’ve paid for my sins”
When we first meet our MC Renata Convida she is out with her rebel group of Whispers on a mission to meet up with one of their spies. Renata was taken in by the Whispers where she is constantly trying to redeem herself for the sins of her childhood past. Renata has lost all memories prior to turning 9 years old. Utilized as a weapon by the Kingdom at a very young age, Renata has stripped many who have the same/similar abilities as herself of their memories. Now that she is back with her own people, those she was kidnapped from when she was just a child…Renata is deemed untrustworthy. A Robari like Renata need only to touch you in order to leave you a walking ghost of a human.
Renata is determined to earn her stripes & prove everyone wrong. That she can be trusted & is instrumental in restoring their people & their land back to a time where they lived freely with their special abilities. There are those who can create illusions, soothe/change the tides of emotions, healers and although rare there are others like Renata who can steal you of your memories. We follow our main cast of Whispers characters Renata, Dez, Sayida (fave), Margo, and Esteban as they plot to infiltrate & take down the kingdom starting with Prince Cas. LOVED this cast of characters so much! I honestly was left with my jaw hanging at some of their actions & can’t wait to see what’s in store for them next.
Zoraida Córdova is my favorite YA Fantasy author & that’s just a fact! after being introduced to her writing with The Brooklyn Brujas trilogy, I wanted to read everything she wrote/will write. Incendiary may be YA Fantasy but the Historical aspects really make it stand apart as a series that can be read by anyone really. I found myself unable to put this book down which is odd for me because I take breaks whenever reading world building that’s this fleshed out. I found myself immersed in the history, magic system, and plot schemes that I couldn’t stop reading. I kept thinking to myself that this is an author who is very versatile & can deliver a story for many audiences. Last but not least I’ll say that I’m all in for more Latinx inspired Fantasy! ❤
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