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We Are the Fire

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As electrifying as it is heartbreaking, Sam Taylor's explosive fantasy debut We Are the Fire is perfect for fans of An Ember in the Ashes and the legend of Spartacus. In the cold, treacherous land of Vesimaa, children are stolen from their families by a cruel emperor, forced to undergo a horrific transformative procedure, and serve in the army as magical fire-wielding soldi As electrifying as it is heartbreaking, Sam Taylor's explosive fantasy debut We Are the Fire is perfect for fans of An Ember in the Ashes and the legend of Spartacus. In the cold, treacherous land of Vesimaa, children are stolen from their families by a cruel emperor, forced to undergo a horrific transformative procedure, and serve in the army as magical fire-wielding soldiers. Pran and Oksana―both taken from their homeland at a young age―only have each other to hold onto in this heartless place. Pran dreams of one day rebelling against their oppressors and destroying the empire; Oksana only dreams of returning home and creating a peaceful life for them both. When they discover the emperor has a new, more terrible mission than ever for their kind, Pran and Oksana vow to escape his tyranny once and for all. But their methods and ideals differ drastically, driving a wedge between them. Worse still, they both soon find that the only way to defeat the monsters that subjugated them may be to become monsters themselves.


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As electrifying as it is heartbreaking, Sam Taylor's explosive fantasy debut We Are the Fire is perfect for fans of An Ember in the Ashes and the legend of Spartacus. In the cold, treacherous land of Vesimaa, children are stolen from their families by a cruel emperor, forced to undergo a horrific transformative procedure, and serve in the army as magical fire-wielding soldi As electrifying as it is heartbreaking, Sam Taylor's explosive fantasy debut We Are the Fire is perfect for fans of An Ember in the Ashes and the legend of Spartacus. In the cold, treacherous land of Vesimaa, children are stolen from their families by a cruel emperor, forced to undergo a horrific transformative procedure, and serve in the army as magical fire-wielding soldiers. Pran and Oksana―both taken from their homeland at a young age―only have each other to hold onto in this heartless place. Pran dreams of one day rebelling against their oppressors and destroying the empire; Oksana only dreams of returning home and creating a peaceful life for them both. When they discover the emperor has a new, more terrible mission than ever for their kind, Pran and Oksana vow to escape his tyranny once and for all. But their methods and ideals differ drastically, driving a wedge between them. Worse still, they both soon find that the only way to defeat the monsters that subjugated them may be to become monsters themselves.

30 review for We Are the Fire

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lia Carstairs

    well, this got progressively better as I read but still *sobs* it felt like torture😭🤚 so happy I'm done. Okay, it wasn't that bad, but it was unbelievably slow. It got much better in the 2nd half, but there were still many parts that would just drag on and I was dying. While I didn't love An Ember in the Ashes , I did thoroughly enjoy it so I was pretty excited for this book when I saw that it for fans of that series. It is very unfortunate that I was disappointed.💀 But I do see how the two ar well, this got progressively better as I read but still *sobs* it felt like torture😭🤚 so happy I'm done. Okay, it wasn't that bad, but it was unbelievably slow. It got much better in the 2nd half, but there were still many parts that would just drag on and I was dying. While I didn't love An Ember in the Ashes , I did thoroughly enjoy it so I was pretty excited for this book when I saw that it for fans of that series. It is very unfortunate that I was disappointed.💀 But I do see how the two are similar -- the way the commanders/rulers in both books treat their soldiers/slaves is very cruel and there's a rebellion plot to overthrow said rulers. oh how i've grown to despise that plot Also, I'd like to say that I loved Pran and Oksana, but I didn't. It was definitely interesting seeing the two main characters already in love with each other from the beginning but ehhhhh I don't like them and I don't like their romance.😕 Although I will say—and yes, I know something's wrong with me—that I started liking Pran a lot more when I saw him kill others for the good of the rebellion. I mean, at least he knew when to make hard decisions even if it made him feel like a monster. I applaud him for that. don't question my sanity Oh, and even though I didn't like the romance at all, it was interesting to see the author have Oksana and Pran struggle with their relationship throughout the novel, since both had different ideas of freedom. How far would they go to get what they wanted? Would they have to become the monsters they very much despised to get their freedom? Many questions were raised along the way -- it was nice to see the complexity of the situation they were in. So yea, even though this definitely felt like torture forcing my way through this book, it wasn't totally bad maybe just for me. And I was actually in a cursed slump before this and I think I've been cured??? Like I was so bored with this book that I now I really feel like reading a super good book. (*cough* ACOSF) So THANK YOU for saving me. (2.5⭐) Buddy read with amazing friends, Katie @ Whispering Pages and Alex @ The Scribe Owl <33 --- Thank you Xpresso Book Tours for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Emily Duncan

    ya authors: here is a character that has done an atrocity you are supposed to hate him. me: he's a shitty wizard adjacent and he coughs up blood so i love him, actually. ya authors: here is a character that has done an atrocity you are supposed to hate him. me: he's a shitty wizard adjacent and he coughs up blood so i love him, actually.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Helena of Eretz ✰

    I received this complimentary ARC from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. "Not everything that comes from fire is terrible and ugly." I'm not entirely certain that I'd agree with the An Ember in the Ashes comparison as it was pitched to me, but I would say that the reference to the Legend of Spartacus was fairly accurate! Obviously, anything with any mention to mythology or Greco-Roman history is an instant add to my TBR, and this book was no different! "It's Fire Night, your majesty I received this complimentary ARC from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. "Not everything that comes from fire is terrible and ugly." I'm not entirely certain that I'd agree with the An Ember in the Ashes comparison as it was pitched to me, but I would say that the reference to the Legend of Spartacus was fairly accurate! Obviously, anything with any mention to mythology or Greco-Roman history is an instant add to my TBR, and this book was no different! "It's Fire Night, your majesty. I've come to give you a show." We Are the Fire revolves around the Vesimaan Empire, in which a cruel emperor steals young children to experiment on (complete with a mad scientist à la Dr Mengele) and train into fire warriors, known as the Tulikobrets. From the Ancient Roman-ish, yet also folklore-esque vibe, to the pyromancy and alchemy, I really enjoyed the world building! "That fire beneath them seemed as wide as the sea, yet they kept flying across it, fingers entwined, rising higher and higher like they might join the stars." Pran and Oksana, both taken at such young ages, have only had each other to rely on for the past seven years, resulting in a very sweet romance. While they both envision another future - free from the emperor's tyranny - they also have very different methods and goals. Should they aim for as little bloodshed as possible or do what they must to survive? Should they strive to return home to their families or attain their revenge against the empire? Ultimately, Pran and Oksana's differing ideals drive them apart, which put me through the EMOTIONAL RINGER. "She was two sides of the same coin - the gentlest soul he knew, yet also the fiercest. Maybe one didn't exist without the other." Oksana Artemivna has such a sweet and nurturing personality, constantly risking herself to save the ones she loves, forever longing to return home to her family...without sacrificing her morals in order to get there. She's also quite a smart, little thing, with a brain for chemistry and science. "He hated how often the pains overtook him, that they always came at the worst times, that they made Oksana worry...Most of all, he hated that it kept him from being able to help her when she needed it." Pran Nayar suffers from chronic pain in his leg, due to horrible experiments forced upon him, and is determined to make the world better for Oksana, himself and the rest of the Tulikobrets, no matter the price. He's very driven to prove himself, perhaps even stubborn, not wanting to seem weak or sickly in comparison to his peers. All in all, this was a phenomenal debut. If I had to pitch this to anyone, I'd call it an Ancient Roman faery tale, complete with pyromancy, alchemy, sweet romances and strong friendships. I hope that you'll all give this a go in February upon its release!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sam Taylor

    Fire magic. Twisted alchemy. Lovers at odds. Strong friendships. Fantasy folklore. A bit of kissing. Eh, I guess it sounds all right. We Are the Fire contains dark themes and events, so content warnings are available on my website. Fire magic. Twisted alchemy. Lovers at odds. Strong friendships. Fantasy folklore. A bit of kissing. Eh, I guess it sounds all right. We Are the Fire contains dark themes and events, so content warnings are available on my website.

  5. 5 out of 5

    katie

    — find this this review and more on my blog We Are the Fire follows Pran and Oksana, two of many who were taken from their families to serve in the army of Vesimaa. As their goals get in the way of their love for each other, they get tangled up in a web of lies, deaths, and corruption. You’ve seen how quickly sparks can become a bonfire. And bonfires show little discretion in what, or whom, they devour–even the hands that made them. Oksana is an alchemist who fiercely cares for those she loves, — find this this review and more on my blog We Are the Fire follows Pran and Oksana, two of many who were taken from their families to serve in the army of Vesimaa. As their goals get in the way of their love for each other, they get tangled up in a web of lies, deaths, and corruption. You’ve seen how quickly sparks can become a bonfire. And bonfires show little discretion in what, or whom, they devour–even the hands that made them. Oksana is an alchemist who fiercely cares for those she loves, but blames herself for everything, even the things that are out of her control. Pran is the self-appointed ‘leader’ of the secret rebellion. Though he was a complex character to read about, he annoyed me at times. There was a character arc for both of them, but my lack of investment in both Oksana and Pran just slowed it down. I felt disjointed from the romance, to say the least. Pran and Oksana already had an established connection when the book starts off, which didn’t allow much room for development and time for the two to get to know each other. However, it was captivating to see them in the ups and downs of their relationship, and how their hopes for their futures lead them farther away from each other. Rebel with flame, and you die by flame. The writing was rich and evocative, but some scenes felt so short, while others seemed to drag on forever. Although things got more interesting in the second half, the beginning was a bit too slow for my liking. Overall, We Are the Fire was a solid debut and had an interesting concept, but it had so much more potential and I personally thought it was lacking in many aspects. ═══*.·:·.☽✧ ✦ ✧☾.·:·.*═══ [2.5] i ended up forcing my way through this, and ngl, it was painful. the first disappointment of the year!! rtc. thank you to xpresso book tours & netgalley for providing an eARC of We Are the Fire in exchange for a spot on the blog tour!

  6. 4 out of 5

    ♠ TABI⁷ ♠

    'Oksana and Pran weren’t born fire-breathing monsters.' 'Oksana and Pran weren’t born fire-breathing monsters.'

  7. 5 out of 5

    ❀ Alex ❀ (The Scribe Owl)

    See this review and more at my blog, The Scribe Owl! Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for an ARC in exchange for an honest review! This was a buddy read with two of my favorite people, Katie @ Whispering Pages and Lia @ Chain of Novels! 3.5/5 stars We Are the Fire was one of my most anticipated reads this month! Unfortunately, it did not meet those lofty standards. That said, it wasn't a bad book. It wasn't the stuff of a favorite, but I did have a good time for most of the book! In the cold, treacher See this review and more at my blog, The Scribe Owl! Thank you to Xpresso Book Tours for an ARC in exchange for an honest review! This was a buddy read with two of my favorite people, Katie @ Whispering Pages and Lia @ Chain of Novels! 3.5/5 stars We Are the Fire was one of my most anticipated reads this month! Unfortunately, it did not meet those lofty standards. That said, it wasn't a bad book. It wasn't the stuff of a favorite, but I did have a good time for most of the book! In the cold, treacherous land of Vesimaa, children are stolen from their families by a cruel emperor, forced to undergo a horrific transformative procedure, and serve in the army as magical fire-wielding soldiers. Pran and Oksana―both taken from their homeland at a young age―only have each other to hold onto in this heartless place. Pran dreams of one day rebelling against their oppressors and destroying the empire; Oksana only dreams of returning home and creating a peaceful life for them both. When they discover the emperor has a new, more terrible mission than ever for their kind, Pran and Oksana vow to escape his tyranny once and for all. But their methods and ideals differ drastically, driving a wedge between them. Worse still, they both soon find that the only way to defeat the monsters that subjugated them may be to become monsters themselves. The blurb of We Are the Fire compared it to An Ember in the Ashes and the legend of Spartacus. I know nothing about the legend of Spartacus, so I don't know about that part. Maybe. But, while it wasn't the closest match, it wasn't that far off the mark of An Ember in the Ashes. The way they were trained and the way their captors acted were similar. I've heard other people say the opposite, but I still think it was pretty close. I've only read the first book of An Ember in the Ashes, so maybe it deviates past the point of my reading. What made this book new and interesting for me was the way the main romantic relationship was structured. Oksana (which is a really pretty name, I'll remember that one) and Pran already had a relationship when we started reading. Instead of seeing them start their relationship, we got to see all that comes next. No matter how true your love, people fight, opinions deviate, and life becomes a bog of hard choices. Oksana and Pran themselves were pretty good characters, but nothing that really stands out. I will say that they aren't your stereotypical YA MCs. Pran is trying to lead a rebellion, but he seems to be doing it all wrong. Oksana is a kind soul who only wants to go home, but everything she does seems to backfire. While I doubt I'll think about them night and day or anything, I did like reading about them. What really knocked the book down a peg was the pacing. While it got interesting and faster-paced in the second half, it was pretty slow at the beginning. I wasn't enjoying it all that much. Again, it picked up later in the story, but the first half dragged on forever. All in all, this was a pretty good book. But just think--this is just a debut novel! I will very likely be keeping an eye out for this author.

  8. 4 out of 5

    rayne ♥ [ IG: rayne.reads ]

    I GOT AN ARC! I'm literally so excited because this is one of my most anticipated releases! NOW I SHALL IGNORE ALL MY TASKS AND DROP EVERYTHING TO READ THIS. Excuse me while I peacefully procrastinate! Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a review copy. All opinions are my own. instagram | blog | goodreads I GOT AN ARC! I'm literally so excited because this is one of my most anticipated releases! NOW I SHALL IGNORE ALL MY TASKS AND DROP EVERYTHING TO READ THIS. Excuse me while I peacefully procrastinate! Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a review copy. All opinions are my own. instagram | blog | goodreads

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay Hess

    I was fortunate enough to read an early version of this story and HOLY HELL. Y'all. It is sooooo good. Fire. Magic. Alchemy. Heartbreaking, life-altering moral dilemmas. Characters who make you Feel All The Things. Add this to your TBR, preorder it, do it. Do it now. I have no doubt you'll love it as much as I do. I was fortunate enough to read an early version of this story and HOLY HELL. Y'all. It is sooooo good. Fire. Magic. Alchemy. Heartbreaking, life-altering moral dilemmas. Characters who make you Feel All The Things. Add this to your TBR, preorder it, do it. Do it now. I have no doubt you'll love it as much as I do.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Francis

    Love and fire and magic and everything I want in a fantasy novel with one of the best sounding titles ever.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Pine Reads Review

    “The sooner they finished this fight, the sooner they would no longer have to burn their souls to stay alive.” After being stolen by the brutal Vesimaan empire as children, Oksana and Pran are forced to undergo a terrifying transformation into fire-wielding soldiers. Both are desperate to protect one another and keep their relationship a secret from those who would surely use it against them. So when fellow soldiers start acting strangely and dangerous schemes come to light, no cost is too great “The sooner they finished this fight, the sooner they would no longer have to burn their souls to stay alive.” After being stolen by the brutal Vesimaan empire as children, Oksana and Pran are forced to undergo a terrifying transformation into fire-wielding soldiers. Both are desperate to protect one another and keep their relationship a secret from those who would surely use it against them. So when fellow soldiers start acting strangely and dangerous schemes come to light, no cost is too great for Pran in the fight against tyranny, even if Oksana has different plans in mind. Difficult choices lie ahead, and threaten to drive them apart, as they realize that freedom is not so easily won in a land where cruelty reigns. With overwhelming odds against them, the spark they light in search of a future together may just consume everything in its path…even themselves. Morally grey protagonists and dangerous magic abound in Sam Taylor’s thrilling debut We Are the Fire. Set in an expansive fantasy world, this book kept us reading until the early hours of the morning, eager to find out what happened next. Alternating between the perspectives of Oksana and Pran, readers are propelled through an intense fire-fight for freedom à la An Ember in the Ashes. With a smoldering romance and characters that leap off the page, this book is a fiery new addition to the young adult fantasy world. As the two protagonists find themselves winding down an ever-darkening path, themes of home, fierce friendship, and fighting for a better tomorrow shine through as crackling embers of hope. We Are the Fire is perfect for those who enjoy detailed world-building, lovers at odds, and heart-wrenching twists. Content Warnings: Murder (burning alive), fire, moderately strong language, death of a loved one, graphic descriptions, violence, syringes and injections (Pine Reads Review would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for sending us an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Any quotes are taken from an advanced copy and may be subject to change.) Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @pinereadsreview and check out our website at www.pinereadsreview.com for reviews, author interviews, blogs, podcast episodes, and more!

  12. 4 out of 5

    cherelle (a bolt out of the book)

    3 stars, it wasn't bad but i think that the comparison to an ember in the ashes didn't follow through :( still, an enjoyable one! GR REVIEW TO COME Full Review of We Are the Fire on my blog Thank you very much to Xpresso Book Tours, Netgalley as well as the publisher for providing me an ARC for a sincere review! 3 stars, it wasn't bad but i think that the comparison to an ember in the ashes didn't follow through :( still, an enjoyable one! GR REVIEW TO COME Full Review of We Are the Fire on my blog Thank you very much to Xpresso Book Tours, Netgalley as well as the publisher for providing me an ARC for a sincere review!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jacqueline Firkins

    This one has lots to recommend it to avid fantasy readers. An intriguing premise about children chemically altered to become a fire-breathing army. Two protagonists who both face moral dilemmas with no easy outcomes. Strong bonds between friends. High stakes in a world where anyone might be the next to fall. A passionate theme about the need to push back against oppression, no matter the cost. Lots of action as battles unfold and fireballs fly. A complicated world with multiple threats closing i This one has lots to recommend it to avid fantasy readers. An intriguing premise about children chemically altered to become a fire-breathing army. Two protagonists who both face moral dilemmas with no easy outcomes. Strong bonds between friends. High stakes in a world where anyone might be the next to fall. A passionate theme about the need to push back against oppression, no matter the cost. Lots of action as battles unfold and fireballs fly. A complicated world with multiple threats closing in on all sides. Brisk prose that keeps the story rolling forward. It's a contained world, with almost all of the action taking place within or near a military fort, so this is best suited for those who enjoy character studies over epic world building. That said, the world that's within these pages is full of imagination, and of course, fire.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Isabel

    The author said this has an Ace romance so... 💸💸💸

  15. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Note: I was provided with an ARC by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own. I was excited when I received this ARC and saw that almost all of the reviews were positive. This year has been light on good fantasy for me, and I was ready for this book to be great. Maybe that set my expectations too high. Unfortunately, not only was this book not great, I found it downright boring. Something was just missing. Maybe it was worldbuilding. Maybe it Note: I was provided with an ARC by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own. I was excited when I received this ARC and saw that almost all of the reviews were positive. This year has been light on good fantasy for me, and I was ready for this book to be great. Maybe that set my expectations too high. Unfortunately, not only was this book not great, I found it downright boring. Something was just missing. Maybe it was worldbuilding. Maybe it was characterization. Maybe it was an emotional connection. Maybe it was all three. Though this book had a great premise, the pieces just didn't fall into place for me. Though not the worst book I have read this year, this may be my most disappointing read of 2021 because it had so much missed potential. My full review will be published in March 2021. It will be available here: https://gatewaybookreviews.blogspot.c...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nite0wl29

    It pains me to walk away from a book that I looked forward to reading. Even after taking a break from this for a couple days I DNF’ed it at 40%. I guess my beef with it so far is the story’s failure to hold my attention. I feel like the world building is lacking something but I can’t put my finger on what that something is. The character diversity is practically nonexistent, which is a massive bummer because there’s so much potential there to explore more of these characters from different parts It pains me to walk away from a book that I looked forward to reading. Even after taking a break from this for a couple days I DNF’ed it at 40%. I guess my beef with it so far is the story’s failure to hold my attention. I feel like the world building is lacking something but I can’t put my finger on what that something is. The character diversity is practically nonexistent, which is a massive bummer because there’s so much potential there to explore more of these characters from different parts of this fantasy world. And none of them were all that interesting to me. Pran and Oksana are both wonderful characters. I have nothing against friends-to-lovers and what these two go through is horribly tragic and I’m rooting for their happy ending. What put me off about them though is the fact their relationship is already established. Which usually doesn’t leave much room for development other than working to attain their freedom so they can be together without living under the Emperor’s thumb. Overall, I wish I could’ve enjoyed this story more. I might come back to it again later and see if my opinion of it changes any. Thank you NetGalley for providing me an ARC of this story in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne Ferruolo

    I’m not usually a reader of fantasy, but Sam Taylor’s WE ARE THE FIRE sucked me in and never let go. What initially drew me into this story was the gorgeous prose and incredible world building. But what kept me, was its characters: Pran and Oksana. They were so well-developed and REAL that I didn’t want their story to end (I find myself missing them, even now!) I loved so much about them--their conflicts, foibles, and just plain humanness--that I needed to know what would happen to them. If you I’m not usually a reader of fantasy, but Sam Taylor’s WE ARE THE FIRE sucked me in and never let go. What initially drew me into this story was the gorgeous prose and incredible world building. But what kept me, was its characters: Pran and Oksana. They were so well-developed and REAL that I didn’t want their story to end (I find myself missing them, even now!) I loved so much about them--their conflicts, foibles, and just plain humanness--that I needed to know what would happen to them. If you love good story, pre-order WE ARE THE FIRE. I did—and can’t wait until February to re-enter the world of Vesimaa!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    Press-ganged and forcibly magically-altered children form the basis of the Vesimaa Empire's army. Cruelly brutalized and trained to obedience as they grow up, the Tuliikobrets are a dangerous and volatile group of pyrokinetics, from the youngest ranks of Imps, through Goblins and Hellions, to the fearsome Nightmares. Pran and Oksana have survived by leaning on each other and have risen through the ranks of the Tuliis, but as they try to fight their cruel commanders, their methods diverge and they Press-ganged and forcibly magically-altered children form the basis of the Vesimaa Empire's army. Cruelly brutalized and trained to obedience as they grow up, the Tuliikobrets are a dangerous and volatile group of pyrokinetics, from the youngest ranks of Imps, through Goblins and Hellions, to the fearsome Nightmares. Pran and Oksana have survived by leaning on each other and have risen through the ranks of the Tuliis, but as they try to fight their cruel commanders, their methods diverge and they come into conflict that could cost them everything. This is an angst-filled trauma-fest with people being burned alive left and right, with even the survivors of this horrible system being broken people. It's a harrowing read, or it would be if I had developed any attachment to the two major characters. Ultimately they're just too broken, with all their choices being horrible even though it does end up with a HFN-type ending. It's all very similar to the Hunger Games, but not quite as deftly done here as with Katniss. There's even a Rue-like character in this one. (Ha! Not falling for that one again.) It's a very cliche review trope that I just have to use here: if this is the sort of thing you like, then you'll like this one.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Prerna Pickett

    We Are the Fire by Sam Taylor is perfect for all YA fantasy fans. The plot is well done, the world building intricate, the characters are compelling, and the writing lush and absorbing. The bond between Oksana and Pran is powerful and the stakes are high. I couldn't put it down because I had to know what happened next. I so enjoyed this debut and can't wait to read more stories by Taylor! We Are the Fire by Sam Taylor is perfect for all YA fantasy fans. The plot is well done, the world building intricate, the characters are compelling, and the writing lush and absorbing. The bond between Oksana and Pran is powerful and the stakes are high. I couldn't put it down because I had to know what happened next. I so enjoyed this debut and can't wait to read more stories by Taylor!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Don’t mind me, getting hyped up for all these 2021 releases.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    I do not have the words to explain how much I enjoyed this book. We Are the Fire centers around Oksana and Pran, who were stolen from their families as children 7 years before. They were injected with dangerous serums that could kill, but if you survived you would awake with great power. Sick of their lives being controlled by the very people that stole them from their homes, all of the stolen children band together to overthrow the commanders and the ruler. Relationships are tested and changed f I do not have the words to explain how much I enjoyed this book. We Are the Fire centers around Oksana and Pran, who were stolen from their families as children 7 years before. They were injected with dangerous serums that could kill, but if you survived you would awake with great power. Sick of their lives being controlled by the very people that stole them from their homes, all of the stolen children band together to overthrow the commanders and the ruler. Relationships are tested and changed forever. Morals are questioned, just because someone shares your goal, doesn't mean they are an ally. This book was incredibly well written. From the world building to the characters, this book felt real.I felt the anger and anguish that these characters went through. *Thank you to the publisher for providing this eARC.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jessica S Olson

    This book was such a fast-paced, fiery adventure! I loved the characters and how they grappled with their trials in different ways. The magic was really cool—it felt almost scientific in a way, which was really different from other fantasy YA books. I could totally see this as a movie—all of the epic fire battles would be incredible on screen. Highly recommend!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Maria F.

    In a world where children are ripped away from their families and are "changed"- a painful alchemical experience that gives these kids the power to wield fire elemental magic- two people fight for a better future: our MCs Oksana and Pran. The children who are taken are brutally trained and punished if they don’t wield their fire powers correctly. In addition, their uniforms involve antlers (yes, ANTLERS!) and eye drops that turn their eyes black (basically turns them into monsters!) Our two protag In a world where children are ripped away from their families and are "changed"- a painful alchemical experience that gives these kids the power to wield fire elemental magic- two people fight for a better future: our MCs Oksana and Pran. The children who are taken are brutally trained and punished if they don’t wield their fire powers correctly. In addition, their uniforms involve antlers (yes, ANTLERS!) and eye drops that turn their eyes black (basically turns them into monsters!) Our two protagonists Pran and Oksana, have been ripped away from their families as children and desire more than anything to be free. Pran is ambitious, brave, and fiercely loyal to those he loves. He does not let his bad leg bring him down and swears he will bring freedom to all the ones who are trapped at the training camps. Slowly but surely, he assembles a team and makes a plan to bring revolution and freedom. But at what cost? Oksana is our silent fighter. She wants more than anything for her friends to be safe- especially Pran. Oksana is loyal, caring, empathetic, gentle and fierce. With a rising rebellion, Oksana must decide- fight for her freedom or fight to keep her loved ones alive? Thus, circumstances lead Pran and Oksana on different sides, Will they choose each other or fight for their different agendas? Filled with complex world building , political uprising, rebellion, secret kisses, a dual POV, hope, a unique elemental/alchemical magic system, We Are the Fire is perfect for fantasy lovers looking for some HEAT. 3.5/5 stars from me *Thank you Netgalley for sending me an earc in exchange for an honest review*

  24. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Hastings

    A riveting fantasy that had me spellbound. When they were children, Oksana and Pran were stolen from their homes and countries and turned into demons. Fire-wielding Tuliikobrets for Emperor Juhan. Pran will do anything to get their freedom from the fort. Oksana is determined to help her friends, especially Pran get the medicine he needs for his bad leg (from all the transformations and experimenting). They both choose dangerous paths that might tear them apart before the emperor does. Both are t A riveting fantasy that had me spellbound. When they were children, Oksana and Pran were stolen from their homes and countries and turned into demons. Fire-wielding Tuliikobrets for Emperor Juhan. Pran will do anything to get their freedom from the fort. Oksana is determined to help her friends, especially Pran get the medicine he needs for his bad leg (from all the transformations and experimenting). They both choose dangerous paths that might tear them apart before the emperor does. Both are trying to hold onto their humanity—but it may be too late. Told in dual POV, both Oksana and Pran are well-rounded characters with plenty of flaws and morally gray decisions. Their world is unique. Fantasy and science are mixed together in this stand-alone book over a simmering flame: Ready to explode.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Anuradha Rajurkar

    This is an incredibly rich, captivating read. The world-building is evocative and beautifully handled--the author has created a fantasy experience that is highly detailed and gorgeous, while still keeping up with the pacing; in fact, the scenes were so intense and packed with such high stakes that I couldn't help but stay up late into the night to devour the story. I felt incredibly connected to both Oksana and Pran, their deep and intense love for one another and the nuance within their interna This is an incredibly rich, captivating read. The world-building is evocative and beautifully handled--the author has created a fantasy experience that is highly detailed and gorgeous, while still keeping up with the pacing; in fact, the scenes were so intense and packed with such high stakes that I couldn't help but stay up late into the night to devour the story. I felt incredibly connected to both Oksana and Pran, their deep and intense love for one another and the nuance within their internal journeys--including the vastly different outlook on how to manage their oppressors. This fierce and fiery fantasy masterfully walks the fine line between action and pacing, gorgeous prose, and strong, crisp characterization. A stunningly powerful read, I can't wait to read what Sam Taylor writes next. Five stars.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Lesperance

    Wow, this book was so incredibly vivid and immersive! I loved that it's a story told through the perspective of two characters who in any other book would be faceless soldiers in a villainous regime. But instead we see how they were conscripted as children and made to work for the emperor, wielding fire magic that was forced upon them. I really liked that the romance between Pran and Oksana was already established at the beginning of the book. This gave an interesting and uncommon twist on the u Wow, this book was so incredibly vivid and immersive! I loved that it's a story told through the perspective of two characters who in any other book would be faceless soldiers in a villainous regime. But instead we see how they were conscripted as children and made to work for the emperor, wielding fire magic that was forced upon them. I really liked that the romance between Pran and Oksana was already established at the beginning of the book. This gave an interesting and uncommon twist on the usual YA romance arc. I also liked that the romance didn't feel shoehorned in or bog down the action. I think my favorite thing about this book is the magic system, which is so creatively imagined and well crafted. This is a story about finding your own inner strength even when it seems impossible, and nothing is sugarcoated. Highly recommended for fans of YA fantasy!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Trina

    The key to a good story for me is that I'm wondering, "Where is this going? How is this problem going to be resolved?" We Are The Fire has that in spades. I had NO idea how the main characters were going to get out of the situation, and I was not expecting or anticipating the ending. It kept me going from start to finish, and this is the first book I read in less than 24 hours in ages. The whole premise of the book is that children are kidnapped and transformed into fire-breather soldiers and ba The key to a good story for me is that I'm wondering, "Where is this going? How is this problem going to be resolved?" We Are The Fire has that in spades. I had NO idea how the main characters were going to get out of the situation, and I was not expecting or anticipating the ending. It kept me going from start to finish, and this is the first book I read in less than 24 hours in ages. The whole premise of the book is that children are kidnapped and transformed into fire-breather soldiers and basically held captive. They're trying to get out to go home. It is a dark story - my sensitive kids who like light stories would have a rougher time with this story, and there was a part in the middle of the book that they would NOT have handled well at all. They will probably wait until high school to read this. But if dark doesn't bother you or your kids, I highly recommend it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    It's hard to pick one thing that I liked best about WE ARE THE FIRE by Sam Taylor. It's got fire magic, beautiful and immersive prose, and super sharp pacing, but the relationship between the two MCs (Pran and Oksana) was probably my favorite. These are not your cookie-cutter heroes. Pran and Oksana are raw. They're flawed, and nuanced, and that's what makes them feel like real people. And it's also a big part of what had me clinging to the pages to find out what would happen next, because while It's hard to pick one thing that I liked best about WE ARE THE FIRE by Sam Taylor. It's got fire magic, beautiful and immersive prose, and super sharp pacing, but the relationship between the two MCs (Pran and Oksana) was probably my favorite. These are not your cookie-cutter heroes. Pran and Oksana are raw. They're flawed, and nuanced, and that's what makes them feel like real people. And it's also a big part of what had me clinging to the pages to find out what would happen next, because while their decisions always made sense, they were oftentimes unexpected. So. Many. Feels! If you love intense (and heart-squeezing!) YA fantasy, definitely put this one on your list when it releases in Feb 2021!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lyla

    I had the privilege of reading an early version of this book and Pran and Oksana have my heart! This book is fierce and bold. The endurance of Pran to believe in better when there's little hope for it, and Oksana's strength in insisting on doing good when there is little opportunity -- just tugs at my heartstrings. You're not ready for their whirlwind struggle to command their own destinies <3 I had the privilege of reading an early version of this book and Pran and Oksana have my heart! This book is fierce and bold. The endurance of Pran to believe in better when there's little hope for it, and Oksana's strength in insisting on doing good when there is little opportunity -- just tugs at my heartstrings. You're not ready for their whirlwind struggle to command their own destinies <3

  30. 4 out of 5

    Brinley

    This was an excellent debut! I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked it up, but I ended up really enjoying this! I will admit that I picked this based off the cover. It's so pretty!!!! I didn't care what it was about, I wanted this prettiness in my life. What's even better is that the cover fit the book perfectly, and helped me invision our characters so well. This may sound dumb, but I loved the uniforms for our characters! They were just so cool! Seriously though, they were tall antlers, an This was an excellent debut! I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked it up, but I ended up really enjoying this! I will admit that I picked this based off the cover. It's so pretty!!!! I didn't care what it was about, I wanted this prettiness in my life. What's even better is that the cover fit the book perfectly, and helped me invision our characters so well. This may sound dumb, but I loved the uniforms for our characters! They were just so cool! Seriously though, they were tall antlers, and had eye drops to turn their eyes black. How fun is that?? It was such a small detail that added so much to the worldbuilding, and gave a lot of insight into how the government operated. I also loved how Oksana was a scientist! I almost wish we had more scenes of her tinkering in the lab, and more failed experiments, they were super fun to read. It also separated this from other fantasies, because our characters weren't born magical, they were experimented on. The only reason this wasn't a five star read for me was that I struggled a bit with the pacing. At times, this book felt slow, I'm not sure why. Because of that, I struggled a bit to connect to the characters. This book has all of the bones necessary for an amazing book, so I can't wait to see what else this author has to offer! Thanks to Sam Taylor and Netgalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review!

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