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Once upon a time, there was something called the sun... In a kingdom ruled by an evil witch, the sun is just part of a legend about light-filled days of old. Luckily for everybody in the kingdom, Siria Nightingale is headed to the heart of the darkness to try and restore the light--or she will lose everything trying. Sixteen year-old Siria Nightingale has never seen the Once upon a time, there was something called the sun... In a kingdom ruled by an evil witch, the sun is just part of a legend about light-filled days of old. Luckily for everybody in the kingdom, Siria Nightingale is headed to the heart of the darkness to try and restore the light--or she will lose everything trying. Sixteen year-old Siria Nightingale has never seen the sun. The light is dangerous, according to Queen Iyzabel, an evil witch who has shrouded the kingdom in shadow. Siria has always hated the darkness and revels in the stories of the light-filled old days that she hears from her best friend and his grandfather. Besides them, nobody else understands her fascination with the sun, especially not her strict and demanding parents. Siria's need to please them is greater even than her fear of the dark. So she heads to the royal city--the very center of the darkness--for a chance at a place in Queen Iyzabel's court. But what Siria discovers at the Choosing Ball sends her on a quest toward the last vestiges of the sun with a ragtag group of rebels who could help her bring back the Light... or doom the kingdom to shadow forever.


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Once upon a time, there was something called the sun... In a kingdom ruled by an evil witch, the sun is just part of a legend about light-filled days of old. Luckily for everybody in the kingdom, Siria Nightingale is headed to the heart of the darkness to try and restore the light--or she will lose everything trying. Sixteen year-old Siria Nightingale has never seen the Once upon a time, there was something called the sun... In a kingdom ruled by an evil witch, the sun is just part of a legend about light-filled days of old. Luckily for everybody in the kingdom, Siria Nightingale is headed to the heart of the darkness to try and restore the light--or she will lose everything trying. Sixteen year-old Siria Nightingale has never seen the sun. The light is dangerous, according to Queen Iyzabel, an evil witch who has shrouded the kingdom in shadow. Siria has always hated the darkness and revels in the stories of the light-filled old days that she hears from her best friend and his grandfather. Besides them, nobody else understands her fascination with the sun, especially not her strict and demanding parents. Siria's need to please them is greater even than her fear of the dark. So she heads to the royal city--the very center of the darkness--for a chance at a place in Queen Iyzabel's court. But what Siria discovers at the Choosing Ball sends her on a quest toward the last vestiges of the sun with a ragtag group of rebels who could help her bring back the Light... or doom the kingdom to shadow forever.

30 review for Ignite the Sun

  1. 4 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    New Month, New Tierlist BookTube Video is up - click the link to check out my August Reading Vlog! The Written Review Siria Nightingale has spent her entire life in darkness. And no, she wasn't locked up in a cold cellar. Her entire world is literally shrouded in darkness. Queen Iyzabel always told her people that the light is dangerous and has hidden her kingdom for protection...and while Siria can't quite put her finger on it...something felt off. Very off. On the eve of her s New Month, New Tierlist BookTube Video is up - click the link to check out my August Reading Vlog! The Written Review Siria Nightingale has spent her entire life in darkness. And no, she wasn't locked up in a cold cellar. Her entire world is literally shrouded in darkness. Queen Iyzabel always told her people that the light is dangerous and has hidden her kingdom for protection...and while Siria can't quite put her finger on it...something felt off. Very off. On the eve of her sixteenth birthday, Siria is called into the royal city along with a handful of similarly aged girls. The night was dreamy - suspiciously so - and soon Siria (and the rest of the girls) fall under the Queen's spell. But when the Queen announces her plan to kill the sunchild hidden among the girls...let's just say things get a little dodgy. Siria flees her only home with her best friend and hid grandfather. They must trek their way across hazardous terrain, flee bespelled guards and fight bloodthirsty creatures to try to find the sun. But the longer she goes without, the more she doubts that their small party could hold a candle to the evil Queen's army. So. This one started pretty darn good. I LOVED the world-building and most of the magic system. I feel like the whole world-doesn't-have-sun has been done so many times but this if the first time I've found myself nodding along and going, "yup. this makes sense." I was also really intrigued by the way Siria developed her powers. But what ultimately threw me out of the book is the sheer amount of coincidences. The situation gets too tough? Siria passes out, scene fades to black, she wakes up (relatively) unharmed. The situation requires powers beyond her current level? Siria looks within herself, and then snaps her fingers and the powers come out. The situations seems hopeless in every way, shape and form? Here's a couple of conveniently placed characters who literally have the exact skill set and/or personal connections needed to this situation. When I read books, I want desperation. I want knife-edge tension. But halfway through, I figured out that there truly was no real danger cause whatever the main character needs will be given to her. Other than that, this one was rather well-written and I did enjoy the characters. The plot was just completely tension-less.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Renaissance Kate

    Although it took me awhile to finish this book, Ignite the Sun included several elements I rather enjoyed, leading me to give it a solid 3 stars. My favorite part of this book was by far the worldbuildling. Going into the story, I didn’t know Terra-Volat was inhabited by nymphs, elves, dwarves, naiads, banshees, and more. When these mystical creatures appeared on the page, I was pleasantly surprised and excited to see what roles they would play in Siria’s story. This made for an incredibly intere Although it took me awhile to finish this book, Ignite the Sun included several elements I rather enjoyed, leading me to give it a solid 3 stars. My favorite part of this book was by far the worldbuildling. Going into the story, I didn’t know Terra-Volat was inhabited by nymphs, elves, dwarves, naiads, banshees, and more. When these mystical creatures appeared on the page, I was pleasantly surprised and excited to see what roles they would play in Siria’s story. This made for an incredibly interesting cast of characters with different magical abilities that rendered the world unique among so many other YA Fantasies of late. The magic system is equally as enchanting, from Siria’s sunchild powers to Yarrow’s ingenious Runepiece. There are wood elves capable of controlling plants, naiads who can manipulate water, and an evil queen who weaponizes darkness. The magic system is very soft, with each ability seeming to have a wide range of powers, but it worked well in this case. Tropes/Clichés I think this book did well: Light vs. Darkness. Light and darkness literally fight one another in this book, a fun twist on this trope. The Chosen One. Siria is the last living sunchild in Terra-Volat after the evil Queen Iyzabel covered the land in darkness. Siria is fated to bring back the light by using her powers to ignite the sun. (view spoiler)[Lost Orphaned Royalty. You find this out earlier in the book, but Siria is a lost princess of Luminor, the kingdom that ruled before the darkness. However, in this story, it is not Siria who is destined to retake the throne. (hide spoiler)] Childhood Friends to Lovers. Siria and Linden sweetly crushed on one another for awhile, creating a slow-burn before they revealed their true feelings. And, not a single love triangle in sight! Old Wizard Mentor. Siria and Yarrow’s relationship felt authentic and sincere since he was a grandfather figure to her long before becoming her magical mentor. Another factor I really appreciated is that most of the named side characters introduced early in the story end up coming back later and playing a part in the finale. Personally, I don’t like when authors throw in named characters as plot devices or to keep track of who does/says what in a scene. I appreciated that Howard had a role for all of her named characters and gave them significance throughout the book. Now, what didn’t work for me… So much of this book is telling rather than showing, which unfortunately made it quite boring and difficult to get through. While most books consist of “show” scenes broken up by expositional “tell” moments, Ignite the Sun felt like the exact opposite. Much of the story was centered in heavy exposition, where we are told what the characters are doing or told what Siria is thinking and feeling. Scenes with dialogue, which typically show action to allow the reader to connect with characters and understand their relationships, were short and sparse. On top of this, there were multiple scenes I wanted to see play out on page, but instead they were explained in two to three sentences or, even worse, skipped completely. Although this lessened near the end of the story, it still made the rest of the book difficult to get through. Tropes/Clichés this book did not do well: Light vs. Darkness. I also listed this in the positive tropes, but at times it felt heavy-handed, especially with the quotes from other books thrown in at the beginning of each section. Queen Iyzabel loves darkness and black and suffering, and her subpar villain origin backstory wasn’t enough for me to classify her as more than a caricature SuperEvil™ villain. Undiscovered/Untested Powers. Siria has grown up unaware of her sunchild abilities. She is able to master her powers in a short period of time before facing Iyzabel, a powerful Witch who has been studying magic her entire life. It felt a bit unbelievable. Based on the info I can find online, it looks like Ignite the Sun will be a standalone novel. While this debut definitely has its flaws, I think it shows that Hanna C. Howard has a lot of potential to grow in her work and she is an author to keep on your YA Fantasy radar. Thank you to Blink via Netgalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alaina

    I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Not going to lie, I couldn't put Ignite the Sun down. It was just so interesting and entertaining from the very first page. In it, you will meet Siria. She is sort of living a double life and doesn't know what is fact or fiction until people basically tell her. Even after finding out the truth of who she really is, and who her family actually is, still takes forever for her to believe it. The amount of times she questions ev I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Not going to lie, I couldn't put Ignite the Sun down. It was just so interesting and entertaining from the very first page. In it, you will meet Siria. She is sort of living a double life and doesn't know what is fact or fiction until people basically tell her. Even after finding out the truth of who she really is, and who her family actually is, still takes forever for her to believe it. The amount of times she questions everyone close to her did end up annoying me in the beginning. I get it, they lied.. but they didn't know who to trust. Plus the whole magic thing about being forbidden to talk about it made it a smidge hard as well. Details though. Besides that, this book also has a reunion or two, betrayal, magic, and a little battle. Her entire journey to the rebels and then her home was okay. Yes, it did have it's boring parts but the pacing and action were what kept me going. Oh, and the little romance that wiggled it's way into my heart. Yes, I had a ship and no I won't give anything away. In the end, I am so happy that I got the chance to dive into this.

  4. 4 out of 5

    jessica

    a pretty decent debut novel, but its not without its flaws. all of my concerns have to do with the writing/storytelling. the writing is perhaps a tad too simplistic and the storytelling is a little too convenient for my personal preferences. when ‘opposition’ is present, something random saves the day or the MC passes out, so there really is no tension for the reader to experience. and although the concept and characters are unique, there is no depth or development or any kind of world-building. a pretty decent debut novel, but its not without its flaws. all of my concerns have to do with the writing/storytelling. the writing is perhaps a tad too simplistic and the storytelling is a little too convenient for my personal preferences. when ‘opposition’ is present, something random saves the day or the MC passes out, so there really is no tension for the reader to experience. and although the concept and characters are unique, there is no depth or development or any kind of world-building. which leads to unconnected characters and an underwhelming conclusion. overall, there is a lot of room for the author to grow, but its a good starting point. thank you blink for the ARC! ↠ 3 stars

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lou

    Once upon a time, there was something called the sun … In a kingdom ruled by a witch, the sun is just part of a legend about Light-filled days of old. But now Siria Nightingale is headed to the heart of the darkness to try and restore the Light—or lose everything trying. Sixteen-year-old Siria Nightingale has never seen the sun. That’s because Queen Iyzabel shrouded the kingdom in shadow upon her ascent to the throne, with claims it would protect her subjects from the dangerous Light. The Darknes Once upon a time, there was something called the sun … In a kingdom ruled by a witch, the sun is just part of a legend about Light-filled days of old. But now Siria Nightingale is headed to the heart of the darkness to try and restore the Light—or lose everything trying. Sixteen-year-old Siria Nightingale has never seen the sun. That’s because Queen Iyzabel shrouded the kingdom in shadow upon her ascent to the throne, with claims it would protect her subjects from the dangerous Light. The Darkness has always left Siria uneasy, and part of her still longs for the stories of the Light-filled days she once listened to alongside her best friend Linden, told in secret by Linden’s grandfather. But Siria’s need to please her strict and demanding parents means embracing the dark and heading to the royal city—the very centre of Queen Izybel’s power—for a chance at a coveted placement at court. And what Siria discovers at the Choosing Ball sends her on a quest toward the last vestiges of Light, alongside a ragtag group of rebels who could help her restore the sun … or doom the kingdom to shadow forever. Ignite the Sun is a compelling young adult high fantasy novel and very much follows the style of traditional, lyrical fantasies. The world is so lush and richly-imagined that becoming immersed in it is effortless and the beguiling magic system is creative, engaging and completely enchanting. This fresh-feeling debut strikes the same vein as old school fairytales and is complete with nymphs, banshees and witches. The cast of characters is superbly wrought and so vivid that I found they came alive on the page. It moves at a perfect pace with the author weaving mental health issues into the narrative; these are dotted throughout but the author never strays into becoming preachy or letting such issues take over the story. The light and darkness of the narrative are metaphors for the light/dark times experienced by those suffering from mental health issues, and especially depression. It's the perfect escape for these troubling times and I'm sure readers will adore it as much as I did. There is mythology woven throughout adding a fascinating depth to it all. Siria is a great protagonist and ultimately this is her journey of self-discovery. Many thanks to Blink for an ARC.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    ~ I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ~ Darkness overwhelms the kingdom of Umbraz that is ruled by an evil witch queen, who despises and fears the light-filled ways of the old. She deems the sun, and those who thrive within it, as evil and seeks to destroy anything that is a threat to her regime – including the last sunchild, a nymph with the ability to harness the powers of the sun. Generally I enjoyed this story, particularly the mythology as it inclu ~ I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ~ Darkness overwhelms the kingdom of Umbraz that is ruled by an evil witch queen, who despises and fears the light-filled ways of the old. She deems the sun, and those who thrive within it, as evil and seeks to destroy anything that is a threat to her regime – including the last sunchild, a nymph with the ability to harness the powers of the sun. Generally I enjoyed this story, particularly the mythology as it included some non-typical creatures and some fascinating lore; the most intriguing was that of witches, as their ability to steal powers and twist them into a sinister juxtaposition was undoubtedly horrifying yet exciting. Honestly, I’d love to have had more information on witches and ultimately, I would have liked to have seen more of the villains’ perspective throughout the text, as I believe it would have added more variety and depth that was missing in places. I simply felt that I misunderstood the motives and this addition would have made the character feel less two dimensional. Often, I found that to be the problem with the majority of the characters – they lacked depth. This meant I didn’t gain a connection with them and therefore didn’t particularly care about their contribution to the story, because it felt like the narrative could have been accomplished even if they were absent. In terms of the romantic side, it felt forced and uncomfortable, and overall just didn’t sit right with me. It wasn’t a gradual build up or discovery of emotions, Siria appeared to be obsessed with Linden straight away, with no obvious indication that the feelings were mutual, which created this stiff awkwardness. If perhaps this relationship had more development behind it, I would have been more interested in Linden as a character, it would have created more complexity. Unfortunately the lack of depth of characters strongly influenced my enjoyment and rating; connecting to the figures within a text is exceptionally important and I just didn’t find myself strongly caring about them like I should. However, it was still eventful and exciting, and whilst not everyone grew as individuals, Siria went from being quite an irritating, whiny child, to a powerful and inspirational nymph, which I can say I took great pleasure in witnessing.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jovana

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. ☀️ 2.5 stars ☀️ "Once upon a time, there was something called the sun..." WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS! Siria Nightingale has always hated the darkness and wanted to see the sun, which she had never seen before, only heard stories of. But since she lived in a kingdom where it is told by Queen Iyzabel that the light is dangerous, all of the kingdom is kept in darkness. When Siria attends the Choosing Ball, for a chance at a place in Queen Iyzabel's court, something happens that changes her ☀️ 2.5 stars ☀️ "Once upon a time, there was something called the sun..." WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS! Siria Nightingale has always hated the darkness and wanted to see the sun, which she had never seen before, only heard stories of. But since she lived in a kingdom where it is told by Queen Iyzabel that the light is dangerous, all of the kingdom is kept in darkness. When Siria attends the Choosing Ball, for a chance at a place in Queen Iyzabel's court, something happens that changes her life for good. She now must go on a quest with a group of rebels, in hopes of bringing back the light. Since I'll be ranting about this book, first I'll mention what I enjoyed while reading, then rant about what I didn't like at all. Things that I enjoyed in this book: 1. The Worldbuilding- I found the world to be very fascinating, from the royal city to the rebel camps. It felt realistic, and very well fleshed out. 2. The Magic System- I loved that it wasn't tied to a bloodline, but to the circumstances of ones birth. And that we got so many interesting magical creatures like: wood elves, mages, witches, sunchildren, etc. I especially liked how sunchildren are born and how witches get their powers. I never would have guessed that Iyzabel got her magic by eating a heart of a sunchild. And I loved that. It was a fun twist. 3. The first 30% of the book- I flew through the pages. This book was so gripping that I was sure it would end up being one of my favorite reads of this year. That didn't happen though. 4. The Audiobook- The narrator, McKenzie Fetters, did a wonderful job on this book. And their voice fit perfectly with the story and the characters. I recommend picking up the audiobook, it really adds to the atmosphere of the story. Here's what I didn't like about this book (and the beginning of a rant) : 1. Mary Sue MC- Siria just got her powers, and she somehow mastered it all in two months. Btw, there aren't any more sunchildren to show her what she needs to learn and how, so she learns on her own and has a little help from a mage. But I guess she's a natural. So I went with it. There was something that annoyed me so much more. She took down a Queen who murdered all the sunchildren on her own, sixteen years ago. And those sunchildren had more time to practice their magic than Siria for sure (There were sunchildren of all ages), and I'm sure were more powerful than her. Yet they were all slaughtered, and Siria, who knew she had magic for only two months, took her down like it was nothing. I mean, make it make sense. This just didn't sit well with me at all. 2. The cartoony villain- Queen Iyzabel was an evil witch because she wanted to keep the kingdom in darkness, and because she doesn't want anyone to have magic other than herself. And that's it. She's evil because we were told she's evil. She doesn't really do anything in this book other than scream some orders and maybe attack with her knife. She doesn't even use her magic much, and she's supposed to be really powerful! I mean, at least we did kind of get why she became evil, but it wasn't explained all that well. She just didn't seem like a threat. And the way they took her down was awful. A complete disappointment. 3. Too many coincidences- There were just too many. I was rolling my eyes at most of them. THEY. WERE. SO. BAD. Example: Oh, the MC and a side character are plummeting down a cliff to certain death? No worries, because Siria can fly now. Problem solved. 4. Final battle- It was too short. The Queen was too weak. Siria had too much luck. There was no tension. It was obvious Siria would win. And it was obvious who would die (Apart from the Queen). Thank you NetGalley and Blink for the Audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    *Thea 'Wookiee'sMama' Wilson*

    Ignite The Sun is a brilliant debut novel and Hanna Howard has created a wonderful story with a rich mythology and some very interesting and realistic characters that only add to the feel of the book. The pacing is fast and pulls no punches which leaves you with a simply fantastic debut fantasy book. I personally will look forward to seeing where this author will go next.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn Speckels (Metaphors and Miscellanea)

    Though I did have mixed feelings on the book, especially the plotting and narrative structure, my overall impression was still definitely a favorable one. Howard has crafted an engaging fantasy universe full of Things We Love To See, like elemental magic, multiple varieties of magical creatures (including things that resemble dragons, mermaids, and banshees, among others), and a resistance movement against a straight-up evil queen. There is a classic light-versus-darkness battle, with the added Though I did have mixed feelings on the book, especially the plotting and narrative structure, my overall impression was still definitely a favorable one. Howard has crafted an engaging fantasy universe full of Things We Love To See, like elemental magic, multiple varieties of magical creatures (including things that resemble dragons, mermaids, and banshees, among others), and a resistance movement against a straight-up evil queen. There is a classic light-versus-darkness battle, with the added dimension that comes from considering the impact of darkness on a population–problematic conditions for growing crops, paler skin, less-vibrant wildlife, and so on. And all of this is illuminated by Howard’s highly visual writing style, with attention to color and detail that paints a vivid picture of this universe for the reader to enjoy, from the eerie black/purple/green palette of Iyzabel’s court to the bright, shimmering colors of nymphs using their magic. I was also pleased with the way the romance in this book played out–a classic in-love-with-my-best-friend deal, with no weird love triangle or toxic, seductive bad boy sweeping in out of nowhere. Instead, the tension between them stemmed from personal difficulties and insecurities, making for a believable relationship that is understandable even to those of us who aren’t literally trying to save the world. All the romance was very PG, nothing beyond kissing and intense feelings, if that sort of thing matters to you. Thematically, I liked the places this book was willing to go. A lot of emphasis was placed on the concept of choice, about how your actions determine what sort of a person you are, and how fear only makes you a coward if you won’t fight it. Siria undergoes a good amount of growth as she faces her fear that what makes her different could make her a monster. Through a variety of side characters, different reactions to grief and struggle are also represented, from rage and rebellion to learned helplessness to numbing by distance, all the while pointing out that there is no “correct” way to deal with emotional damage–and the only incorrect way is to allow your actions to endanger others. That part, at least, it touched on from all sorts of angles, including when loyalty becomes conflicted between ideology and family, or between your own safety and someone else’s. All that said, I did have some hangups with this book. For one, despite the amount of conflict and talk of war in it, it was very light on action. The main character does very little fighting and is (more than once) literally teleported away during major action scenes, so we are cut off from what could have been epic moments and instead just get “before” and “after.” Even beyond those moments, there were just a lot of “plot conveniences”–not plot holes, but just weirdly convenient things that happened to work out perfectly to keep the story going. The story as a whole, actually, was pretty predictable, no major twists, and all conflicts very quickly and neatly resolved. I also was not a huge fan of the side characters–while Siria herself was relatively interesting, I feel like her companions all came across as one-dimensional, mostly there to fulfill specific roles for the plot but otherwise not doing anything to warrant emotional attachment to them (example: a death that probably should have been upsetting to me was instead rather “meh”). One of the most interesting characters, a banished banshee, felt painfully under-utilized (maybe we can get a spinoff about her?). The dialogue was largely stilted and inorganic. And finally, the ending was just too fast–there wasn’t really any time for the story to settle down, which seemed out of place given the way the rest of the narrative had proceeded. A couple revelations were also dropped near the end, ostensibly to help give context to a certain character, but the way they were presented was rushed and confusing instead of clarifying. All that said: though not overwhelmingly original or mind-blowing, this was still a decent read that plays nicely into some old favorite formulas of the YA fantasy genre. Given the nature of the story and the lower maturity level (in terms of profanity, violence, etc., it is very minimal), it is a great choice for younger YA fans especially. Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an eARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    I received an audio version of this book to listen to in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers. Ignite the sun is a beautiful light vs dark fantasy book that has elemental magic and creatures that are both intriguing and well described. I loved the romance element entwined within this story and found it slotted in very well. I was fascinated with the cover and blurb of this book and was captivated with the idea of a 'sun child' and a world where sunlight and stars were le I received an audio version of this book to listen to in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers. Ignite the sun is a beautiful light vs dark fantasy book that has elemental magic and creatures that are both intriguing and well described. I loved the romance element entwined within this story and found it slotted in very well. I was fascinated with the cover and blurb of this book and was captivated with the idea of a 'sun child' and a world where sunlight and stars were legends. The narrator does a fantastic job to narrate this story and I found her voice soothing and captivating to listen to. I love fantasy books and this one was a great listen.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2020/08/23/... “Once upon a time, there was something called the sun…” And with this irresistible premise, Hanna C. Howard’s debut Ignite the Sun had my full attention (though that heart-stoppingly stunning cover didn’t hurt either). The novel’s protagonist is sixteen-year-old Siria Nightingale, who has never once in her life seen the light of the sun or felt the warmth of its rays. That’s because long ago, the kingdom’s tyrannical Quee 3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2020/08/23/... “Once upon a time, there was something called the sun…” And with this irresistible premise, Hanna C. Howard’s debut Ignite the Sun had my full attention (though that heart-stoppingly stunning cover didn’t hurt either). The novel’s protagonist is sixteen-year-old Siria Nightingale, who has never once in her life seen the light of the sun or felt the warmth of its rays. That’s because long ago, the kingdom’s tyrannical Queen Iyzabel decreed the sun dangerous and has since used her magical powers to shroud her entire realm in darkness, claiming to protect her subjects. Still, despite not knowing what a life in the sun means at all, Siria somehow misses the light. Deep down, she also knows she’s different from the other girls at the uppercrust school she attends, and it’s not just because her flaming red hair and freckles make her stand out. She can’t help but be fascinated by the sun, and the only two people who seem to understand this yearning are her best friend Linden and his grandfather Yarrow, who frequently regales the children with stories of the good old sunlit days. But then came the Choosing Ball, an opulent event in which the kingdom’s elite vie for a place on the royal court. However, what should have been Siria’s opportunity to prove herself instead turns into a night of explosions and complete disaster when she is revealed to be a long lost Sunchild, creatures of pure light magic that have been outlawed by Queen Iyzabel. At long last, Siria discovers the truth of why she’s so different, but now that her identity is out, she is marked for death. With the help of Yarrow and Linden, she manages to escape, but then receives another shock as her traveling companions admit they are not who she thinks they are. In fact, Yarrow is a mage and Linden is a wood elf, and the two of them have been watching over her all these years, waiting to help her realize her powers and return her to her true people. Over the years I’ve read my fair share of YA fantasy, and in that time I’ve been exposed to a great number of tropes and conventions which the genre has thrown my way, and I have to say many of these can be found in Ignite the Sun. From the exiled Chosen One to the wise old wizard who guides her, much of the book reads like your classic quest narrative and hero’s journey, with very few surprises. Our adventuring party also picks up a couple extra members along the way, including a haughty water nymph and a sweet, young innocent banshee. There’s even a romance based around the tried-and-true cliché of the secret crush on the super-hot best friend, and following right on its heels, the good old “she must break his heart in order to spare him” trope. The ensuing result is this all-encompassing air of sentimental cheese and hokeyness, which I think readers will either find endearing or utterly tedious. As for myself, I confess to falling into the former camp. Sure, Ignite the Sun might be predictable, but it’s predictable in all the ways you want it to be. The story and its characters are warm, comfortable and familiar, offering lively adventure and gentle laughs. This is the kind of novel you can fall into very easily, becoming swept up in the world, its people and their relationships. While there’s not much doubt at any point regarding the direction in which the plot is going, there are some unique elements sprinkled here and there along the way, spicing up an otherwise average fantasy setting. I found myself intrigued by the concept of a Sunchild, and enjoyed the way all manner of other mythical creatures inhabited this world and had special roles in Siria’s life. Perhaps it’s not too surprisingly though, that it’s our protagonist’s own personal journey that shines through the most. When the book begins, Siria is a self-absorbed young woman who never questioned the reality of the way things were presented to her, even when all that was wrong was staring in her face. Her only concern was to be accepted, marching in lockstep with Queen Iyzabel’s desires like everyone else clamoring for her favor. Only when Siria has lost it all does she finally realize what truly matters. The transformation is gradual and convincing, ultimately becoming the most inspiring aspect of the novel. At the end of the day, while I doubt Ignite the Sun will be winning any awards for originality or breaking new ground in YA fantasy, this charming and entertaining debut was nevertheless a joy to read. I believe readers will either love it or hate it depending on how they feel about certain tropes, but being able to go with the flow will surely make it easier to find comfort and a simple delight in the book’s familiar themes.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lili Marcus

    A cliche concept/trope with a twist… Once upon a time, there was something called the sun…The moment I read this in the blurb, I was sold. 1.) because of its similarity to my previous manuscript and 2.) The light vs. darkness trope might be cliche, but it’s still one of my favorite tropes of all time. Especially, if the author manages to put a twist in it. In Ignite The Sun, light and dark literally fight each other, so it’s not your typical light vs. darkness, which of course, symbolizes good an A cliche concept/trope with a twist… Once upon a time, there was something called the sun…The moment I read this in the blurb, I was sold. 1.) because of its similarity to my previous manuscript and 2.) The light vs. darkness trope might be cliche, but it’s still one of my favorite tropes of all time. Especially, if the author manages to put a twist in it. In Ignite The Sun, light and dark literally fight each other, so it’s not your typical light vs. darkness, which of course, symbolizes good and evil. Most importantly, I love the fact that the protagonist has to take a journey to bring back the sun in a kingdom that hasn’t seen it, the light, for years. Likeable characters…but lacking depths Siria, the protagonist, grew on me. At first, she’s a brat and whines a lot. Someone called her out for that though, and that’s great because Siria needed to wake up and grow up. And she did. On the other note, Siria’s character is an exact representation of the chosen one, undergoing everything you might expect a chosen one undergoes physically, mentally, etc. The side characters though, or at least the ones who journeyed with Siria, I found unique as a group. In Ignite the Sun, you won’t find a group of teenagers to save the world – the saving is Siria’s job alone, because chosen one – but rather, Siria’s group is composed of a love interest, an indifferent middle-aged woman, a 12-year old girl and an old man who serves as Siria’s father/grandfather figure and mentor. Aside from their different ages, each of them is part of different species, which makes their group even more interesting. The author did great in this aspect. But I think individually, the characters need more depths and development. Sure, I connected with them but I would’ve liked to see some changes in them (in and out) by the end of the story. As interesting as they are, they should’ve given more time to shine, using their magic. A MILD magical world with all the interesting creatures… The absence of the sun is not the only fascinating aspect of the fictional world, Terra-Volat, it is also filled with all the interesting creatures. Most of them we can find in faery world such as nymphs, elves, dwarves, naiads, banshees, etc. Siria herself is a kind of nymph. She is a sun-child and I found sun-children really interesting, especially in a world where people really believe that light, the sun is the enemy and that a dark witch, like Queen Iyzabel, is the hero. It’s really interesting to learn more about each creature, the things they can do and can’t, but overall, the magic system is just mild. It’s very easy to understand and really nowhere near complex. A very cliche villain I think of all the books and movies about good vs. evil that I’ve read and watched, and for sure, I’ve met this villain before. Even Queen Iyzabel’s back story didn’t interest me. There’s nothing new to it, nothing intriguing and compelling enough to make her an interesting character. Good pacing BUT… The pacing is really good. There’s always something happening. It was really eventful and made the book unputdownable (is this really a word?) My issue lies with the too-convenient moments that resolves the conflicts the characters have faced. Too often, the characters are saved during fade-to-black moments, which means the most important and most interesting parts of the scenes are not on the pages. It makes me question the author’s ability to write such intricate scenes, like fight scenes or war. Too often, the dangerous scenes are cut, either by Siria fainting or being knocked out. And then suddenly, I am being told what happened during the danger, whether they survived or not. So yeah, there’s an issue of tell vs. show in the book as well. My favorite romance trope but not in this one… It’s a friends-to-lovers trope. Siria and Linden, one of her companions in her journey, have known each other for ten years and their friendship is amazing. But as for the romance, it’s not terrible but it lacks tension and development, so it ended up as bland. I guess the author just didn’t want to focus on romance but still… Overall, this book is perfect for those who are looking for a fast-paced story, and not so much into the technical aspects. Also, I enjoyed reading it despite its flaws.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca | Velvet Opus

    ~~I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review!~~ Siria Nightingale lives in a world shrouded in Darkness; an outcast at the Gildenbrook school for Girls with her unusual red hair, who longs for affection from her emotionally distant parents. If she can just leave behind her childish fascination with the mythical sunchildren, and ignore her growing fear of the Darkness she knows she could be chosen to serve the Witch Queen Iyzabel. She would finally fit in. Even if it would mean leaving b ~~I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review!~~ Siria Nightingale lives in a world shrouded in Darkness; an outcast at the Gildenbrook school for Girls with her unusual red hair, who longs for affection from her emotionally distant parents. If she can just leave behind her childish fascination with the mythical sunchildren, and ignore her growing fear of the Darkness she knows she could be chosen to serve the Witch Queen Iyzabel. She would finally fit in. Even if it would mean leaving behind her only friend, the gardener’s grandson, Linden. I’ve always been fascinated with magical beings so to have not only mages and witches, but water naiads, wood nymphs and even a banshee was what truly drew me to this book. Sadly, there’s not nearly enough about these characters and their interesting quirks. This fairytale is all about Siria. It made certain revelations and plot points inconsequential because they weren’t given enough build up. The same could be said of the world she inhabits. Early on, Siria sees “emerald-paned street lamps” in the misty green Royal City of Umbraz, a description which filled me with exuberant delight, to then be quashed without any further exploration. I would have loved to see more depth. That aside, this book has its heart in the right place; the messages of acceptance, belonging, courage in action and the true meaning of family, are wrapped up in a cute fairytale with a classic good-versus-evil and chosen heroine storyline topped with a sweet first-love romance. I would have enjoyed this as a teen, and benefited from its positive message. Hanna Howard’s debut novel is a wholesome and interesting take on the fairytale story. Expected Release Date of Ignite the Sun: 19 August 2020 Thanks to Netgalley/Blink YA Books for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review!

  14. 5 out of 5

    anna ✩

    3 stars! Ignite The Sun is a good debut and an entertaining read. Siria Nightingale has never seen the sun. Not because she is locked away somewhere but because in her world, there is no sun anymore. It's been 15 years since Queen Iyzabel has established the Darkness and since then no one has seen the dangerous sun. Siria, however, hates the darkness and wants to know all the stories about the sun and the times when light was around. Ignite the Sun had the opportunity to be outstanding but I bel 3 stars! Ignite The Sun is a good debut and an entertaining read. Siria Nightingale has never seen the sun. Not because she is locked away somewhere but because in her world, there is no sun anymore. It's been 15 years since Queen Iyzabel has established the Darkness and since then no one has seen the dangerous sun. Siria, however, hates the darkness and wants to know all the stories about the sun and the times when light was around. Ignite the Sun had the opportunity to be outstanding but I believe some things just weren't feeling quite right for me. The pacing is good and the world building and magic system is intriguing and captivating. I know the whole 'there's no more light in the world' thing has been overdone a little recently, but this one actually makes sense and is interesting from the very start. The magic system and the world of this was what saved this book for me and kept me interested until the very end. Overall, it's a good debut with a good premise and it's an entertaining read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ixxati

    Siria Nightingale is 16 years old. She always felt out of place and she don't know who she is until something happened and the truth was revealed. She is in danger because of who she is. I don't like her at first because she is annoying and whines a lot but then I grew to like her. Btw there is a different kind of creatures including herself and goshh that is interesting af! But there is only a little information about those creatures. Linden, Yarrow and Merrell were the one who helped Siria thr Siria Nightingale is 16 years old. She always felt out of place and she don't know who she is until something happened and the truth was revealed. She is in danger because of who she is. I don't like her at first because she is annoying and whines a lot but then I grew to like her. Btw there is a different kind of creatures including herself and goshh that is interesting af! But there is only a little information about those creatures. Linden, Yarrow and Merrell were the one who helped Siria throughout her journey and I liked all of them!! Siria passed out whenever she used her power goshhh I mean this story need another pov so that I can experience the tension over what happened whenever she passed out. It was an easy read and kinda predictable but I like it anyway! Thank you Netgalley, publisher and author for Ignite The Sun ARC!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Marilisa

    I'm getting more and more into audiobooks and I really liked the narrator in this one. The book follows Siria, who has always felt out of place in the reign of darkness of Queen Iyzabel. She has bright red hair, a physical revulsion to the darkness, and dreams of the sun. I was very intrigued by the premise. I'm instantly drawn in by stories of rebels and dystopia in general, so I loved the overall worldbuilding and magic system. The romance was very sweet, Siria's growth strong and believable, I'm getting more and more into audiobooks and I really liked the narrator in this one. The book follows Siria, who has always felt out of place in the reign of darkness of Queen Iyzabel. She has bright red hair, a physical revulsion to the darkness, and dreams of the sun. I was very intrigued by the premise. I'm instantly drawn in by stories of rebels and dystopia in general, so I loved the overall worldbuilding and magic system. The romance was very sweet, Siria's growth strong and believable, but it all wrapped up a little too neatly for my liking. I'd like to say a big thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for sending me the audiobook to review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Aly

    This book took me by surprise. I wasn't totally sure of the plot so I just found things out as I went. The worldbuilding was pretty well done, it didn't delve too deep but I understood the relevant history without having too much information. I liked Siria as our main character, she's a good person who cares about others, but she's had a privileged life and tries to please her parents and it shows. Sometimes she complains or doesn't understand how the world works, but she gets better and her com This book took me by surprise. I wasn't totally sure of the plot so I just found things out as I went. The worldbuilding was pretty well done, it didn't delve too deep but I understood the relevant history without having too much information. I liked Siria as our main character, she's a good person who cares about others, but she's had a privileged life and tries to please her parents and it shows. Sometimes she complains or doesn't understand how the world works, but she gets better and her compassion shines through always. The pacing was great, I didn't want to put the book down so I could find out what would happen next. The side characters were also fun, especially Linden, her love interest, and Yarrow, her fill in father. The relationships formed along the journey were my favorite part, I love seeing a group come together as family. Definitely a fun read and I'm excited for this to be released to the world! I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Joanna Meyer

    Official comments: How do you ignite the sun in a world teeming with darkness? Howard explores the answer in this lyrical fairytale that feels at once familiar and fresh. Her innovative world is filled with fascinating characters that will stick in your heart long after you turn the final page. A vivid story, beautifully told.

  19. 5 out of 5

    rayne ♥ [ IG: rayne.reads ]

    The premise of this sounds amazing, and that cover, beauty at its finest 👌

  20. 4 out of 5

    Deekay

    This is one of my most anticipated read this year and I had a high expectation of it. Let me just say that this book was phenomenal and it was simply amazing. I loved it and enjoyed it a lot. Not enough words can explain how much I truly enjoyed reading it. The storyline was really easy to follow and the flow of the story was really smooth, so it won’t be complicated to understand what was going on. It was about a girl named Siria and her other companions on their journey to help Siria reach her This is one of my most anticipated read this year and I had a high expectation of it. Let me just say that this book was phenomenal and it was simply amazing. I loved it and enjoyed it a lot. Not enough words can explain how much I truly enjoyed reading it. The storyline was really easy to follow and the flow of the story was really smooth, so it won’t be complicated to understand what was going on. It was about a girl named Siria and her other companions on their journey to help Siria reach her full power by escaping the Darkness to find the Sun. Along the way, Siria learns a lot about herself, her past, and her power. It was a story full of beautiful and dangerous adventure. The journey that all the characters had to go through was rough but what makes it wonderful was the fact that they had each other, and when they are together nothing can stop them from reaching their goals. It was good to know that they don’t have to be alone in their struggles. I liked how the author wrote Siria’s story in this book and showed the truth about who Siria actually is, what she is, her actual past, and everything that has to do with her and her power. There was a lot information to be honest, but it was all important and helped me to understand why the author chose her as the main protagonist of the story and why her role as the savior is the main focus. Aside from Siria’s story, the author also took her time to tell a little bit about the other characters’ stories: Linden, Yarrow, Merrell, and Elegy. I liked learning a bit more about these amazing characters who’d been helping Siria throughout the whole book. Each of them have unique and heart-wrenching stories about their past and that shaped them into who they are in the present day. Each of them shared a devastating past, so it was nice to see they had each other and doesn’t have to be or feel alone in the world. All of them played the same important role which is to protect Siria, keep her safe at all times, and guide her so that she can reach to her full power in order to defeat the Darkness. As for the plot, it was a very well-written one. I loved how the plot was simple and yet still fantastic in so many ways. The plot was to save Siria and get her to the North so that she can finally embracing her full power as a Sunchild and that would eventually make her powerful enough to defeat the Darkness which was controlled by the villain of the story. The things that never stop surprising me was the twists and turns. As I said earlier, the characters that appeared in this book each have their own story to tell, well…from learning about their past, there was a lot of shocking things I’ve learned. I was shocked and surprised to know the whole truth about Siria and the other characters—mainly her companions and the villain. It was a jaw-dropping surprises and most of it are just unpredictable, I didn’t see it coming. It was obviously the most clever thing to do. The author put as much surprises as she can into the story to surprise the readers, totally unexpected but most importantly, she succeeded. The world-building was massive and unique, and I’m actually impressed by this beautiful new fantasy world created by the author. I can see the huge effort that the author put into creating this world. Writing a new fantasy world in details are hard, it wasn’t easy at all but the author managed to create this beautiful world and make it interesting. I can already imagined how beautiful it looks. I loved the concept of the magic here which are very well-explained in the book. The magic of the Darkness and the magic of the Sun. Those who are evil and corrupted, they controlled the Darkness. As for the Sun, it is the source of power for the Sunchildren (people who were born with the power of the Light). The light vs dark and good vs evil is a very common concept in many books, but I loved how the author use it to symbolize the two different magic in this book and making it appear more interesting. It was all so intriguing to the point it felt so unreal. The characters in this book are so amazing and each of them have different ability due to not all of them are the same. I wasn’t expecting that at all, I just thought they were all the same before I even started reading this book. What I truly liked the most was how the characters are connected to each other by their past, not by blood because majority of them aren’t blood-related, only Siria and her brother do. This book just doesn’t stop surprising me, especially learning about the characters’ past because that was one hell of a ride learning the whole truth about everyone, and how one is connected to the other and connected to another and connected to Siria—again, not by blood. It was a wonder how my brain doesn’t explode from that many surprises. I was impressed, so that’s a good sign. Siria Nightingale, let me take a moment to appreciate how good and unique her name is. Okay, now let’s talk a bit about her. She is without a doubt a powerful protagonist. Look, she doesn’t become powerful all of a sudden, unlike most female protagonist do which is very unrealistic. She was trained by Yarrow and Linden a lot, and there was a lot of scenes in this book that showed her training process and how it was progressing. For example: the first time she used her power, how she tried to control it, how to properly use her skills and power in a fight, the endless hours of training she had in order for her to gain full control of her own power, the effort she put into her training just so she can reach her full potential in order to defeat the villain. Siria never give up. She’s a very determined person and the effort she put into her training only make her one of the best and one of the most likable female protagonist. She’d been working so hard to get to where she was at the end of the story. I really admired her strength and dedication. Despite being young, she had a lot of things to do and that can be a heavy burden on her, and yet she never complained. She knew what her purpose was and what she should do, so she put all of her focus on it and trained as hard as she can to succeed. Her journey wasn’t all that easy and that’s why I liked her character a lot because of the rough journey she had to go through and the hardships she had to endured, it made her stronger. It didn’t weaken her but instead it motivates her to work harder so that she can be as strong and powerful as she was born to be. She wasn’t just a lost princess of her long-dead kingdom, but she was also a young warrior who saved the entire world from the darkness. Her journey inspired me in some way, it make me look at success in life differently than I did before. Choosing Siria as the protagonist of this story is the right choice, and I’m happy that the author make her character more realistic and likable that I can relate to. How she was written and developed in this book was solid and on point. That’s all I can say about her. Linden is Siria’s best friend who’ve been protecting her since the beginning. He lost a lot of people in his life but he gained Yarrow and Siria. Learning about his past and how much he had suffered made me feel sad for him. Despite having to face many obstacles in his life, he never give up hope that better things are coming for him and everyone that has been following the right path. He’s strong and even volunteered to train Siria because she needed to harness her skills and know how to use her power properly. He and Yarrow had given Siria a proper training which I really liked seeing the most because without proper training, she might not gain victory at the end. I get why some people thought Linden is a dull character, that he is not interesting, and his only purpose was to become Siria’s love interest. Well, that was from what I’ve seen people said the most about his character. Honestly to me, his purpose is bigger than most people can grasp. He might not be as special as Siria, but he is indeed strong and powerful in his own way that he was able to give Siria a proper training. Linden is a lot useful, just like Siria, Yarrow, and Merrell. He wasn’t just there to become Siria’s love interest later on, but he was there to bring Siria to the North, where she can reach her full power. He’d been protecting her from the start, making sure she was safe, and always be the first person to run to her whenever danger was trying to get them. Also, he was smart and there was a scene that proved it (I don’t want to spoil it). For a male protagonist, he is definitely the right choice and also the best one. Yarrow is like a father figure to both Siria and Linden, and obviously the most experience out of the three of them. He was way too powerful which is understandable. After all, he’d been battling the bad guys his whole life and witnessed all the bad things that happened to the previous Sunchildren before Siria. I totally get his reason to protect her and why he was so hell bent on being extremely careful with their surroundings. He is actually a mentor to both Siria and Linden, and I knew where Linden got his confidence to train Siria and how he possessed all those great skills. With a mentor like Yarrow, there isn’t a doubt that his disciples are bound to be great. I loved reading the part where Yarrow talked about the past to Siria and told her everything that happened before the Darkness took over the world. I’ve learned a lot more from Yarrow’s story and how easy it was to understand the history of the Darkness and the Sun from his point of view. He wasn’t just an excellent mentor, but he was also a great storyteller. I really liked Yarrow’s character, he’d been so helpful throughout the book. As for the villain, one thing that you should know is that she was introduced early in the story. I didn’t know who the villain was, and when it was time to meet her I was shocked because never once did I ever thought she would become the villain. I thought the woman could be trustworthy and have a kind heart, but no, I was wrong. She was strong and definitely is the hardest challenge Siria had to face. Her past and what she did all those years ago was disgustingly horrible. I’d rather stay as far away as I can from her if I were to live in this book. Even though her only part was in the beginning and in the final few chapters, she was still an excellent but terrifying villain. Learning about the vile things she did to become what she is in the present day and to achieved whatever messed up goals she had in her mind made me see the bigger picture of what she truly is. No wonder she was important, and due to her absence for the majority of the book, there wasn’t enough room for her character development as a villain and despite the flaw in her character, I still enjoyed watching her insane act as someone who’d been living with the darkness inside of her for so long that it drove her mad. Can we please appreciate the friendship between Siria and Linden before they decided to pursue a relationship and become each other’s love interest. Their friendship was really-really wonderful, I really appreciate all the good things coming from their friendship. I know mostly people preferred enemies-to-lovers trope but as a huge fan of the friends-to-lovers trope I’m so happy. I’m happy two see two best friends slowly develop romantic feelings toward one another and to see them slowly fall in love with each other. The upgrade was amazing, like truly amazing. It took them long enough to realize they’ve been having feelings that can’t be described as anything friendly. It wasn’t easy for them to confessed their feelings to one another and it took like 20+ chapters for them to finally get together. Their slow-burn romance was beautifully written. Most romance in fantasy books can be seen as a weakness, but it was different here. Their love for each other is one of the things that motivates them to become better and stronger so that they can keep each other’s safe and reach the goals they’ve been targeting since the beginning of their journey. They are not each other’s weakness but they are each other’s motivator. Seeing them fight side by side against the bad guys are one of my most favorite moments in the book. What a powerful duo they are, and I was glad the author decided to paired them up romantically. Their love was so pure and so beautiful and a lot more realistic. I really loved them both and thankfully I get to see them becoming more than just friends. Another thing I liked is the brother-sister relationship between Siria and her brother (I forgot his name). The fact that Siria is the lost princess and she never seen her brother since she was still a baby made her reunion with her brother more epic. She literally didn’t know about his existence beforehand. When she finally met her brother years later, I cried. She thought the man and woman she’d been living with her whole life are her parents but no, they are not her biological parents. And then learning about what happened to her biological parents and siblings made me realize just how many people she had lost in her life, but thankfully her brother is the only biological family member she had left. These two are amazing, seeing them fought the villain together was a great sight to see. I liked how her brother treated her kindly and even made some jokes to make her smile when they first met which took place during their reunion. They have a naturally strong family bond, hence why despite years of being separated from each other their relationship as brother and sister doesn’t have a single awkwardness in it. Finding out about Siria’s brother is the one thing I didn’t thought the author would include at all. I really thought he was long dead along with their parents and their other sister. It was good to see these two siblings got their epic reunion and got their time to shine as two amazing warriors at the end, they deserved it. Overall, it was a remarkable story and so interesting too from the beginning until the end. There are so many good and unforgettable moments that made this book phenomenal. I hope once this book comes out, many people would read it. I really enjoyed it and the ending was perfect, really fit for the characters after witnessing the obstacles they had to face throughout their journey. I was speechless by how good it was written, I expected it to be an excellent story and I gladly admit that it was beyond my expectation. I really loved it and I highly recommend it.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    3.5/5 I received an eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Once upon a time, there was something called the sun. Siria Nightingale has only ever know shades of Darkness. Since Queen Iyzabel started her reign, it has been clouded in Darkness to save the citizens from the evil that is the sun. Or so, that's what the Queen would like you to believe. On her sixteenth birthday, Siria learns she is the last sunchild and that she must stop the Queen and bring bac 3.5/5 I received an eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Once upon a time, there was something called the sun. Siria Nightingale has only ever know shades of Darkness. Since Queen Iyzabel started her reign, it has been clouded in Darkness to save the citizens from the evil that is the sun. Or so, that's what the Queen would like you to believe. On her sixteenth birthday, Siria learns she is the last sunchild and that she must stop the Queen and bring back the light. Siria must first travel north to the resistance and master her sun powers. Luckily, she has the help of her childhood friends Linden and Yarrow, as well as a reluctant naiad Merall. I enjoyed the world building, and liked how the different magics correlated to a species of nymph. I also liked the explanations about witchcraft and how Iyzabel got her powers. The characters weren't my favorite. I did come to love them eventually, namely Siria. At the beginning, it was really hard to relate to her. I get that she was brainwashed to think a certain way, but you'd think being faced with death would speed the process up a little bit. I did love the family bond between her, Linden and Yarrow. The romance was fun as well, even if I didn't always ship Linden and Siria. I didn't realize this was a stand-alone so several times I thought the pacing was fast for a series lmao. I would've loved to see this expand. There's so much I'm curious about and I would've loved to see more magic training on Siria's part. One thing I did love was how Siria eventually came to terms with the fact that she had magic and she had to learn how to control it. And she did! She accepted it and the fact that it could be dangerous. She told her magic F you, I am in charge. I am all for boss bitches!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Vee_Bookish // YA Book Blogger

    [ARC Provided by NetGalley, my review is unbiased] I'm also a book blogger This is a very fast paced book, which doesn't work for everyone but worked for me, I always prefer to just get on with things. Very early on Siria is presented at court with other girls who look like her (pale, ginger, I'll get to that at the end) and is revealed to be the last remaining sunchild, a threat to the Queen who has surrounded the Kingdom in darkness. Ignite The Sun managed to do something that has only ever happe [ARC Provided by NetGalley, my review is unbiased] I'm also a book blogger This is a very fast paced book, which doesn't work for everyone but worked for me, I always prefer to just get on with things. Very early on Siria is presented at court with other girls who look like her (pale, ginger, I'll get to that at the end) and is revealed to be the last remaining sunchild, a threat to the Queen who has surrounded the Kingdom in darkness. Ignite The Sun managed to do something that has only ever happened once before, in The Winner's Curse - it made me fall in love with the male love interest within the first few chapters. I loved forest boy Linden, he was a very sweet, caring character without being saccharine in his love for Siria. Linden and Siria's relationship has almost started at the beginning of the book as they'd known each other for years, but status kept them apart. Over the course of the book they start to realise that there is a possibility for them, and they start to explore that. While this does rely on the old fantasy chosen one trope, the found family aspect and the constant action kept me gripped. Making friends with a mermaid and a banshee who join their ragtag group, they travel across the land of darkness very much like in Wizard Of Oz, trying to escape the notice of the Queen's Guard along the way. I did not think of it when reading, but thinking back on it I've realised why it bothered me so much that Siria was constantly seen as beautiful - it didn't come across that the sunchildren, which was basically very attractive girls with sun magic - were ever anything but pale, ginger, freckled. So no-one of colour. I'm not sure what that message is supposed to be. The story seems to have been wrapped up in this book, which is good, but I enjoyed it enough that I would really like a sequel, from the banshee Elegy's perspective. She's only twelve in this book, and a really interesting character as she's been essentially kicked out of home for not being good enough for her mother, so moving the story 4 years on would be fascinating.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Frenette

    Ignite the Sun by Hanna Howard Pub Date 08/18/2020 Syfy fantasy YA I absolutely loved this book. I can believe how much I enjoyed this one, I didn't want it end. I hope there is a second book to follow. This fantasy was one about darkness against light. They haven't seen the sun in 15 years. It had super cool characters like a sun child, naiads, wood nymphs and even a banshee. Siria Nightingale is sort of an outcast at the all girls school. Siria is hoping to be picked for the Queens court. But soon Ignite the Sun by Hanna Howard Pub Date 08/18/2020 Syfy fantasy YA I absolutely loved this book. I can believe how much I enjoyed this one, I didn't want it end. I hope there is a second book to follow. This fantasy was one about darkness against light. They haven't seen the sun in 15 years. It had super cool characters like a sun child, naiads, wood nymphs and even a banshee. Siria Nightingale is sort of an outcast at the all girls school. Siria is hoping to be picked for the Queens court. But soon finds out that there much bigger things to be had. Her and her gardener, who she thinks of as a grandfather and his son are all about to make the journey of a life time. I've read so many of the reviews for this book and think that fantasy is judge a lot harder then the average thriller is. So please don't go by the reviews, read this one anyway. I laughed and enjoyed this one so very much. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Thank to the publisher and to #netgalley for a copy to read I loved it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ren (A Bookish Balance)

    2.5/5 stars ARC provided by Netgalley and Blink Publishing. Ignite the Sun takes place in a world covered in darkness, where the sun is a myth. This world has mages, nymphs, and fae type creatures. We follow Siria, who is just turning sixteen and is trying to gain the favour of the queen. When she becomes an honoured guest at the Choosing Ball, she discovers not everything is as it seems, and she may be the key to bringing the sun back to the kingdom. I’ve been dreading writing this review becaus 2.5/5 stars ARC provided by Netgalley and Blink Publishing. Ignite the Sun takes place in a world covered in darkness, where the sun is a myth. This world has mages, nymphs, and fae type creatures. We follow Siria, who is just turning sixteen and is trying to gain the favour of the queen. When she becomes an honoured guest at the Choosing Ball, she discovers not everything is as it seems, and she may be the key to bringing the sun back to the kingdom. I’ve been dreading writing this review because I don’t have too many positive things to say. Let’s start with characters, Siria is your typical chosen one. She doesn’t particularly stand out, and she very much does not want to be the chosen one and doesn’t believe she’s capable enough and is a brat about it. The side characters are pretty lacklustre as well and I wish they had been more fleshed out. At times it felt like some characters were introduced solely for the sake of having more characters in the story. The villain of Ignite the Sun really doesn't have too large a roll and could have benefitted from more page time because she seems like more of a way to drive the story forward than like an actual character. The dialogue also leaves much to be desired. Siria’s interactions with the other characters come across as forced and the banter between her and her love interest, Linden, is lacking in the charms required for me to root for them together. When we meet the two we already know they have crushes on each other and are the best of friends, but I find none of this believable through their interactions. Siria’s also a bit too focused on Linden’s looks maybe because of his lack of personality and that’s something I never enjoy in regards to romance. My biggest gripe with this novel is that I thought the writing was lazy. The main character conveniently keeps blacking out during the height of tension, the plot is predictable, there were many info dumpy moments, especially in regards to the backstory of characters, and there are some very convenient magical elements thrown into the story, some in regards to those backstories, that do not make for an engaging narrative. I think Howard has potential as a writer, her style is easy to digest and the story concept is great, but her potential wasn’t fully reached with this debut. Something else that does not sit quite right with me is that the “chosen-ones” of the story are all red-haired or blond while, and correct me if I’m wrong, the other characters are dark haired. I understand what the author is trying to do here, and that the hair is meant to represent the sun, but the execution could have been better. Blog | Instagram | Twitter

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Ignite the Sun is a YA Fantasy standalone where you will meet Siria, a sixteen year old girl, thrown into the conflict between the Queen Iyzabel and rebels who wish to stop the witch from keeping the Kingdom in Darkness. She already killed almost every "sun child" except for one : Siria. She had no idea who she really was until her birthday where everyone saw the proof on her skin. She's being hunted but she's lucky enough to get the help of some good people. Overall, this book was okay. Unfortu Ignite the Sun is a YA Fantasy standalone where you will meet Siria, a sixteen year old girl, thrown into the conflict between the Queen Iyzabel and rebels who wish to stop the witch from keeping the Kingdom in Darkness. She already killed almost every "sun child" except for one : Siria. She had no idea who she really was until her birthday where everyone saw the proof on her skin. She's being hunted but she's lucky enough to get the help of some good people. Overall, this book was okay. Unfortunately, I had a hard time focusing on this audiobook and I never felt invested in the story. The main character could also be a bit of a brat at times. I thought her reunion with a certain someone was cute and I liked the man who seemed like a father to her. There was magic, battles and even a bit of romance but it wasn't enough to make me on the edge of my seat, you know? I'm not mad I read it but I know it's not a book that will stay with me a long time. (Thank you for letting me listen and review an ARC via Netgalley)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Caidyn (he/him/his)

    I received an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review! CW: general scenes of action and some betrayal 2.5/5 While this is a solid debut with good writing and a quick pacing, I wasn't into it. I found it almost too quick most of the time. I never really got a grasp of the world (although I enjoyed the inclusion of folk creatures that aren't usually front and center in stories, like niads and banshees) and it felt like it wasn't explained properly for me. I also never got attached to t I received an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review! CW: general scenes of action and some betrayal 2.5/5 While this is a solid debut with good writing and a quick pacing, I wasn't into it. I found it almost too quick most of the time. I never really got a grasp of the world (although I enjoyed the inclusion of folk creatures that aren't usually front and center in stories, like niads and banshees) and it felt like it wasn't explained properly for me. I also never got attached to the characters. Every plot twist or issue felt like it was solved so fast. All in all, it felt like it could have used more editing and polishing to really bring this story to life for me. So good and I'd read another book by this author in the future, but not amazing.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Oyinda

    I received the audiobook for free from the publisher via Netgalley. I've seen so many amazing reviews and I can't wait to dive in.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tarra Lyn | TLCBookNook

    “Once upon a time, the was something called the sun...” This was a much-anticipated release for me and I am so thankful to have received this copy. I went into this book not knowing much about it. The blurb intrigued me and with the magic, mythology and premise, it held on tight. A kingdom shrouded in darkness and under the rule of an evil Witch Queen, who despises and fears the sun and light-filled ways of old, seeks to destroy all who thrive in it, deeming them a threat to her regime. The last “Once upon a time, the was something called the sun...” This was a much-anticipated release for me and I am so thankful to have received this copy. I went into this book not knowing much about it. The blurb intrigued me and with the magic, mythology and premise, it held on tight. A kingdom shrouded in darkness and under the rule of an evil Witch Queen, who despises and fears the sun and light-filled ways of old, seeks to destroy all who thrive in it, deeming them a threat to her regime. The last sunchild especially. The world created seemed grand and lush, I just wish that there were more descriptions to really immerse yourself in it. Some descriptions fell flat or were half-finished, and lacked a certain luster that would have added to the richness of the story. I did like that the darkness that enveloped the land, had varying layers, where the sun could peak in and allow crops to still grow but the further away from the kingdom you went, the darkness was stretched thin and you could feel real warmth. Siria Nightingale is an ordinary girl living in that kingdom of darkness. Never having seen the sun in her 16 years of life but always feeling a pull towards it. Unbeknownst to her, she is the last living sunchild. A nymph who wields fiery powers like the sun and is prophesized to end the darkness and bring back the light. She is someone I started off not really caring for, she was very whiny and naïve BUT by the end of the story, she learned to accept herself, and her powers. I ended up liking her quite a lot. The other characters felt like they were just there. The dialogue seemed forced or superficial. I did not particularly care for one of the other characters, Merrall, because she was bitchy (a peeve of mine) in like 85% of the book. I didn’t understand why she was that way to Siria, it didn’t seem necessary to the overall story. Also, Sira’s romance with Linden felt underwhelming, as she is mainly caught up in his looks and not what makes him a good man, their dialogue lacks a certain depth and I felt it overshadowed her journey of self-acceptance. The story itself was enjoyable. I had a very hard time putting the book (Kindle) down because I wanted to know what happened next. A lot of the writing was not exactly my favorite but it did flow nicely. There were a lot of fade-to-black scenes, especially around the main character. It was also over-saturated with tropes, like the Chosen One, Best Friends turn Lovers, and this last one isn’t exactly a standard “trope” but it’s where the two main girls hate each other. Why can’t the girls be friends and help one another? This is something that needs to be normalized within the YA world. Overall, I found the writing style fairly basic but I think this is a good debut novel. As the plot developed, the writing developed with it, letting this book end better than it started. It delivered some important and powerful messages of self-acceptance, self-love, and confidence. I feel this book would be well received among younger YA readers. I would recommend this book for fantasy lovers looking for something different, if you can look past overdone clichés. Thank you to Netgalley and Blink for providing me with this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    cassberrie

    *Received a free ecopy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review* “Once upon a time, there was something called the sun.” Siria Nightingale is an ordinary girl living in a world of Darkness, where the light from the Sun has been banished for generations since Queen Izyabel vanquished the sun-worshipping kingdom of Luminor. Only, sixteen years ago, there was a prophecy that promised the birth of a sunchild, one who wielded the fiery powers of the sun, who would end her reign of darkness. Surpr *Received a free ecopy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review* “Once upon a time, there was something called the sun.” Siria Nightingale is an ordinary girl living in a world of Darkness, where the light from the Sun has been banished for generations since Queen Izyabel vanquished the sun-worshipping kingdom of Luminor. Only, sixteen years ago, there was a prophecy that promised the birth of a sunchild, one who wielded the fiery powers of the sun, who would end her reign of darkness. Surprise surprise, Siria is that sunchild. The premise of this sounded so interesting, and I always love a fantasy that feels grandiose and mythic in nature. The concept of a sunchild who is here to return light to a land of darkness was right up my alley. Near the climax of the story, there is some fantastic imagery that made my imagination sing with the poetry of it all. That being said, the story felt a little lackluster, a little "too YA" somehow. I'm not usually impressed by stories of characters who have to go on the run, and 80% of the story was just that. Coupled with the addition of several "astounding revelations" (e.g. (view spoiler)[Yarrow having a dead wife who was a sunchild, Izyabel trying to resurrect her dead lover, etc. (hide spoiler)] ) and a character who did essentially nothing, I feel that a lot of things could have been trimmed out of the story. There were also too many conveniently-placed "fade to black" moments. And, worst of all, I couldn't feel very deeply for any of the character interactions. Some of the characters, particularly Merrall, were interesting but were not given ample time to develop into something interesting. Linden was a nice dude, but the greatest pitfall of the childhood friend-to-lover trope is that while realistically it takes less build-up to get them to fall in love, the reader is not necessarily privy to those same pre-established feelings. The romance happened far too quickly in my opinion, and the clear inevitability of it made it less interesting. If certain extraneous plot-beats were removed in favor of giving characters more time for introspection, or maybe just some additional page-time dedicated to weaving a greater magical atmosphere around the world, I feel the whole mood of the book could have shifted to something more grandiose and emotionally-resonant. That being said, the overall writing style seemed more conducive to an action-adventure than a lush fairytale, so this could certainly be a matter of personal preference. At the end of the day, this is a fast, fun story that starts with a lost girl who doesn't fit in and ends with an empowered queen who has come into her powers. It's a solid read with an exciting premise that carries a lot of promise, although it falters in its delivery at times.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    You know what I should have done? I should have listened to that little voice at the back of my head—the one I NEVER listen to—that whispered, "DNF it." NOTE: I received an advance copy of this title as both an e-book and an audiobook from Netgalley. This review is based on the audiobook. I have been deceived by that downright stunning cover. While the premise of a world deprived of sunlight was what immediately grabbed my interest, I found it to be poorly executed. The world-building felt ... in You know what I should have done? I should have listened to that little voice at the back of my head—the one I NEVER listen to—that whispered, "DNF it." NOTE: I received an advance copy of this title as both an e-book and an audiobook from Netgalley. This review is based on the audiobook. I have been deceived by that downright stunning cover. While the premise of a world deprived of sunlight was what immediately grabbed my interest, I found it to be poorly executed. The world-building felt ... incomplete. I struggled to absorb the details. Worse, I found it difficult to remember that this is a world of pure darkness. Literally the premise that drew me in, and it didn't click well for me. I was surprised to find that this was a world of nymphs, witches, banshees and the like. It was an interesting twist! The villain I found to be rather weak, who basically hates the sun and doesn't want anyone else to have magic. I knew this would be rather wholesome given the imprint, but I didn't expect such a cringe-worthy and tropey book. This was not a good Chosen One trope. I usually don't have a problem with those stories, but I want the main character to be more, "What? Oh, sh*t, sweet. Let's do this." Instead, Siria served a lot of whining. I really stopped caring toward the end, but in the beginning, my understanding of the plan for her to save the world was to travel across the country and be yeeted into the middle of the ocean where direct sunlight was. The romance was not one for me to be a fan of, and I didn't think it really added anything to the story. Even though the Chosen One trope was rough, I could have dealt with it had it not been for the main character. We are given very little opportunity to meet her before BAM! You are the one who will save us all. She lost my support pretty quick once I realized how properly whiny and snobbish she is. "You only care about me because I'm the Sun Child. I don't want to walk across the country. My parents don't love me. I can't touch anyone ever again because I have no desire to learn to contain my new powers." Wah. The audiobook narration was not my cup of tea and my very well have ruined the whole book for me. While the sample initially appealed to me and led me to request it, it turned out to be far too over-the-top dramatic. Several of the voices were downright annoying or had accents that just seemed ridiculous. I wish I had more better to say, but all in all, this was disappointing and not for me.

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