Take a break from the reality and enter the electrifying world of Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova. Based in 15th century during the Spanish Inquisition, this book springs into action from the very first page and takes the reader on a journey featuring murder, mystery, magic, and everything in between.
Renata “Ren” Convida has always been an outsider. She has magic running through her veins and is a Robari, one of the rarest types of the magic-wielding Moria — but also one of the most feared. She’s lived her life as a scavenger, but after being rescued by one, she turns into a Whisper. Whispers are a rebel spy group that want to destroy the disastrous iron grip of the Kingdom and help free other Moria from almost certain death. Renata’s power is also her biggest insecurity — she can take memories away from people and keep them for herself.
Renata’s place in her ragtag team of Whispers is always questioned, and she doesn’t really feel comfortable among them. Dez, the leader, is the only person she can confide in, and their growing feelings for one another results in a romance that runs hot. But when Dez gets captured by the crown and a horrific incident happens, Renata takes it upon herself to complete his mission.
One of the first things I noticed about this book was how lush the descriptions in the action sequences were. Every moment felt very fluid, which helped with the overall pacing of the book. They were extremely three dimensional, we didn’t just get to read about how something looked, but we got to read about how something smelled and sounded like in vivid detail.
Córdova does a great job in breaking down the magic and how it interacts with the environment within the text. I feel that this could have been a tricky thing to do, but it is very easy to understand because she uses a variety of literary devices like flashbacks, similes, and metaphors.
I also enjoyed that Córdova was not afraid to make major character choices before the third act. Nobody felt safe and that made the reading experience more exciting going into the last third of the book because you really couldn’t guess what was going to happen next. It has a very Game of Thrones-at-its-best vibe that was really addicting to read.
Read this book if you are looking for something that will completely take you into a world very different than our own but stars a protagonist whose core motivations feel very familiar and relatable.