Author: Emily Victoria
Publisher: Inkyward Press
Publication Date: 2 February 2021
Format: eBook - PDF
Genre: YA / Fantasy / LGBT
Source: ARC via NetGalley
Flee across the sun-and-shadow islands of Eratia, where runes have the power to unleash monsters…
Seven years ago, Karis was forced to become an acolyte for the Scriptorium, the rune scholars who rule Eratia. For centuries, these Scriptmasters have sought the key to reanimating the country’s fearsome automaton army, and anyone they deem unable to help them achieve their goal is sent away…including Karis’s brother, Matthias.
Then Karis discovers a unique human-sized automaton and unintentionally wakes him up. Intelligent, with a conscience of his own, Alix has no idea why he was created. Or why his father—Eratia’s greatest traitor—once tried to destroy the automatons.
Upon learning Matthias is being held by the Scriptorium’s sinister leader, Alix and Karis set out to rescue him and uncover the truth about Alix’s past. But when Karis is faced with an unthinkable choice, betraying everyone she cares about may be her only desperate chance to save their world.
This Golden Flame was an imaginative read with very good world building. The story caught my interest right from the start and the characters came across well, especially Karis and Alix. I enjoyed seeing their relationship develop, and all the characters had grown in some way by the end of the story. It's always refreshing to see a YA novel that doesn't place central importance on romance and also avoids the stereotypical love-triangle, and I enjoyed the LGBT representation in the piece, which was nicely shown without becoming the principal focus. There were some interesting themes explored, such as what makes someone a real, or worthwhile, person, and all up I think this is a YA fantasy that will appeal to many readers with its fresh approach, engaging story and compelling characters. It was a solid 4.5-star read for me.
I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.