Yay! I’m back for another tour with my friends TBR & Beyond Tours, and I’m so excited to share my thoughts on this book. Click on the banner above to see the rest of the tour schedule, as well as the Instagram schedule. I will have a post up tomorrow on IG about Ignite the Sun, so stay tuned on that!
Ignite the Sun
by Hanna C Howard
Release Date: August 18, 2020
Genre: YA Fantasy
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.
Hanna C. Howard spent most of her childhood wondering how she might avoid growing up, and eventually solved the conundrum by becoming an artist and a writer. She considers tea an essential food group, has more books than shelf space, and thinks the ultimate geek triumvirate is Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Doctor Who. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with her husband and son, their Disreputable Dog, and a cat skilled in the martial arts.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to TBR & Beyond Tours, Netgalley, and Blink for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.
Could you imagine not living in the sun for 15 years? So for me, since I’m older than that 15 year period, I don’t know how I would feel going from the Light to straight up Darkness all over. But that’s also because we are naturally used to the sun, right? We benefit from the sun in different ways, and it helps us go through our day. Our main character Siria Nightingale is nearly 16, so she has never lived in a world where the sun was around. That’s all she knows, and yet for some reason, her body keeps reacting super negatively to the Darkness…
While the synopsis does say that she discovers something at the Choosing Ball, it doesn’t say what she discovers so I won’t say anything since that would be a spoiler. But let’s just say that really, the Choosing Ball and the events that take place during that time are really what set off this journey into something that Siria never dreamed of. It’s very interesting too to see the kind of reasoning that goes behind the Choosing Ball and why Queen Iyzabel picked the people that she did for the “guests of honor” at the Ball.
One of the things that I thought was interesting was that despite Siria and her childhood best friend Linden having some sort of weird falling out while she was training to be on the Queen’s Court, all that needs to be either set aside or dealt with between them because they are stuck together for life. Or, at least into the end of the book, right? I thought it was a little sad though, that for some reason they had that weird falling out because of how close they were when they were younger. I mean, Siria never wanted to be a proper lady of the court. She wanted to be a gardener. She loved working with her hands and getting dirty in the garden and being with her best friend Linden and Yarrow, hearing stories about when the Sun existed and the creatures that lived in the Sun. The Sunchildren, I believe their names were?
Oh yeah, in case the synopsis wasn’t clear, there are a lot of different paranormal creatures in this world, like nymphs, mages, etc. Which I guess would make sense since it was Queen Iyzabel that somehow blocked the Sun and created this suffocating Darkness that everyone seems to like. I don’t know if they really do though, since it’s clear in the way that Siria describes other people that she deals with that they are severely Vitamin D deficient. They have sallow skin, and are just super pale, and it just doesn’t seem healthy at all. But I guess it makes sense when there is no source of Vitamin D anywhere, and that’s all they know. Would you really want to be super pale that you’re almost translucent? I don’t know.
I will also say that I personally didn’t like how self-deprecating that Siria was in the beginning. Honestly it just really bothered me, even though I understand why she was like that. Like, I absolutely hated how her parents treat her and even at the Choosing Ball, at that scene and I was like YOU SUCK AS A PARENT but again I can’t really say much about it because that would be spoilers. But Siria was always putting herself down compared to everyone else and it was so damn tiring. Yes, I get that you have red hair versus everyone else’s brunette or black hair, but damn chica that doesn’t mean that you’re ugly! Or that something’s wrong with you! Or that you’re less than everyone else!
For the most part I thought that this was enjoyable except for those instances. I get that the girls weren’t all going to be able to be part of the Queen’s Court, but the teasing and stuff was not cool for me. I don’t like girl on girl hate, and this one just felt unnecessary as well. Not unnecessary to the story because I get it, but just… why do they have to talk crap, you know? Ya feel?
But the rest of the story was good! I love the dynamic between Siria and Linden, and being able to have them deal with others as a “ragtag” kind of group to save the world from eternal darkness was super intriguing. I had a lot of fun with it, and I’m curious to know if there may be additional stories in this world because I’d love to hear about them one day.
Ahh okay this one is going to be short because I’m having a huge brain-fart moment.
I’m surprised that I never used Bonnie Wright before? I feel like I totally spaced on her when I was thinking of other redheads in the past. Oh well! I’m using her for Siris because I can totally see it.
And I had to make sure that whoever was Linden had those green eyes that Siria kept telling us about. Ugh green eyes look so beautiful.
And that’s it for today! I hope you had fun reading my thoughts on this novel, and thank you again to TBR & Beyond Tours for allowing me to be on this tour. Have you had this book on your radar? Have you already read it? Let me know your thoughts!