Reviews for Incendiary

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

A powerful young woman struggles to save her kingdom from a megalomaniac and redeem her past mistakes. Renata is a Moria—a person with magical powers—in an Inquisition-type world where people with these abilities are persecuted and killed. When she was a girl, Renata was taken from her parents and used to steal memories from the king's enemies. Now, years later, she's a member of the Whispers, a secret group working to overthrow the royal family and rescue the Moria from genocide. After a tragic turn of events, Renata must go back to the palace to fight the enemy from within. There, she struggles with her loyalty to the Whispers and falling back into old habits. With a faulty magical system and a mishmash of tropes, this incoherent fantasy never quite finds its footing. The dialogue is wooden, the prose is overwritten, and the characterization lacks nuance. Renata is a querulous protagonist who simultaneously acts helpless while also taking on the mantle of saving her world with her excellent fighting skills and quick thinking. Córdova (A Crash of Fate, 2019, etc.) tries to do too much—a historical setting, spycraft, a doomed romance, a plot to cure the Moria of their powers, and even a Stockholm syndrome thread—and doesn't quite succeed at any of them. Most characters are brown skinned and have Spanish surnames. A jampacked, overly plotted series opener that fails to coalesce. (Fantasy. 14-adult) Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.