ARCs Book Reviews

ARC Review: Set Fire To The Gods by Sara Raasch & Kristen Simmons

I won an ARC copy in Kristen Simmon’s birthday giveaway on Instagram.
Set Fire to the Gods is now on sale!

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Series: Set Fire to the Gods #1
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: Ash is descended from a long line of gladiators, and she knows the brutal nature of war firsthand. But after her mother dies in an arena, she vows to avenge her by overthrowing her fire god, whose temper has stripped her country of its resources.

Madoc grew up fighting on the streets to pay his family’s taxes. But he hides a dangerous secret: he doesn’t have the earth god’s powers like his opponents. His elemental gift is something else—something that hasn’t been seen in centuries.

When an attempted revenge plot goes dangerously wrong, Ash inadvertently throws the fire and earth gods into a conflict that can only be settled by deadly, lavish gladiator games. The fights put Madoc in Ash’s path, and she realizes that his powers are the weapon her rebellion needs—but Madoc won’t jeopardize his family, regardless of how intrigued he is by the beautiful warrior.

But when the gods force Madoc’s hand, he and Ash uncover an ancient war that will threaten more than one immortal—it will unravel the world.


***This review ended up longer than expected. Feel free to just read the bold text. Thanks for reading!***

My Review: My heart is aflame with joy for Set Fire to the Gods, a riveting new YA Fantasy abundant with complex plots, elemental magic, and battles unlike any other.

I loved this book and its swoon-worthy title. “Set Fire to the Gods” has a lovely ring to it. And the cover is an elegant work of art that perfectly captures the breathtaking action to come.

Ash is a heroine unlike any other. She possesses an insurmountable strength to continue on after so much tragedy and with so much on the line if she fails. She dares to do the impossible, to bring down her god, no matter what it takes. At times she appeared a little childish (stubbornly reactive) at one moment and then collected (focused) in another. It made for conflicting views of who she was as a character. But I love Ash to bits and I can’t imagine any other to take on the conflict in this book and the larger conflict to come in the next.

Madoc is a family man with a big heart despite his upbringing. Everything he does is for his family’s sake, no matter the risk. He’s more passive than assertive, but I think figuring out what his gift is and how it could be used (and abused) kept me interested in him. He takes on such a heavy emotional toll that I wanted to give him a big hug and tell him things would be okay.

Ash and Madoc’s unintended interest in each other was so cute! After learning so much about them, they are exactly what the other has been secretly craving. I like the hint of romance in the background and that it wasn’t a primary focus but a silently wonderful addition to the plot.

Set Fire to the Gods really does embody the essence of Avatar: the Last Airbender and gladiators. The authors have created a cool take on the elements and even added some: the usual, earth, air, fire, water, but also plants and animals.

Another great thing about Set Fire to the Gods is that the gods physically exist on the same plane as humans and are an active part in the world and not a metaphysical one often seen in fantasy books. They are rooted in the elements they represent. The gods are immortal and humans mortal.

The class system simple but with great importance to the story. Those born with “energia” (the elemental powers) are the Divine and those without the Undivine and, as per usual of such distinction, the former lives an infinitely better life than the latter.

I really enjoyed reading Set Fire to the Gods. After so much tension and action and arena fights and that climatic scene (oh-my-goodness!), I am so excited for book 2.

4 replies on “ARC Review: Set Fire To The Gods by Sara Raasch & Kristen Simmons”

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