So Let Them Burn by Kamilah Coleon January 16, 2024
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Faron Vincent can channel the power of the gods. Five years ago, she used her divine magic to liberate her island from its enemies, the dragon-riding Langley Empire. But now, at seventeen, Faron is all powered up with no wars to fight. She’s a legend to her people and a nuisance to her neighbors.
When she’s forced to attend an international peace summit, Faron expects that she will perform tricks like a trained pet and then go home. She doesn’t expect her older sister, Elara, forming an unprecedented bond with an enemy dragon—or the gods claiming the only way to break that bond is to kill her sister.
As Faron’s desperation to find another solution takes her down a dark path, and Elara discovers the shocking secrets at the heart of the Langley Empire, both must make difficult choices that will shape each other’s lives, as well as the fate of their world.
For the first book tour post of 2024, I’m thrilled to be sharing my thoughts on So Let Them Burn and my favorite quotes from the book! So Let Them Burn is from debut author Kamilah Cole: a writer and entertainment editor at Bustle for four years, whose nonfiction work has also appeared in Marie Claire and Seventeen. A graduate of New York University, Kamilah lives on the East Coast, where she’s usually playing Kingdom Hearts for the hundredth time, quoting early SpongeBob SquarePants episodes, or crying her way through Zuko’s redemption arc in Avatar: The Last Airbender.
A Jamaican-inspired Fantasy
Favorite quote: “Your island’s tongue… It’s your heritage. It is the true expression of your heart. Don’t give it away.”– So Let Them Burn by Kamilah Cole
The island of San Irie was once invaded by the Langley Empire, whose fiery dragons terrorized and destroyed many Iryan towns. But when Faron Vincent was chosen as the Childe Empyrean, she channeled the power of the gods to end the war with the Langlish and has since become the saint of her liberated country. The depiction of the history of San Irie and its revolt against colonizers was amazing from the get-go. As a Filipino reader, it reminded me of the Philippine’s colonial past (minus the dragons) although I know it’s based on Jamaica being colonized by the British. So Let Them Burn just portrays the aftermath of war so well that you really feel for Faron and the people of San Irie.
Favorite quote: “War never actually ended. It survived in the lives destroyed by things large and small. The soldiers whose nightmares haunted them even with their eyes open.”– So Let Them Burn by Kamilah Cole
Sisters Versus Dragon Bonds
Favorite quote: “All her divine power, and she couldn’t help her sister now when she needed it most.”– So Let Them Burn by Kamilah Cole
Elara Vincent believed she would be a footnote in the books written about her heroic saintly sister. As the older sibling, Elara always looked after the rebellious Faron but also longed to make her own mark as a Drake pilot in the Iryan Military Forces. But when Elara bonds with a dragon at an international peace summit where Langley leaders and riders were present, she has to leave her country and her sister so she can learn how to be a dragonrider at Hearthstone Academy. I loved the dynamic between Faron and Elara, how they grew up side by side but in such different roles.
Favorite quote: “She’s the best person I know. She’s my hero. She’s the saint. Any time I’ve ever needed her, she’s been there for me.”– So Let Them Burn by Kamilah Cole
There’s also a slow burn sapphic romance for Elara and her co-rider and I’m really looking forward to how it will develop in the next book. Overall, I was glad to see how empowered women were at the center of the fight for freedom in the past and again in the present when dragons threaten to set the world ablaze.
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