Title: This Golden Flame
Author: Emily Victoria
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBT
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: February 2, 2021
Orphaned and forced to serve her country’s ruling group of scribes, Karis wants nothing more than to find her brother, long ago shipped away. But family bonds don’t matter to the Scriptorium, whose sole focus is unlocking the magic of an ancient automaton army.
In her search for her brother, Karis does the seemingly impossible—she awakens a hidden automaton. Intelligent, with a conscience of his own, Alix has no idea why he was made. Or why his father—their nation’s greatest traitor—once tried to destroy the automatons.
Suddenly, the Scriptorium isn’t just trying to control Karis; it’s hunting her. Together with Alix, Karis must find her brother…and the secret that’s held her country in its power for centuries.
Karis is an orphan who is learning to be a scribe in the Scriptorium, a group who are searching for the secret to unlock the magic of the automatons. When she was sent to that island after being orphaned, she was separated from her older brother. Now, seven years later, she will do anything to find him. One day, she finds a cave with an automaton inside, and she accidentally awakens it. The automaton is an intelligent creature named Alix. His final memories are from two hundred years in the past, and his father is now remembered as a traitor. Karis now has something the Scriptorium wants: Alix. She runs away with Alix, and her friend Dane, to find her brother and learn the secrets of Alix’s existence.
This story was set in a unique world. Many aspects seemed ancient, with the scribes and the old buildings with columns. At the same time, there were some futuristic aspects, such as the automatons. The automatons, that could come to life, were powered by runes, so even they seemed like a mix of ancient and future.
This was an own voices story with an asexual main character. This wasn’t a major part of the story, but Karis mentioned it a couple of times. Karis felt different from everyone else, and she had never even seen anyone kiss until the end of the book. I liked that this was part of her character but it wasn’t treated as an entire plot point in the story. I also liked that this was a fantasy story that didn’t have a romance for the main character. She had other important, meaningful relationships that didn’t involve a romantic partner. It’s important to have all kinds of representation in all genres of stories.
This was a great fantasy story!
Thank you Inkyard Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell
Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen
About the author:
Emily Victoria lives on the Canadian prairies with her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, works at her public library, and has just finished her Masters of Library and Information Studies.
Have you read This Golden Flame? What did you think of it?