#Friday56 – Shadow and Flame

Woop Woop – TGI Friday!

This week’s Friday 56 comes from Shadow and Flame by Mindee Arnett which is the sequel to the fantasy novel Onyx and Ivory. I got this as part of my birthday haul in my bid to try and finish off some of the series I’d already started from way back when!

Hosted by Freda’s Voice, the Friday 56 is a weekly bookish prompt. It’s quite easy to do and could cover no end of different books and genres so seems great if you’re looking for a quick snippet to discover something new!


*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post here in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.

Signe wasn’t a wilder or magist, only a woman from the Esh Islands of unknown birth and background. Still, she possessed many talents, including senses keen enough to provoke envy in any assassin or spy – and one secret that made her the most important woman in the Rising.

Signe was one of the sassiest and most mysterious characters in this book. I really like the way her friendship with Kate goes through its trials and tribulations. It isn’t often that you witness people facing up to the consequences of their actions like this pair of friends. If you want to hear more about Shadow and Flame then you can check out my full review here.

Have you read Onyx and Ivory or Shadow and Flame? What kind of Wilder magic would you rather have? As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

Biblioshelf Musings: Shadow and Flame

Howdy Bibliofriends!

This week’s Biblioshelf Musing is Shadow and Flame which is the sequel to Onyx and Ivory by Mindee Arnett. If you follow my other posts you’ll know that I’m not that great at keeping up with sequels. That being said, in my new little world of trying to maintain good ‘atomic habits’, the motivational need to clear some series space on my shelves prompted me to add Shadow and Flame to my birthday book haul.
🚨 There may be some spoilers ahead for the first book in the series but if you want to read one of my very early reviews then you can find my thoughts on Onyx and Ivory here.

Book: Shadow and Flame by Mindee Arnett
Genre: Fantasy / YA
Publication Date: 4th June 2019
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 482
Rating: 📚📚📚

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

From acclaimed author Mindee Arnett comes the thrilling conclusion of the stunningly epic, action-packed, and romantic fantasy adventure about a powerful girl possessed of strange magic, the outcast prince she loves, and the kingdom that has torn them apart.

Kate and Corwin are on the run, desperate for allies in a new world of war among the kingdoms of Rime. As the book opens, Kate suffers a massive loss, one that will shape the struggle for freedom of all wilders and magic folk—that is, if Kate can learn to control her own power.

The World of Rime

Wow, it felt so good to be back in Rime. I have to say that in a bookish world swamped with lots of medieval-style fantasy settings, the Kingdom of Rime felt really homely and not overdone. To be honest I think the setting may be one of my favourite parts of the whole novel. In Shadow and Flame we get to do a little more exploration of Seva and the Mistfold which is where the story kicks off. I can’t quite describe why I like it so much but the references to everweeps and the mysterious statues all just add to it being a nice place to spend some reading time in my head. Finding out the source of the Wilders’ magic and it’s link to the kingdom was one of those niche little things that I enjoyed whilst reading. I’m really hoping that we can come back to this world someday just to explore the places on the map that we didn’t really see.

Signe and the Esh Islands

One of those places is the Esh Islands where Signe is from. Signe is such a mysterious character and she has a really unusual appearance with ruby-like gems surrounding her mouth. As part of the Furen Mag, we find out much more about Signe’s identity throughout the book, however the ending left me feeling like there was a little more to this character and her heritage that I wanted to know an awful lot more about. We finally discover the secret of the mystical Black Powder, but it all just leaves me wanting a spin-off series about Signe and the Furen Mag.

Paragon and Uror

The Paragon and the Uror are central devices used to carry out the plot and battle between good and evil in the Rime Chronicles. It’s quite hard to talk about them without giving away major spoilers but as far as ‘roles for heroes’ go, these were pretty effective and I liked the symbolism of the black/white themes that accompanied their descriptions.  They were both fairly predictable within the story but I really did enjoy the storytelling around the way they were represented – who doesn’t love a magical horse right?!

To Sway or not to Sway

Kate’s wilder ability is to control people’s minds with Sway. The book goes into great detail about how the ability to invade someone’s mind or force them to do things against their will comes with a heavy burden and a price to pay. This is part of a major conscience battle for Kate and I like the way the author explores the way her use of her wilder ability affects some of her closest friendships – it’s not often that we get to see the psychological ramifications of something like this taking a key focal part in a fantasy tale.

All in all, The Rime Chronicles were a nice, fun read. The characters were nice, the plot was nice, the magic system was nice – nice, nice, nice. I occasionally read parts of the story and had a deja-vu moment as if I had heard of that ‘blackened, poisoned hand’ somewhere before… but on the whole, it was an enjoyable story which I’m definitely glad to have picked up and completed. Predictable in places, slightly rushed at the end after the final battle and although I feel like I’m ready to say goodbye to the world of Corwin and Kate, I’m definitely not quite ready to part with the whole of the Kingdom of Rime and would look forward to more books from this quaint little fantasy-fictional world.

Have you read the Rime Chronicles? Would you rather be a Wilder and pull your magic from the Earth around you, or a Magist who creates magic through making magical orbs and portals? I think I’m definitely more on the Wilder side. As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

5 Biblioshelf Musings about…Onyx and Ivory [Spoiler Free]

Onyx and Ivory by Mindee Arnett

Series: Rime Chronicles #1

Genre: Fantasy

Publication Date: May 12th 2018

Publisher: Balzer & Bray (Fairyloot Exclusive Edition)

Pages: 512

Rating: 4/5 Shelfie Stacks 📚📚📚📚

Onyx and Ivory is the first in a series of books by Mindee Arnett called The Rime Chronicles.

Synopsis from Goodreads

They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate Brighton inherited from her father after he tried to assassinate the high king years ago. Now Kate lives as an outcast, clinging to the fringes of society as a member of the Relay, the imperial courier service. Only those most skilled in riding and bow hunting ride for the Relay; and only the fastest survive, for when dark falls, the nightdrakes—deadly flightless dragons—come out to hunt. Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: she is a wilder, born with magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals. But it’s this magic that she needs to keep hidden, as being a wilder is forbidden, punishable by death or exile. And it’s this magic that leads her to a caravan massacred by nightdrakes in broad daylight—the only survivor her childhood friend, her first love, the boy she swore to forget, the boy who broke her heart.The high king’s second son, Corwin Tormane, never asked to lead. Even as he waits for the uror—the once-in-a-generation ritual to decide which of the king’s children will succeed him—he knows it’s always been his brother who will assume the throne. And that’s fine by him. He’d rather spend his days away from the palace, away from the sight of his father, broken with sickness from the attempt on his life. But the peacekeeping tour Corwin is on has given him too much time to reflect upon the night he saved his father’s life—the night he condemned the would-be killer to death and lost the girl he loved. Which is why he takes it on himself to investigate rumors of unrest in one of the remote city-states, only for his caravan to be attacked—and for him to be saved by Kate.With their paths once more entangled, Kate and Corwin have to put the past behind them. The threat of drakes who attack in the daylight is only the beginning of a darker menace stirring in the kingdom—one whose origins have dire implications for Kate’s father’s attack upon the king and will thrust them into the middle of a brewing civil war in the kingdom of Rime.


Ok, we need to talk about the Magists…These guys hold the monopoly on magic in Rime – if you’re not a magist then you shouldn’t be doing magic at all; you’re a wilder and you’re an outlaw. The only way to access magic in Rime is to buy it off a magist. This really struck a cord with me. Somewhere in the World Wide Web is an infographic which shows 10 major companies who supposedly control the world because they own pretty much every other ‘big business’ that’s out there saturating our mass market. Now I’m not going to go on a political rampage here, but I couldn’t help but link the role of the magists in Rime to these top ten companies. The way the magists are able to control everyone, including the royals who run the country, really pulled me into the story. I was immediately suspicious of them and quite incensed to be honest.


If you have read some of my recent posts then you’ll be getting to know that I love horses. 🐎 I am massively envious of Kate’s wilder ability to talk to them! The horse theme and Arnett’s love for these wondrous creatures definitely came through in her writing and really appealed to the horse-enthusiast in me.

Supporting characters

The band of supporting characters in this novel are absolute gold. Bonner’s loyalty; Signe’s sass; Dal’s dark humour; Raith’s mysterious-ness; Corwin’s Princely charms… I loved them all and they complement Kate perfectly! Each of them had their own role to play in the story and I found myself wanting to learn more and more about all of their backstories. A truly fabulous cast of characters.

The Relay

‘Running the gauntlet’ is the phrase I would use to try summing up what the Relay Riders have to do every day whilst delivering things around the world of Rime. And perhaps it’s my mischievous side coming through but this sounds like such a cool job! You get to ride your horse all across the country whilst trying to avoid the dangerous nightdrakes that come out in the dark…only to find that you then have to start dodging the daydrakes too – Royal Mail eat your heat out, these guys are the badass, tough-nuts of the Postie world! I’m definitely adding Relay Rider to my list of ‘fictional jobs I wish I could do’.


It didn’t take long at all for me to become engrossed in this story. The world building, characterisation and plot devices were everything I wanted from a fantasy story. I liked the suspense of trying to guess who the villains were (and whilst I guessed some of it, I definitely didn’t get all of it). I was rooting for the romance between Kate and Corwin. I was intrigued by the types of magic both from the magists and the wilders. I was thrilled by the fight scenes.

All in all, this made for a brilliant series starter which is why I gave Onyx and Ivory 4 Shelfie Stacks and put the sequel, Shadow and Flame, straight onto my TBR.

Have you read Onyx and Ivory? Did you love it as much as I did? Drop me a comment and let me know! ☺️