Review – Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova

**Disclaimer: I was given a free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley.**

Title Incendiary

Author Zoraida Córdova

Release Date April 28, 2020

Description from Amazon

I am Renata Convida.
I have lived a hundred stolen lives.
Now I live my own.

Renata was only a child when she was kidnapped by the King’s Justice and brought to the luxurious palace of Andalucia. As a memory thief, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria, Renata was used by the crown to carry out the King’s Wrath, a siege that resulted in the deaths of thousands of her own people.

Now Renata is one of the Whispers, rebel spies working against the crown. The Whispers may have rescued Renata years ago, but she cannot escape their mistrust and hatred-or the overpowering memories of the hundreds of souls she drained during her time in the palace.

When Dez, the commander of her unit-and the boy she’s grown to love – is taken captive by the notorious Principe Dorado, Renata must return to Andalucia and complete Dez’s top secret mission herself. Can she keep her cover, even as she burns for vengeance against the brutal, enigmatic prince? Her life and the fate of the Moria depend on it.
But returning to the palace stirs childhood memories long locked away. As Renata grows more deeply embedded in the politics of the royal court, she uncovers a secret in her past that could change the fate of the entire kingdom-and end the war that has cost her everything.

Initial Thoughts

I’ve seen a lot of hype around this release so I was excited to get my hands on an ARC via NetGalley. Claire Legrand, one of my favorite authors, recommended it quite highly and that was a major selling point for me.

Some Things I Liked

  • Spanish references. I loved the references to Spain, Spanish as a language, and Spanish history.
  • Magic system. It was a very unique element to make all of the magic focused on the mind. I thought this made the fighting more dynamic (as no one has elemental or superhuman abilities).
  • Leo. He was a fantastic character. You didn’t quite trust him, but you didn’t totally distrust him either. I enjoyed all of the scenes with Leo and hope to see more of him in future sequels.

Some Things I Wasn’t Crazy About

  • I wasn’t a fan of the title. I think there were more fitting titles that could have been chosen for this book.
  • Transparency in the plot. I won’t lie, I saw through the entire plot twist, less than 100 pages into the book. I didn’t love how predictable the story was.

Series Value

I’d continue with this series. The world is well designed, the magic is interesting, and there is a lot left unresolved with the characters. I’m invested and I’d keep reading.

Final Thoughts

I enjoyed this book. There were many well done aspects but I had to knock an entire star off of my rating for predictability. That’s this books major flaw. However, despite being obvious to me, I was happy with the direction it took. I wouldn’t have wanted it to go any other way.


Recommendations for Further Reading

  • Smoke and Key by Kelsey Sutton – both of these stories gave me similar vibes.  Smoke and Key is the story of a girl trying to recover her memories, as they are the key to saving her.  Like Ren in Incendiary, Key needs to harness the power of memories and use gifts that only she possesses.
  • The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy – if you enjoyed the idea of memory stealing magic, try this standalone by Lauren Mansy.
  • Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte – this is another amazing story of a semi-futuristic/dystopian world where memories are traded/collected.  Both have amazing strong female leads.

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