Blog Tour – We Are the Fire by Sam Taylor

**Disclaimer: I was given a free e-book of the below in exchange for an honest review as part of a tour hosted by Xpresso Tours via NetGalley.**

I’d like to begin by thanking Xpresso Tours and Swoon Reads for choosing me to be a part of this tour. I absolutely love Cindy Anstey’s writing and especially love mysteries!

Tour Schedule

Tour-wide giveaway (INT)

Title We Are the Fire
Author Sam Taylor
Release Date February 16, 2021
Date Finished February 18, 2021
Publisher Swoon Reads


As electrifying as it is heartbreaking, Sam Taylor’s explosive fantasy debut We Are the Fire is perfect for fans of An Ember in the Ashes and the legend of Spartacus.

In the cold, treacherous land of Vesimaa, children are stolen from their families by a cruel emperor, forced to undergo a horrific transformative procedure, and serve in the army as magical fire-wielding soldiers. Pran and Oksana―both taken from their homeland at a young age―only have each other to hold onto in this heartless place.

Pran dreams of one day rebelling against their oppressors and destroying the empire; Oksana only dreams of returning home and creating a peaceful life for them both.

When they discover the emperor has a new, more terrible mission than ever for their kind, Pran and Oksana vow to escape his tyranny once and for all. But their methods and ideals differ drastically, driving a wedge between them. Worse still, they both soon find that the only way to defeat the monsters that subjugated them may be to become monsters themselves.

Initial Thoughts

I was super excited to be chosen for this tour. I did an ARC tour on Instagram about a month ago and really wanted to read this book so I’m so glad I was given the chance to read and review it!

Some Things I Liked

  • Epic fantasy in a standalone. I loved that this book packed such a punch for being a single book series. I really connected with the characters and wanted to learn more about them. It’s hard to attain this with only one book to grab my attention but Sam Taylor did that here.
  • Dual POVs. Again, I really loved this. I’m always a fan of multiple POVs and it was done so well here. I loved that Oksana and Pran had different opinions on things and that was highlighted through their POV chapters.
  • Romance from the jump. Again, something different for me. Usually, YA romance stories follow the hero or heroine finding someone to love or realizing they love a childhood friend. Pran and Oksana start out in love and we get to see how their relationship changed over time. I really enjoyed that and thought it was unique for a YA novel.

One Thing I Wasn’t Crazy About

  • Names and world building. Unfortunately, when you write a standalone novel, the world building has to all be done more quickly than in a series. Therefore, I struggled with some of the names and concepts in this book. I think if I read it again, I’d be fine but I had moments of confusion during this read.

Series Value

I liked that this was a standalone. I do, however, think that it easily could have stretched into more. This is a fascinating world and I’d love to see more stories set here.

Final Thoughts

I really enjoyed this book. I read it all in one sitting and could easily see myself reading it again. It’s not often that I find a standalone fantasy book that I like and this one really hit the mark.


Recommendations for Further Reading

Book Links

Author Links

Sam Taylor grew up in Arizona’s deserts and now lives among Connecticut’s trees. She spends her days writing, being mom to the world’s cutest boys, whirling through dance workouts, and baking too many cakes. She does not possess fire magic, but does have one fire-colored cat. We Are the Fire is her debut novel.

3 thoughts on “Blog Tour – We Are the Fire by Sam Taylor

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