A mostly Young Adult book review blog run by a mother and daughter team.
I’ve been seeing some of the reviews and ratings for this book and there was mixture of love for the book, and some of indecision. But when I was given the opportunity to review this book, I was very intrigued by the synopsis! And I, for one, am so glad that I read it! I loved everything about this book. A story of 2 worlds (Sithe and mortal), brothers, love, and loads of action.
Seth MacGregor wants to feel like he belongs somewhere. His mother, Lilith, pretty much abandoned him and left him with his uncaring father and stepmother. But what made it all worthwhile was the brother he found in his half-brother, Conal. Watching the relationship develop between Seth and Conal was something that I really loved to watch unfold. We are introduced to an angst full, angry, lonely Seth who craves nothing more than to feel accepted by his father, but is only met with hateful eyes and being ignored. I loved watching how Conal opened up his arms and his heart to Seth, and found ways in which to include him and feel like he’s part of the family. True, in the beginning there were ups and downs, but just watch them warm up to each other, and come closer together is one that I adored.
But when it comes to doing the bidding of the Sithe queen, Kate NicNiven, Conal will not bow down. After a fight with the Kate that succeeds in pissing her off royally, Conal and Seth find themselves banished from their world, which by the way, is a world that lies just beyond our world and is forced to live and survive in our world…circa sixteen century. But in a time where the pointing of fingers and ratting out anyone who is different as a witch, survival is but a difficult thing for these brothers.
They do what they can to appear normal and try to blend in, but with a beauty that is anything than human, and with skills that can only be classified as “witchcraft” in this time, the brothers find that the only way they can survive is to try and find a way back to the very place they were banished.
The opening scene in the book really captured my attention. In the middle of a witch hunt where Conal is the intended victim to be burned at the stake (along with an “at the time” unknown woman), we witness Seth mourning the coming loss of his brother, and deciding when to let the arrow fly to kill his brother so that he won’t suffer when being burned alive. We witness the love that the brothers have for each other as they speak to each other in their minds. It certainly was a gripping scene for me, and I could not wait to see what was going to happen next! Leaving the beginning in a gripping cliff hanger, author, Gillian Philip, takes the reader back to before the opening scene where we are given the back story of how the brothers came to be so close, and the past of Seth (which was heart breaking!).
Of the experiences that Seth and Conal have in the two worlds that are explored in Firebrand, my favorite time for them would have to be their time on the human realm. I found myself on the edge of my seat at various points of the book, nervous that the two brothers would be ousted as witches. I loved the buildup that leads to the events that we see in the beginning of the book.
I know that many readers out there may have been annoyed with the constant anger emanating off of Seth, but I loved it! Especially when we are treated with seeing the softer side of Seth. It was those moments that I always looked forward to. In a world where the years go by much slower than that of the human realm, the events that transpire at the end of the book killed me! I didn’t expect it at all, and now thinking back, I totally should have! But I was so engrossed in the story that was unfolding, that that little tidbit of info just flew over my head. And the villains in this book? Ehrmehgherd! I LOVED to hate them. They were written so well, that regardless of how awful their evil plot was, they made the book that much more interesting!
I recommend this book to fans of Fae type reads, fans that enjoy heartwarming stories of brotherly love will really enjoy the relationship that builds between Seth and Conal, and fans of reads that have edge of your seat action and a storyline.