Three main characters, in fact. Each of them are unique in their own way with their own plot and character arc, but they are familiar enough to the previous trio and different enough to tell apart. Joining the trio of heroes, there is also a deadly villain. He is so deadly and dislikable that I just love to bash him in my head. He's a real piece of work to deal with, and he does pose a great amount of danger to our heroes.
The world building builds upon what Cinda Williams Chima has developed in the previous series. Though she doesn't (re)explain everything, she does explain enough for the story to continually moving forward without doing too many info dumps.
The story starts off with a heartbreaking death which nearly sends me running away from the rest of the book. And yes, it's hard to read it and accept the death. But I trek on, and I silently hope that character is still alive and kicking. #MyFaveCharacterStillSurvivesAndIsJustHiding
Though the book is indeed packed like a solid brick, the pacing is kept tight. Unsurprisingly, FLAMECASTER chugs along with the intensity of an adventure novel with fantasy, magic, mystery, danger, and a pinch of romance. (Let's admit it. It wouldn't be Cinda Williams Chima's novel without a romance.) It all meshes smoothly together.
And there's the ending. I would love to read the sequel, and I can't wait to see more of the SEVEN REALMS' Second Generation and its pressing conflicts. (And I can't forget this: #MyFaveCharacterStillSurvivesAndIsJustHiding.)
In conclusion, FLAMECASTER is a worthy start to a succeeding series. Based on a strong, previously established world, it will definitely be exciting for returning readers. And if you're not familiar with this series, that's okay. You can jump right into FLAMECASTER without reading SEVEN REALMS and still get the gist of it.
Rating: Four out of Five