From Dust A Flame

From Dust A Flame
Age Range
Release Date
February 08, 2022
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Hannah’s whole life has been spent in motion. Her mother has kept her and her brother, Gabe, on the road for as long as she can remember, leaving a trail of rental homes and faded relationships behind them. No roots, no family but one another, and no explanations.

All that changes on Hannah’s seventeenth birthday when she wakes up transformed, a pair of golden eyes with knife-slit pupils blinking back at her from the mirror—the first of many such impossible mutations. Promising that she knows someone who can help, her mother leaves Hannah and Gabe behind to find a cure. But as the days turn to weeks and their mother doesn’t return, they realize it’s up to them to find the truth.

What they discover is a family they never knew and a history more tragic and fantastical than Hannah could have dreamed—one that stretches back to her grandmother’s childhood in Prague under the Nazi occupation, and beyond, into the realm of Jewish mysticism and legend. As the past comes crashing into the present, Hannah must hurry to unearth their family’s secrets in order to break the curse and save the people she loves most, as well as herself.

Editor review

1 review
From Dust A Flame
(Updated: November 16, 2021)
Overall rating
Writing Style
When Hannah turns seventeen, she wakes up to her body changing into some kind of mystical being. Her mother freaks out at the change and rushes off, leaving Hannah and her older brother Gabe, vowing to find help. Only she doesn't return. Every morning, Hannah is transformed into a different creature. Each one is more frightening than the last. Then an anonymous letter comes in the mail and sets Hannah and Gabe off to find their missing mother and hopefully the truth. A truth that involves how her hidden legacy might in fact be the key to breaking a centuries-long curse.

What worked: Intriguing fantasy with Jewish folklore. I love diverse fantasies and ones that take readers to different worlds and cultures. In FROM DUST A FLAME, readers go on a magical contemporary journey that goes back in time and is linked to Jewish folklore. Readers find out how Hannah's ancestors during 1941 in Prague are given a task. One that is secret and also one that if unleashed will cause harm to their family.

Hannah's transformations are linked to ancient Jewish folklore that involves a shedim-demon- that has a magical kingdom under the sea. He seeks vengeance after he was tricked. Only Hannah finds out that there is some truth in the legend that involves her own family. Hannah's determination to find out the truth behind her body changing and her mother's disappearance has readers gasping at times and brings tension to the story.

I really liked her older quirky brother Gabe. He is supportive, encouraging, and does just about everything he can to help Hannah on her quest.

The bubbling F/F relationship between Hannah and Ari, a local from her mother's town, isn't over the top and builds slowly. Hannah isn't sure about who she likes but comes to realize there is obvious chemistry between her and Ari.

I really enjoyed the Jewish folklore woven throughout this engaging fantasy. I already knew about Golems-mud creatures-but Podos brings humanity to one. The demon is charming and very convicting on his goal of seeking revenge.

Engaging contemporary fantasy where Jewish mysticism and folklore are linked to a girl and her family. One huge strength is the power of family in overcoming great odds. Great diverse fantasy.

Good Points
1. Intriguing fantasy with Jewish folklore
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