It Ends in Fire by Andrew Shvarts

Disclaimer: I received a finished copy of this book and an e-arc copy. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: It Ends in Fire

Author: Andrew Shvarts

Book Series: Standalone for now

Diversity: Sapphic romance, Bisexual MC

Rating: 5/5

Recommended For…: Young adult readers, fantasy readers, epic fantasy, magic, sapphic romance

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publication Date: July 6, 2021

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson Presents

Pages: 384

Recommended Age: 16+ (Gore, Violence, Language, Death, Parental death, Alcohol consumption, Genocide mention, Bigotry, Slavery, Romance, Sexual content)

Explanation of CWs: Lots of gore and violence in this book. Language is sporadic, but still cursing throughout the novel. Alcohol consumption by minors and at one instance the MC describes her first drink at 13. Genocide and bigotry play a role in this book, with Marovian people almost entirely eradicating Izachi people and with the haterd Marovian people have against Humbles people and Izachi people. Slavery is also present in the novel, with non magical humans (no mention of color) being forced into servitude from birth. There is also one sex scene in the book.

Synopsis: ALKA CHELRAZI IS ON A MISSION:
1. Infiltrate Blackwater Academy
2. Win the Great Game
3. Burn Wizard society to the ground

As a child, Alka witnessed her parents’ brutal murder at the hands of Wizards before she was taken in by an underground rebel group.

Now, Alka is deep undercover at the most prestigious school of magic in the Republic: Blackwater Academy, a place where status is everything, where decadent galas end in blood-splattered duels, where every student has their own agenda. To survive, Alka will have to lie, cheat, kill, and use every trick in her spy’s toolkit. And for the first time in her life, the fiercely independent Alka will have to make friends in order to recruit the misfits and the outcasts into her motley rebellion.

But even as she draws closer to victory — to vengeance — she sinks deeper into danger as suspicious professors and murderous rivals seek the traitor in their midst, and dark revelations unravel her resolve. Can Alka destroy the twisted game…without becoming a part of it?

Review: I really liked this read! It was fun and electric and it hooked me from the first sentence. The book did well to have a fun magical storyline that was fairly unique in structure and the character development was amazingly well done. I also loved the world building, albeit a little confusing, and the pacing was well done.

However, there were some bits that I had issues with. First of all, this book is very much like a certain TERF’s signature magical series. If that’s triggering or upsetting to you then you might not want to read it. However, I did like that it was a murderous version of that other series, so maybe you’ll like it too. There is also an error in book in Chapter 29. The author put a character (Talyn) in the House of Zartan when he’s always in the House if Javellos otherwise in the book. It’s a glaring issue, but quickly done away with after that.

Verdict: It’s really good!

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