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In a rich fantasy world where Songs literally move heaven and earth, one sister must use magic and the other must rely on strength to reunite when pirates, greed, and war tear them away from each other. Miren has never allowed jealousy of her sister’s magic keep her from taking care of Kesia, and Kesia has always depended on her big sister. When Kesia is kidnapped, Miren wi In a rich fantasy world where Songs literally move heaven and earth, one sister must use magic and the other must rely on strength to reunite when pirates, greed, and war tear them away from each other. Miren has never allowed jealousy of her sister’s magic keep her from taking care of Kesia, and Kesia has always depended on her big sister. When Kesia is kidnapped, Miren will do anything to get her back—even team up with her sister’s aristocratic and seemingly ineffectual boyfriend. Neither sister had ever left their small fishing village before, and now they are plunged into the wider world, minor players in a war between nations. Each sister faces external and internal perils, and each finds surprising allies and unexpected strengths. How will the two find each other again? And what will become of them if they don’t succeed?


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In a rich fantasy world where Songs literally move heaven and earth, one sister must use magic and the other must rely on strength to reunite when pirates, greed, and war tear them away from each other. Miren has never allowed jealousy of her sister’s magic keep her from taking care of Kesia, and Kesia has always depended on her big sister. When Kesia is kidnapped, Miren wi In a rich fantasy world where Songs literally move heaven and earth, one sister must use magic and the other must rely on strength to reunite when pirates, greed, and war tear them away from each other. Miren has never allowed jealousy of her sister’s magic keep her from taking care of Kesia, and Kesia has always depended on her big sister. When Kesia is kidnapped, Miren will do anything to get her back—even team up with her sister’s aristocratic and seemingly ineffectual boyfriend. Neither sister had ever left their small fishing village before, and now they are plunged into the wider world, minor players in a war between nations. Each sister faces external and internal perils, and each finds surprising allies and unexpected strengths. How will the two find each other again? And what will become of them if they don’t succeed?

30 review for Divided Fire

  1. 5 out of 5

    ❀ Alex ❀ (The Scribe Owl)

    Come read this review and more at my blog, The Scribe Owl! A million thanks to NetGalley and Clarion Books for supplying me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! Thanks to my friend Katie for recommending this book! 4/5 stars This book was a fresh YA high fantasy (I know, right? Sound contradictory, but they DO still exist!). Just in case you guys aren't sick of me saying this by now, I HATE IT when authors use tropes that have been used five bazillion times. But do you know wha Come read this review and more at my blog, The Scribe Owl! A million thanks to NetGalley and Clarion Books for supplying me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! Thanks to my friend Katie for recommending this book! 4/5 stars This book was a fresh YA high fantasy (I know, right? Sound contradictory, but they DO still exist!). Just in case you guys aren't sick of me saying this by now, I HATE IT when authors use tropes that have been used five bazillion times. But do you know what trope is VERY underused in YA lit? The family trope. There are lots and lots of romance, but there's never any family. Well, here you have it! There was a fantastic family relationship, which really made this story for me! Miren and Kesia (I'm sorry but I pronounced it Kesha in my head for most of the story because that's how my brain works but that's WRONG DON'T DO IT IT'S K-EH-SEE-AH) live in a world of Singers. Singers are people who can harness elements with their song. Kesia was given the gift of song, but before they could celebrate much everything fell apart. Singers and all physically-able men started getting drafted into the war, taking her mother and father. Kesia avoided the draft by getting almost fatally ill, supposedly losing her Voice forever. Miren and Kesia lived in relative peace for five more years, before Kesia was abducted by pirates and sold as a slave. Miren, along with Kesia's love Davri set off on a journey to save her, whatever the cost. All the characters were pretty likable! Miren and Kesia were our MCs and POVs. I have to say I preferred Miren's POV as compared to Kesia's because Miren's internal struggle for her sister was more interesting. That said, Kesia was also interesting, not so much because of her but because of what she went through. Davri was basic but sweet, and that's really all I have to say about him. I liked him, but he wasn't really special or memorable. All the other side characters were a little one-dimensional but likable enough. I felt like there was a taste of a story but not enough with the side characters. Arten's scars on his back or Cale's almost-escape from his servatude could have lead to an interesting conversation, but they were both glossed over in a paragraph or two. I just wanted a little more out of them. What I really liked was the worldbuilding. The magic system was so cool! There are plenty of books where music is used as magic, but it was done especially well here. I loved the talk of Singing and of how that worked! I also thought the sign language was interesting because Singers can't talk unless it's to Sing. That wasn't explained very well and I just had to come to the conclusion that they couldn't talk otherwise by myself, but I enjoyed that aspect. Again, I wish it was fleshed out just a bit more. The whole not-able-to-talk thing could also have lead to some drama, but we didn't get any. All in all, I feel like it was a good book. Solid read. But with just a few tweaks and fixes, it could have been a GREAT book. I would still definitely recommend it if you're looking for a good fantasy standalone!

  2. 4 out of 5

    katie

    Divided Fire tells the story of two sisters–Miren, who doesn’t have the ability to Sing, and Kesia, who can Sing, but depends on her older sister. I really loved Kesia and Miren’s relationship, and the way they would do anything to protect each other. During their journey to find one another, their paths become intricately woven with others to create a compelling read. “Sometimes, Liviya murmured, “we can’t protect the people we love. Sometimes that’s our fault, but sometimes it’s not. Sometimes Divided Fire tells the story of two sisters–Miren, who doesn’t have the ability to Sing, and Kesia, who can Sing, but depends on her older sister. I really loved Kesia and Miren’s relationship, and the way they would do anything to protect each other. During their journey to find one another, their paths become intricately woven with others to create a compelling read. “Sometimes, Liviya murmured, “we can’t protect the people we love. Sometimes that’s our fault, but sometimes it’s not. Sometimes we need to trust that they’re strong enough to hold out for us.” I didn’t expect to love this book so much, and though it was completely different from what I expected, I enjoyed it. Set in a world where the ability to Sing gives Singers the power to control elements, this is a well-written story that navigates the depths of love and the struggles of acceptance. This book is told from the views of Kesia and Miren in the third person. I found that the split perspectives helped me to get to know each of the sisters in a personal way and made the story flow better. Of the two MCs, I found Miren’s point of view to be more interesting. She questions her morals and grapples with her jealousy of not being able to Sing like her sister. After she is separated from Kesia, she’s so determined to save her sister even without magic, and I loved reading about the growth she goes though. "War doesn’t have good or bad people. Just people who want different things." On the other hand, Kesia was also a character I admired. She struggles with the consequences of Singing–not being able to speak. Because of this, she is easily ignored by others and it was interesting to see how she makes her words heard without a voice. Besides the characters, I feel that a factor of the book that worked for me was Filippo’s writing. There was some prose, and it was written beautifully, though there were a few info dumps. But I wished we had more background information on the war, and on what happened to the sisters’ parents. The world building was well done, and as we follow Miren and Kesia’s paths, this unique world begins to come to life. There was an open ending, which I usually don’t enjoy, but I though it was suitable for this one. This was a standalone (I’m pretty sure), and I’m sad that it’s over. This book truly is a solid debut that takes you on the journey of two sisters who find their way back to one another while slowly incorporating the trope of found family into the story. I would definitely recommend this for the dimensional characters, an interesting storyline, and a pair of sisters who will steal your heart.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ariel

    "War doesn't have good or bad people. Just people who want different things." This was such a beautiful and heartbreaking story of sisterly love, kindness, and fighting for those you love. The immense love the two sisters had for each other in this book was incredible. They go through so much hardship throughout the book and had already gone through so much that it was just heartbreaking. But it was incredible to see them fight so hard for each other. I think what was truly inspiring was that they "War doesn't have good or bad people. Just people who want different things." This was such a beautiful and heartbreaking story of sisterly love, kindness, and fighting for those you love. The immense love the two sisters had for each other in this book was incredible. They go through so much hardship throughout the book and had already gone through so much that it was just heartbreaking. But it was incredible to see them fight so hard for each other. I think what was truly inspiring was that they would have gone through worse to get to each other again. They had already lost so much and they couldn't lose each other as well. We also get to see the story of another family trying to fight to find each other which is just as heartbreaking and inspiring. The cruelty we see in this book was hard to read sometimes, but it was through the courage of this family and the sisters that I knew everything would be okay. This was such a compelling story that I couldn't stop reading it even if I wanted to. Luckily, I didn't want to stop. It moved at 100 mph and never slowed down. There were a couple of points where it was beginning to feel tired, but then it would quickly redeem itself and keep moving forward. I also really loved all the signing in this book. Those with a Voice couldn't talk so they would sign. I love how normal this was. And, I also loved that even those without a voice could read sign language. The author did a great of conveying the emotions of the characters that signed even when we couldn't hear that emotion in their voice. There is a bit of an open ending, which I normally don't like, but I thought was very fitting for this book. Things couldn't be changed in a matter of a few weeks, especially across two countries, so I thought the author wrapped things up the best way possible. Overall, this book was so well written and plotted that it should be a compelling read for all. It's a great reminder to fight for those you love and that which you believe to be right. This is a must-read for all! Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Blog | Instagram | Twitter

  4. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    DIVIDED FIRE is a beautiful YA fantasy about sisterhood and war. Miren and her sister Kesia live in their small town with a big secret. All the men and Singers have been drafted to the war - they lost their father and their Singer mother to it. Singers use their voices in song to control the world around them with one ability over an element (fire, water, earth, and air). This is typically used for the betterment of the town, but it has now been turned for war. When the soldiers went through the DIVIDED FIRE is a beautiful YA fantasy about sisterhood and war. Miren and her sister Kesia live in their small town with a big secret. All the men and Singers have been drafted to the war - they lost their father and their Singer mother to it. Singers use their voices in song to control the world around them with one ability over an element (fire, water, earth, and air). This is typically used for the betterment of the town, but it has now been turned for war. When the soldiers went through the town, Kesia was ill with a disease known to take away a voice. They assumed she had lost her ability to Sing. However, Kesia did not - a secret only she and Miren know. That secret blows up their world when pirates come and steal a young woman from their town. Kesia can't stand by, and she uses her fire singing to stop them. Instead, they take her, as the price for a Singer is even better, and a fire singer is the rarest ability. Miren tries to fight them, but she is unable to do so, and the sisters are separated. Miren has spent much of her life protecting Kesia, and she refuses to let this be the end. Together with the lord's son, they follow after Kesia, learning more about their country and the world than they could have anticipated. At the same time, Kesia is learning terrible truths about people and fighting to stay alive and get back to her sister. Following their journeys in alternating sections, the world building grows alongside discussions of morality, war, and human nature. What I loved: This book was absolutely captivating. I loved the idea of magic and Singing as well as the ultimate power of sisterly love that encompasses their stories. As we travel with Miren and experience Kesia's paths, this unique world begins to come to life. I was really intrigued by these countries and people. This book was without romance, and I loved that the focus throughout was on the sisters and their love for each other. The plot also kept a nice and steady pace that carried the reader through the story relatively quickly. The characters were all really well built. They had clear strengths and weaknesses, and I appreciated the imperfections. I liked not only the main characters, but also the side characters that we meet along the way. This is definitely a world I want to return to. Final verdict: DIVIDED FIRE is a captivating and compelling YA fantasy abut sisterhood with fantastic world building and intricately crafted characters. Highly recommend for fans of CROWN OF CORAL AND PEARL and SISTERS OF SHADOW AND LIGHT. Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Baker

    Unfortunately Divided Fire and I aren’t hitting it off. I think part of it may be on my end, it could easily be my mood. However from the 40% that I have read, I feeling like it’s dragging. It started of strong and grabbed my attention. Something BIG happened, but now it’s just dragging. I really like the concept and I plan to try reading it again in the future, but I will be DNFing this for now.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Kendal

    Really enjoyable book! I am happily part of the Turn the Page Tour for this book and so was able to read an ARC in exchange for an honest review - It's so refreshing to see a fantasy YA book that doesn't just focus on romance, and instead showcases the true struggle of two siblings trying to find their way back to one another. Click here to read my full review Really enjoyable book! I am happily part of the Turn the Page Tour for this book and so was able to read an ARC in exchange for an honest review - It's so refreshing to see a fantasy YA book that doesn't just focus on romance, and instead showcases the true struggle of two siblings trying to find their way back to one another. Click here to read my full review

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    Because iPads are terrible, this is the second time I will be writing this review. My thoughts likely won't be as detailed as they were the first time, but this is where we are, so I apologize. Despite the fact that I really enjoyed the premise of this book, I really struggled to invest in it or finish it. The characters weren't developed well, the plot felt rushed, and there never seemed to be any real stakes to the action. Despite my lack of any real emotions regarding this book, I will do my Because iPads are terrible, this is the second time I will be writing this review. My thoughts likely won't be as detailed as they were the first time, but this is where we are, so I apologize. Despite the fact that I really enjoyed the premise of this book, I really struggled to invest in it or finish it. The characters weren't developed well, the plot felt rushed, and there never seemed to be any real stakes to the action. Despite my lack of any real emotions regarding this book, I will do my best to give it a fair and honest review, as I like to support debut authors in whatever way I can. Divided Fire follows the story of Kesia and Miren, two sisters who live in a world where some people are given the ability to control the elements with their voices. While Miren doesn't have any powers, Kesia is a Fire Singer, giving her the ability to create and control flames with her Songs. Miren and Kesia's country is in the middle of a terrible war, however, and most of the Singers (including their parents) have been drafted to fight. Luckily, Kesia has escaped this draft by claiming a childhood illness took away her powers. Everything changes when their small village is attacked by pirates, and Kesia is discovered when using her powers to save someone from their wrath. While Kesia is whisked away by the pirates to be sold into slavery, Miren teams up with the Fire Singer's boyfriend Davri in the hope of saving her. Along the way, the two sisters are tested by many challenges, and learn what it takes to fight for their freedom. I'd like to begin with the positives, as I want to do my best to be fair and constructive when it comes to this book. First of all, I really enjoyed the premise and overall concept of this world. The Singers in this world remind me a lot of the benders in Avatar: The Last Airbender, and there seems to be a lot of culture ingrained in their powers. For example, the book begins with the sisters going to a ceremony called Skyflame, where older Singers symbolically welcome new Singers and awaken their powers. I also really loved the inclusion of sign language, as that is a lesser utilized language in the realm of YA. When Singers gain their powers, they lose the ability to speak, and must communicate using sign language instead of their voices. The sign language is incorporated using italics, and while we can't see the physical signs, the inclusion of this was really cool to me. It even presented sign language as being powerful, as it denotes someone as a Singer. Though the use of sign language is not always clear (I'm still not sure if it's something everyone learns at a young age in this world or just a select few), I thought it was a cool addition to the world-building. Unfortunately, however, this is where my praise must end. While the premise and setup for this novel's main story are unique and intriguing, the characters and actual plot are not as well done. I'll begin by examining the characters. Filippo has the rather unfortunate habit of telling us how the characters are feeling instead of showing us. For example, we are meant to believe Kesia and Davri are deeply in love and close to becoming engaged, but we barely see them together in the novel. I honestly felt like Davri would've been more suited to Miren, as they begin the novel by reluctantly teaming up to save someone they both love. In my opinion, this story would've worked better if Davri and Miren had begun to develop feelings for one another during the journey, going from initial dislike to admiration and then love. There would've been an added element of drama, as the two would have to wrestle with the guilt of betraying Kesia, but this would've been far more compelling than what we got. Similarly, the relationship between the two sisters is described as being incredibly close, we really only get to see them together for two chapters (one of which is a flashback) before the plot kicks off in full force. As it is, both the reunion between the sisters and Kesia and Davri felt hollow to me, as there wasn't enough time dedicated to fleshing out their relationships to one another. Similarly, the plot felt very rushed to me, and every challenge the characters face is almost instantly resolved and tied into a neat bow. Davri and Miren are imprisoned by Davri's uncle? They almost immediately escape and a minor character shoots the antagonist dead before they flee. Kesia is imprisoned and forced to work on an airship as a slave? Let's have her work there for a few chapters before escaping with little issue, only to go back later and rescue an entire factory's worth of slaves with just her own powers and the powers of a twelve-year-old boy. I didn't find it particularly believable that these two kids would be able to do something that a huge group of fully grown adults with elemental powers couldn't by themselves in the span of one night. There are never any consequences for the actions of the characters, and while they may ponder what they've done, it never feels like there are any stakes. At one point, Kesia brutally bludgeons one of her jailers, but the novel never pauses to let her reflect on the gravity of the murder. While the murder was likely justified (the man had just killed five other Singers), Kesia had never killed before, and I don't feel like enough gravity was given to this situation. Similarly, there is a moment when Zuriel, a young boy Kesia meets after her escape, is drafted into the army at age twelve. His parents are terrified and wondering how to get him out of it... and the plot goes nowhere. Zuriel teams up with Kesia to help the slaves escape the factory, and Zuriel's parents are never mentioned again. Little moments and plot threads like this add up to a lot of missed opportunities, making the plot feel even more rushed than it already was. Lastly, I feel the need to talk about the minor characters, as there are so many of them that I literally can't keep any of their names straight. From the family of servants that help Davri and Miren escape, to the little Fire Singer Kesia meets in the factory, there are many characters I felt had wasted potential. While a little effort is made to develop the family (Liviya is a pretty cool matriarchal figure), there is yet again a noticeable lack of substance when it comes to the rather large cast of characters. As I mentioned before, the servant Hana and her young son Ori are left behind in the end, even though it felt like the author was trying to develop them more than other minor characters. Kesia meets a young Fire Singer slave who is used merely as someone to rescue; she has very little personality aside from being meek and shy. I wanted to see Kesia form a strong female friendship with this character (because I adore a strong female friendship in YA), but she's really only used to be a damsel in distress. There were some interesting ideas within these characters, but it felt like Filippo wasn't always quite sure what to do with them. As before, my criticism stems from the fact that too much is introduced far too quickly, and while some plots are tied in a neat little bow, others are left with large, looming question marks. For example, we never find out what happened to Kesia and Miren's parents, and we have no idea what's going to happen when the protagonists return home. Considering Davri's father was going to have Miren arrested for concealing her sister's powers, I don't imagine returning with a boat full of escaped Singers is going to end well for the party. I'm not sure if this book is meant to be the first in a series, but if it's a stand-alone, it left a lot of questions while making other conflicts (freeing the slaves, reuniting the sisters, saving Liviya's family) far too easy and convenient. Overall, this wasn't the most terrible thing I've ever read. I want to encourage Filippo to continue writing and improving, as I think this idea has a lot of potential and her writing style isn't bad. In the future, I would like to see her focus on building characters and appealing to the reader's emotions, as I feel a lot more connected to a character when I can empathize or relate to that character. I also think she would benefit from slowing down the story, and taking time to develop things through both dialogue and character-driven scenes. Instead of dragging her protagonists from one obstacle to the next, I would like to see the settings, characters, and plot work together to create a more coherent story. If the author sees this (and I almost hope she doesn't, because I would hate to discourage her), I hope she is able to see this criticism as constructive rather than attacking. Publishing your first book is no small feat (I should know, as I have never had the guts to try publishing my writing), and I have no doubt that she'll be able to hone her skills with every book she writes. I wish her the best, and look forward to seeing what she writes in the future. That being said, I would not necessarily recommend this book, as I've seen everything in it done better in other YA fantasy books and series.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn Speckels (Metaphors and Miscellanea)

    Okay, hear me out: take the elemental powers of Avatar: The Last Airbender and fuel them with singing, rather than martial arts. That absolutely golden combination lies at the heart of the world Jennifer San Filippo has created in her debut novel, Divided Fire. A captivating tale of sisterhood, magic, and the meaning of strength, this book was a quick, refreshing read with a premise at once classic and original. Y’all may or may not know, I’m a singer. Lifelong choir nerd. Classically trained for Okay, hear me out: take the elemental powers of Avatar: The Last Airbender and fuel them with singing, rather than martial arts. That absolutely golden combination lies at the heart of the world Jennifer San Filippo has created in her debut novel, Divided Fire. A captivating tale of sisterhood, magic, and the meaning of strength, this book was a quick, refreshing read with a premise at once classic and original. Y’all may or may not know, I’m a singer. Lifelong choir nerd. Classically trained for 5 years. Performing in classical, jazz, contemporary, theatre, whatever setting, you name it–and I love seeing books that incorporate music into their plots and worlds’ construction! Music is such an integral part of human existence, and whether tangential or central to a plot, it’s nice to see it acknowledged in fictional worlds. Combining it with magic, giving characters the abilities to–stealing terminology from ATLA–waterbend/firebend/earthbend/airbend just by singing the right song, is so freaking cool. (Also, assigning each element to a voice type–earth for basses, water for tenors, fire for altos, air for sopranos–was a nice touch.) I can’t believe I’ve never read a book with this specific combination (elements + song) before! First, quick thought: one element of this book that I found particularly fascinating was the dichotomy of speech and song. In this universe, once someone becomes a Singer–someone who can control elements with their voice–they lose their ability to speak and need to communicate exclusively via sign language. One character, a noble, finds out that he is a Singer, only to be told that he will no longer be receiving any royal training, because people who can’t speak are easily spoken over and make for poor aristocrats. There’s something striking about the idea that, in gaining tremendous power linked to your voice, you could also lose a great power that normal people take for granted. The sign language representation was also refreshing to see included here; the limitations on communication it creates (inability to communicate in the dark, difficulty getting people to notice you’ve started talking, etc.) were fairly acknowledged and not glossed over. Now, on to more normal book considerations. I absolutely loved that this was a YA book that really did not have any focus on romance–the extent of “romantic” involvement was Kesia’s boyfriend trying to rescue her. There were no love triangles. There was no random romantic or sexual tension. It was truly a story focused on family, especially sisterhood. It also addressed bigger issues including the horrors of war, the pain of loss, and the value of human life, through not just the two main characters but also side characters they cross paths with. I can’t stress enough how important it is for there to be YA books that aren’t romance-focused and that allow for exploration of other important parts of life: defining yourself and your values, leaning into the people around you, finding your place in the world. The two main characters were excellent and strong in different ways: bold, determined older sister Miren, and quiet, sensitive younger sister Kesia. Even when separated, both girls constantly think of each other and try to emulate each other’s better qualities, which I thought was really wholesome to watch. Miren’s companions on her quest did occasionally blur together or lose individual significance (with the exception of a cute little boy named Ori, because small children always make great characters), but each one at least served a distinct purpose and was not added randomly. And the plot and pacing were both strong, with each chapter serving a distinct purpose, no moments of action being bogged down, and generally strong forward momentum. That said, this book had a couple moments that fell a little flat. Though I did enjoy reading about the characters and found them interesting, I did not feel any deep emotional attachment to them in a way that would elevate this to a five-star read. Some of this may also have to do with the fact that the writing was very clear and clean, but not very artful; there were not many moments where I thought, “Wow, I should highlight/save that quote,” if that makes sense. Still, as a whole, this was a satisfying standalone, brimming with unique elements that provoked thought and made my nerdy musician heart sing. (Pun intended.) Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an eARC of this book via NetGalley! All opinions are my own.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Madhu MaBookYard -

    🌟🌟🌟🌟 . Divided Fire follows two sisters who are our main characters: strong, confident Miren who trusts her physical strength more, and Fire Singer little sister Kesia whose voice can do amazing things. It's a story of two sisters trying to find their way back to each other even when nothing goes their way. It's a story about sisterhood and love and what one would do to protect the ones they love. It's a story of courage, deceit and freedom. . "Not the bad people. War doesn’t have good or bad peopl 🌟🌟🌟🌟 . Divided Fire follows two sisters who are our main characters: strong, confident Miren who trusts her physical strength more, and Fire Singer little sister Kesia whose voice can do amazing things. It's a story of two sisters trying to find their way back to each other even when nothing goes their way. It's a story about sisterhood and love and what one would do to protect the ones they love. It's a story of courage, deceit and freedom. . "Not the bad people. War doesn’t have good or bad people. Just people who want different things. Ori stared at Davri as he signed. Ori tried to mimic him: War doesn’t have people." . First, I absolutely loved the concept this books started off with. Controlling elements with songs and voices sounded amazing. The setting was done well and even though I was skeptical about communication, because those who could sing couldn't speak, it was portrayed as normal and I loved that. The author did an amazing job giving details about the lifestyle, the world and the custom. The incorporation of sign language as a custom to their ceremony called Skyflame, the way the singers are chosen, the manipulation of elements, losing their voice to gain status as a singer, everything was unique to the story and it captured mumy attention. . "I’ve always thought that true Singers were those who realized what they were sacrificing and were willing to give it up. You work harder than anyone, but you don’t always get the recognition for it. You gain a Voice, but you lose one too.” . Second, can we just appreciate the fact that the bond between the sisters explored in the book? I didn't expect to find the raw, vulnerable, gritty details of being seperated from each other and the lengths they went to get back together and earn their freedom. The alternative pov between the sisters gave so much depth to the storyline and made the situation even more real for the readers. The contrast in their personalities gave me something to root for. The strength and determination they both showed was inspiring and the circumstances were gritty. I loved their bond and wished we had learnt more about them. . “Sometimes,” Liviya murmured, “we can’t protect the people we love. Sometimes that’s our fault, but sometimes it’s not. Sometimes we need to trust that they’re strong enough to hold out for us.” . Now coming to Character development and world building, I think both the sisters had their own development wrt the situation and I really liked seeing them grow stronger. The writing might feel a little heavy on the facts and information, but I personally liked knowing about the culture and the world so it didn't bother me. The first half of the book was steadily paced with the author introducing us to the plot line, but the second half felt a lot faster and felt a little too rushed. The plotline reminded me a little of Avatar wrt the elemental magic element, but it had it's unique twist to it. The ending wasn't what I expected it to be and it gave me loads of unanswered questions, but it made sense and felt realistic in a way. If you don't like open endings, then you might not like this one. . Overall, this book had an amazing sisterhood, pirates, elemental magic, kidnappings, sisters who would fo anything to protect each other and sassy dialogues, gritty scenes and heartbreaking and heartwarming moments. Beware of the open ending this book has, but other than that, I really enjoyed my time reading this book and I recommend picking this up !! . Thank you Turn the Pages tours and for the review copy! Kindle/ Arc/ November 2020

  10. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Divided Fire is a young adult fantasy story about two sisters by Jennifer San Filippo. I loved that this book not only showcased a really interesting idea for a fantasy world (more on that later) but that it also featured to very different sisters as the main characters. I always enjoy a good sisterly tale. In Divided Fire the world has an elemental magic system. I know what you are thinking- well that doesn't sound too unique? And I agree, but here the twist is that your voice, specifically you Divided Fire is a young adult fantasy story about two sisters by Jennifer San Filippo. I loved that this book not only showcased a really interesting idea for a fantasy world (more on that later) but that it also featured to very different sisters as the main characters. I always enjoy a good sisterly tale. In Divided Fire the world has an elemental magic system. I know what you are thinking- well that doesn't sound too unique? And I agree, but here the twist is that your voice, specifically your singing voice is the key to unlocking the elemental magic. I loved this combination of signing, magic and using your voice to fight. It was a really cool idea, and the world building was my favorite element of this story. I am not 100% sure if this book is going to be a standalone or a series opener, but I am hoping (and leaning towards) a series because there are some things left unanswered at the end of Divided Fire. I am interested to see if there is going to be another book so we an tie a few of those open ends up. I think this could be a really good duology.  In Divided Fire, we meet our two main characters- Sisters Kesia and Miren. As I mentioned before, magic users in this world can control an element with their voice, but this is not something that everyone can do. Out of our two sisters, Kesia is a Fire Singer while Miren does not exhibit any singing powers. Those that do have the ability to control elements with their songs are drafted into becoming fighters in the fierce war the country is currently embroiled in. There is also a really cool use of sign language throughout the story as it relates to the singers. I found all of that fascinating! Though our story follows the two sisters, a lot of the book featured them split up because Kesia has been taken and Miren is trying to rescue her. I really enjoyed the split perspectives because it allowed us to get to know each of the girls better and I think it makes the story more interesting.  I will admit that because there is so much going on in the world, the beginning of the story felt a little info-dumpy at times, which I didn't love. A lot of it was vital and pertinent information that we did need to know for the story, but I just wish it was presented and incorporated  in more of a showing and not straight telling way. But that is really my only issue with the story. Other than that, I was swept up in this rescue mission. There is a lot going on in this story and at times it is hard to keep everyone and everything happening straight, but I still really enjoyed the tale.  If you are a fan of fantasy stories that feature unique magic, sisterly love and a cool rescue type adventure, then Divided Fire will be a book you should check out. I had some minor issues with the story but overall, I really enjoyed this one. I am interested to see if there will be a sequel.  3.5/5 gavels

  11. 5 out of 5

    Zoe L.

    You know, I have really been digging sister fantasy stories lately! All of the ones I’ve read have just been so fresh and new feeling. And the fantasy worlds just keep getting more and more exciting! And I mean, this world was just special with the representation throughout. I mean, imagine, it’s normal for people to communicate through signing. Which was just so great for me to see because I honestly can’t even think of more than a couple of books with any sign language representation. I really You know, I have really been digging sister fantasy stories lately! All of the ones I’ve read have just been so fresh and new feeling. And the fantasy worlds just keep getting more and more exciting! And I mean, this world was just special with the representation throughout. I mean, imagine, it’s normal for people to communicate through signing. Which was just so great for me to see because I honestly can’t even think of more than a couple of books with any sign language representation. I really enjoyed this world though, it was just so well thought out and there was so much world building throughout. And you know I’m a sucker for that. Plus the powers were so cool! And I’m going to leave it at that for you to find out on your own! However, outside of these aspects the plot was a little muddied. But honestly, that fits my tastes in books much better. I’d much rather learn a lot about the fantasy elements and I often don’t mind if a book doesn’t have a really plot based focus. Honestly though, I wanted to mention this because I know it will irk some people. SO, you have been warned! This was a heartwarming story with a unique world inside its pages. It’s one of those stories that you’ll be able to fall into and just have a fun time reading. Plus there is plenty of action to keep you thoroughly engaged as you whip through the pages. And might I say that the writing felt really unique to me and I really enjoyed the way this story unfolded! You can view my full review & giveaway on my blog! I also post about a lot of different types of books! Reader | Bookstagrammer | Blogger | Reviewer @ya.its.lit - https://www.instagram.com/ya.its.lit/ Blog - https://yaitslitblog.wordpress.com/

  12. 5 out of 5

    Becca Mee

    Sisters Miren and Kesia live in a world where magic expresses itself in songs that control the different elements. Once, Singers were honored and venerated, but since the war started, Singers are now drafted by the King in the war effort. Within this context, Miren and Kesia have kept a secret: Kesia, once a Fire Singer who was exempt from the draft thought to have lost her voice after an illness, still has her ability to Sing. When Kesia's secret is revealed and she's kidnapped by pirates, Mire Sisters Miren and Kesia live in a world where magic expresses itself in songs that control the different elements. Once, Singers were honored and venerated, but since the war started, Singers are now drafted by the King in the war effort. Within this context, Miren and Kesia have kept a secret: Kesia, once a Fire Singer who was exempt from the draft thought to have lost her voice after an illness, still has her ability to Sing. When Kesia's secret is revealed and she's kidnapped by pirates, Miren must team up with Davri, a noble's Water Singer son, and Kesia's lover, to rescue her sister. Meanwhile, Kesia is pressed into slavery in enemy territory, and she must fight for her own survival against irrepressible odds to get back to her sister. As Miren and Kesia fight to get back to each other, their journeys expose a darker side of their world, as well as commonalities between sworn enemies that could either bring peace to their world or destruction at the hands of those who profit off of it. Divided Fire was a really solid and enjoyable fantasy about sisterhood, social inequality, and greed. I really enjoyed the magic system in this one. The concept of wordless songs controlling the element is unique and different from other books in the genre. I also loved the bond between Miren and Kesia, and thought that it was well developed. I loved the arcs of both of their characters and how they changed and adapted their actions and ways of thinking throughout the book. San Filippo also does a great job at exploring the theme of the privileged in society taking advantage of those who are below their social class and how greed produces all sorts of social issues. I do wish there'd been a little more romance in this book. I really did want to see more development in Davri's and Kesia's relationship and why they love each other. I also thought certain parts of this book moved a little slow. But overall, I enjoyed this book, and thought it was pretty good.

  13. 5 out of 5

    The Litt Librarian

    When I first received my copy of Divided Fire, it sounded like an intriguing read. Miren and Kesia must find their way back to each other after Kesia, a "chosen Singer," is kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery. As I started reading, I immediately drew parallels to the Avatar: The Last Airbender series. Instead of using bending to control the world's four elements, they used a form called "Song" directed by Singers in Divided Fire. For me, the potential of the book went downhill after the n When I first received my copy of Divided Fire, it sounded like an intriguing read. Miren and Kesia must find their way back to each other after Kesia, a "chosen Singer," is kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery. As I started reading, I immediately drew parallels to the Avatar: The Last Airbender series. Instead of using bending to control the world's four elements, they used a form called "Song" directed by Singers in Divided Fire. For me, the potential of the book went downhill after the novelty of the revelation wore off. It was a plodding start, and it took a while for me to get into the story. My biggest concern in the introduction is that if these chosen people are Singers, why are they mute? Maybe it was a way for the author to represent sign language? Filippo never clearly explained how the characters can "sing" if they're silent or why they lose their speaking voice in the first place. Then as you continue reading, it seems this magical talent of Singing loses its meaning. Not even halfway through the story, and I wanted to abandon the book. There were way too many unfinished and undeveloped plot holes. For example, if I were to kill someone powerful, I would assume that the people in his rank would come after me for revenge. Nope. That part of the story disappears. Even with smaller characters introduced, you would think they would have a more prominent role due to the surrounding dialog. Nope. They fade into the background as well. I don't believe the small plots were thought out too well, while the author painstakingly hammered on with the main story. And speaking of hammering, I want to know why the characters repeat names three times? Is Candy Man going to manifest and start slashing people? Is Bloody Mary going to pop out of a mirror? I swear if Beetlejuice were a character in this story, he would have the time of his life wreaking havoc in their world. As much as I didn't want to, I did finish the book, but I'd be hard press to return to it. Between the synopsis and what I read, the recap sounded way more interesting than what the book produced. As far as the rating goes, this book was working on a two 1/2-star rating. I bumped it up to a three because the action at the end of the book surprised me. I had to wait until the end to see some actual power from these characters and their melodic gifts. Unfortunately, that's the only entertainment I had with the story. If there's to be a sequel to the book, I won't be picking it up. You can read more of the review at The Litt Librarian https://thelittlibrarian.wixsite.com/...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    Initial Thoughts This book wasn’t on my radar before I saw the tour email and once I read it, I was totally sold. I loved the idea of songs as magic and I love a good book about the bond of sisters. Some Things I Liked Magic system. I really loved the magic system here. Elemental magic controlled by song is such an interesting concept. Sign language as a theme. Due to the nature of the magic, I loved that sign language was a prominent form of communication. Everyone knew how to sign in Kaleo and it Initial Thoughts This book wasn’t on my radar before I saw the tour email and once I read it, I was totally sold. I loved the idea of songs as magic and I love a good book about the bond of sisters. Some Things I Liked Magic system. I really loved the magic system here. Elemental magic controlled by song is such an interesting concept. Sign language as a theme. Due to the nature of the magic, I loved that sign language was a prominent form of communication. Everyone knew how to sign in Kaleo and it was just second nature. I love when fantasy books normalize breaking barriers. Pirate motif. I love a good pirate story and I loved that Kesia’s kidnappers were pirates (albeit, they were the bad guys), I liked the aquatic themes. One Thing I Wasn’t Crazy About The romance. Romance (or lack thereof) is a deal breaker for me. I wanted more romance in this story. Hopefully, we’ll get more in future sequels. Series Value I really enjoyed the world building here and I’d read more of this series. I liked the characters and magic system as well. I think there is a lot of potential for more and I’d keep reading. Final Thoughts I liked this book. It was missing a key element for me but overall, I liked the sister dynamic, the dual POVs, and the world building. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Recommendations for Further Reading Sisters of Shadow and Light by Sara B. Larson – if you enjoyed the sister dynamic as well as the dual POVs, try this duology by Sara B. Larson. The Weight of the Soul – if you liked the idea of one sister going on a journey with the other sister’s boyfriend, try this Viking inspired story.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rachael

    PLEASE WRITE A SEQUEL! San Filippo is a fantastic writer. It’s rare to find a book that makes you care about the characters so quickly. The duel sister point of view throughout the book is seamless, never making you too upset that it shifts because you know you are about to get answers to questions formed in the last chapter. The world is also fantastic. From believable political intrigue to subtle explanations of geology, you are placed in a complex world that grows on you slowly. The distinct PLEASE WRITE A SEQUEL! San Filippo is a fantastic writer. It’s rare to find a book that makes you care about the characters so quickly. The duel sister point of view throughout the book is seamless, never making you too upset that it shifts because you know you are about to get answers to questions formed in the last chapter. The world is also fantastic. From believable political intrigue to subtle explanations of geology, you are placed in a complex world that grows on you slowly. The distinct turn away from the classic “good versus evil” and forced romances is also refreshing and relatable. Plopped into middle of a war between two counties, I enjoyed that the presence of conflicting opinions and upbringings of characters provided enough information for the reader to form personal opinions of the situation and which side was ‘right’. Plus, the addition of sign language is so cool!! How it’s such a normal part of the culture in the book, it really makes you want that for the real world. PLEASE WRITE A SEQUEL! I have been looking for good, clean high adventure reads like Brandon Sanderson’s books and this book did not disappoint! Highly recommend people getting the young adult readers in their families this book, but also for those slightly older young adult readers looking for a gripping, clean, and well put together story.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Daniela

    This is an overall interesting fantasy read. I loved the concept of music, Singing specifically, being the key to manipulating an element, and I liked how signing was an important aspect of communication for Singers. While I did have some questions about the magic system (Why are Singers otherwise mute? Can they only unlock their talent through a ceremony?), I still found it to be fascinating and easy to understand. I really enjoyed reading this story of two sisters who would do anything to reun This is an overall interesting fantasy read. I loved the concept of music, Singing specifically, being the key to manipulating an element, and I liked how signing was an important aspect of communication for Singers. While I did have some questions about the magic system (Why are Singers otherwise mute? Can they only unlock their talent through a ceremony?), I still found it to be fascinating and easy to understand. I really enjoyed reading this story of two sisters who would do anything to reunite with each, even traveling through warring kingdoms to do so. I wish there had been more information fully explaining the war and the cultural backgrounds of the two kingdoms. The information given in the beginning was too much of an info-dump, making the story feel slow-paced. I also felt like the large cast of characters could get confusing, as I mixed up a few names and wasn’t certain of who was who. Although the worldbuilding isn’t fully explained, the characterization of the main characters and the plot keep readers entertained and engaged in this story.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    I'm over-the-moon proud of Jennifer, my former student, who transformed a story she'd started in my class at SJSU into this beautifully-wrought book about sisters and war. It's probably marketed as YA fantasy, but it also has quite a bit of action-adventure in it that kept me on the edge of my seat. Although the story has clear good guys and bad guys, the main characters are complex. I found it moving the way Miren, one of the sisters, changes by the end of the book. I was also intrigued by how I'm over-the-moon proud of Jennifer, my former student, who transformed a story she'd started in my class at SJSU into this beautifully-wrought book about sisters and war. It's probably marketed as YA fantasy, but it also has quite a bit of action-adventure in it that kept me on the edge of my seat. Although the story has clear good guys and bad guys, the main characters are complex. I found it moving the way Miren, one of the sisters, changes by the end of the book. I was also intrigued by how some of the people in this otherwise quite realistic (albeit antiquated-feeling) world are aligned with one of the four elements (earth, air, fire, water). They are called "Singers" who use their singing voices to make the elements move, affecting their surroundings for various purposes. It's a rich conceit that makes the book beautiful and exciting. I could tell when I got to the last page there are sequels coming. I can't wait!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

    This book was received as an ARC from Clarion Books in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. This must be my lucky day, two books I've read are all about sisterly bonds and the female protagonists are such strong women that nothing will break them. When Kesia gets kidnapped and is wanted for her magic that could turn the whole outcome of the war, it's up to her older sister Miren's strength and guidance and her unlikely pair with Kesi This book was received as an ARC from Clarion Books in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. This must be my lucky day, two books I've read are all about sisterly bonds and the female protagonists are such strong women that nothing will break them. When Kesia gets kidnapped and is wanted for her magic that could turn the whole outcome of the war, it's up to her older sister Miren's strength and guidance and her unlikely pair with Kesia's boyfriend, Miren will stop at nothing to save her sister, even if it means putting both their lives at risk. This book was unique, different and thrilling enough that I can't wait to hear the discussions from our teen book club. We will consider adding this title to our YA collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lex

    I read almost all of this book in two hours while pacing in circles, waiting for phone calls to interrupt me. And it was perfect for that! A smooth read with no surprises to stumble on, a straightforward but satisfying plot, interesting and easy to follow worldbuilding. Kind of a ham-handed treatment of slavery. The sign language delighted me although it's never really... made clear? It was left heavily implied that the magic-users lose their speaking voice once they start to use magic but like. I read almost all of this book in two hours while pacing in circles, waiting for phone calls to interrupt me. And it was perfect for that! A smooth read with no surprises to stumble on, a straightforward but satisfying plot, interesting and easy to follow worldbuilding. Kind of a ham-handed treatment of slavery. The sign language delighted me although it's never really... made clear? It was left heavily implied that the magic-users lose their speaking voice once they start to use magic but like... the kids used magic before the big ceremony? But if it was for societal reasons, there were a number of life-threatening circumstances where voicing sound would have been important. idk. Everything else in the book got handed to the reader on a silver platter so this one thing stands out for being kinda vague.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nia Dragin

    Originally reviewed on Cyn's Workshop Divided Fire is an exciting fantasy that powerfully utilizes sign language. Interesting Premise Filippo did an incredible job of incorporating sign language into her storytelling. It was incredible to see this group of people highlighted powerfully and compellingly. Kesia does not have a voice for most of the novel; her power kept secret by her sister, causing her to feel defeated and without a voice. However, when she uses her Song to defend others and fight f Originally reviewed on Cyn's Workshop Divided Fire is an exciting fantasy that powerfully utilizes sign language. Interesting Premise Filippo did an incredible job of incorporating sign language into her storytelling. It was incredible to see this group of people highlighted powerfully and compellingly. Kesia does not have a voice for most of the novel; her power kept secret by her sister, causing her to feel defeated and without a voice. However, when she uses her Song to defend others and fight for captives and slaves just like herself, she grows and learns to find her inner strength through her use of sign language. It is incredible to see sign language utilized powerfully to showcase the magic in the world. To see it applied and used throughout the novel by those who have the Song and those who do not showcases inclusion. It sends a strong message to those in the deaf and mute community that not having a voice does not mean one is powerless but quite the opposite. It also sends a message to readers who feel like they do not have a voice that a voice is not what makes one powerful, it is willpower, the mind, and strength combined that truly make any language and voice powerful. Characterization & Storytelling While the novel’s premise was exciting and parts of the story engaging, Divided Fire does fall short. The biggest issue with the novel is the pacing. Early on, there is much history thrown at the reader. This drags down the novel and bores the reader because Filippo is throwing so much at the reader that they cannot lose themselves in the story. Simply put, it is just too much information at once. Another thing that slows down the pacing is the fact that it becomes repetitive. Filippo throws a lot at the reader and then throws it in repeatedly throughout the story, slowing down the novel’s pacing, becoming dull. Then there are the dynamics. There is character growth between the characters, but for the most part, Miren is standoffish. It is hard to connect to her because her tone is so rough. Her prejudices and attitude make her unlikable. Granted her distrust of others is smart, but her dislike of almost everyone is what makes her unlikable. Thankfully, there is character growth, making her warmer and more likable as a character. Final Thoughts Divided Fire is worth the read because it is a fantasy that has compelling elements allowing it to stay unique and stray away from clichés and tropes. See more reviews at Cyn's Workshop and follow me on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Spotify Podcast | YouTube | BookBub | Goodreads+ | LinkedIn

  21. 5 out of 5

    Emma Crowell

    Just like the title, I'm a bit divided on this book. There are some things I really enjoyed, and other things I think could have been done better. The characters were about 50/50 hit or miss for me, and while I love the magic system, I was left wanting to know more about how it worked. I think there was a lot of potential, but unfortunately some things missed the mark for me. Just like the title, I'm a bit divided on this book. There are some things I really enjoyed, and other things I think could have been done better. The characters were about 50/50 hit or miss for me, and while I love the magic system, I was left wanting to know more about how it worked. I think there was a lot of potential, but unfortunately some things missed the mark for me.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Baker

    Unfortunately Divided Fire and I aren’t hitting it off. I think part of it may be on my end, it could easily be my mood. However from the 40% that I have read, I feeling like it’s dragging. It started of strong and grabbed my attention. Something BIG happened, but now it’s just dragging. I really like the concept and I plan to try reading it again in the future, but I will be DNFing this for now.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bex

    i loved the beginning of this one but i couldn't get past the middle half of the book . so with that , i'm dnfing i loved the beginning of this one but i couldn't get past the middle half of the book . so with that , i'm dnfing

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay Rankin

    Good book! I really liked this book! I love sister stories, and I appreciated that this is a clean read. I’m looking forward to reading more books by this author!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Thindbooks

    *this ebook was given to me by the publisher to give an honest review in return* This was a enjoyable book about two sisters. Miren, the oldest sister is protecting Kesia who has fire magic but Kesia gets kidnapped and Miren must go save her. None of the sisters have left their homes so they must face challenges along the way. Will they be able to find each other or will it be too late? I loved the author’s writing for this book. She did an amazing job with the plot line and setting but some scen *this ebook was given to me by the publisher to give an honest review in return* This was a enjoyable book about two sisters. Miren, the oldest sister is protecting Kesia who has fire magic but Kesia gets kidnapped and Miren must go save her. None of the sisters have left their homes so they must face challenges along the way. Will they be able to find each other or will it be too late? I loved the author’s writing for this book. She did an amazing job with the plot line and setting but some scenes were a little basic when there could have been more. The world building was small though and wish there could have been more for that because I still have questions. I loved the theme in this book which was family first and sisterly bonds. These two sisters are connected and will do anything to protect each other. The characters in this book were amazing. I enjoyed both the girls and seeing each of their POVs. I mostly enjoyed Kesia’s POV because she can’t speak since she has magic and seeing her develop throughout the story was amazing. Both sisters did develop a lot and had to face many challenges without each other. There were also the side characters. Most I enjoyed but I didn’t enjoy Kesia’s boyfriend. He annoyed me at times and you will see why in the book. Now you guys are probably wondering, is there romance in this book? There is but it’s barely and it’s perfect for this book because it’s mostly about sisterly bonds then romance. So perfect for those who don’t like seeing romance a lot. This book ended off well. I didn’t have many problems with it other then some parts being a little basic. I was hoping for more action with magic and a better world building. Other than that I enjoyed this book and I recommend it to those who want something with barely any romance and need a good sisterly book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Brittany N Wilson

  27. 5 out of 5

    Gabriella Taverna

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amber Rivas

  29. 4 out of 5

    Claire

  30. 4 out of 5

    Harper

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