The title is amazing and, as a mom, the story is painfully strong. Get ready.
We Are the Fire by Sam Taylor released Tuesday in the Fantasy, Young Adult genre.
In the cold, treacherous land of Vesimaa, children are stolen from their families by a cruel emperor, forced to undergo a horrific transformative procedure, and serve in the army as magical fire-wielding soldiers. Pran and Oksana―both taken from their homeland at a young age―only have each other to hold onto in this heartless place.
Pran dreams of one day rebelling against their oppressors and destroying the empire; Oksana only dreams of returning home and creating a peaceful life for them both.
When they discover the emperor has a new, more terrible mission than ever for their kind, Pran and Oksana vow to escape his tyranny once and for all. But their methods and ideals differ drastically, driving a wedge between them. Worse still, they both soon find that the only way to defeat the monsters that subjugated them may be to become monsters themselves.
As electrifying as it is heartbreaking, Sam Taylor’s explosive fantasy debut We Are the Fire is perfect for fans of An Ember in the Ashes and the legend of Spartacus.
AUTHOR BIO: Sam Taylor grew up in Arizona’s deserts and now lives among Connecticut’s trees. She spends her days writing, being mom to the world’s cutest boys, whirling through dance workouts, and baking too many cakes. She does not possess fire magic, but does have one fire-colored cat. We Are the Fire is her debut novel.
What should readers expect when they dive into your debut YA fantasy We Are the Fire?
This book was born out of one strong emotion: I was angry, and wanted to watch something burn.
I had finished a graduate degree in English and was ready to use the writing skills I’d honed in my university classes. Unfortunately, the job I’d landed ended up being led by some very corrupt people. I wanted to fix their mess… but there seemed little I could change. Often, the right choices weren’t even clear to me. I turned to fiction writing to vent my emotions.
“I’m going to write a story about an arsonist,” I announced to my husband one evening.
“…That’s dark, Sam,” he replied. (Lolsob, that can be said about most of my young adult books.)
“Fire magic,” I said. He seemed relieved, and I had the seed for this book. I played with the idea and the story grew: Children taken from their homes by the empire that had conquered their homelands. They were transformed over years through alchemical processes until with a single spark and a breath they could create bonfires. These prisoners were forced to become teen soldiers for the empire’s army. Through relentless training, their commanders wore them down until these young soldiers believed their only purpose was to serve the empire.
Except for two young soldiers, Oksana and Pran, who’d leaned on each other during the horrors of transformation and training. They’d given each other reasons to keep going. They’d helped each other remember the homes they’d once had, the lives they’d once led. They both believed they deserved to have those lives again. Together, they determined to reclaim freedom.
But as Pran warns, they can’t fight against their commanders and emperor—all without scruples and conscience—and keep their own hands clean. Add to that, Oksana and Pran have very different visions of freedom… and what they’ll sacrifice to get there.
We Are the Fire goes to some dark places, and nothing is sugar-coated. This book explores situations where the right choices aren’t always clear, because sometimes they’re not. It explores how right choices often come with steep prices. It’s a book for readers struggling to find their best path in confusing, frightening, and overwhelming situations. It’s a book for readers wondering if there is a way out of such trouble. Because WAtF also presents unlikely allies coming together for the sake of a greater goal. Above all, it was important to me that I write a story presenting characters who face seemingly insurmountable odds but who do make a difference—a book that ends in hope.
We Are the Fire is a story for fans of fire magic, twisted alchemy, ash-gray morals, lovers at odds, fierce friendships, fantastic folklore, teens who get stuff done, and a little kissing.
And remember, even a few sparks can bring down a building.
This post is part of a Tour. You can find the schedule here (http://xpressobooktours.com/2020/12/01/tour-sign-up-we-are-the-fire-by-sam-taylor/).
Giveaway:Tour-wide giveaway (INT)
- Print copy of We Are the Fire