Set Fire to the Gods
by Sara Raasch & Kristen Simmons
Ash is descended from a long line of gladiators, and she knows the brutal nature of war firsthand. But after her mother dies in an arena, she vows to avenge her by overthrowing her fire god, whose temper has stripped her country of its resources.
Madoc grew up fighting on the streets to pay his family's taxes. But he hides a dangerous secret: he doesn't have the earth god’s powers like his opponents. His elemental gift is something else—something that hasn't been seen in centuries.
When an attempted revenge plot goes dangerously wrong, Ash inadvertently throws the fire and earth gods into a conflict that can only be settled by deadly, lavish gladiator games. The fights put Madoc in Ash's path, and she realizes that his powers are the weapon her rebellion needs—but Madoc won’t jeopardize his family, regardless of how intrigued he is by the beautiful warrior.
But when the gods force Madoc’s hand, he and Ash uncover an ancient war that will threaten more than one immortal—it will unravel the world.
It was um...lackluster? Like it was not BAD it just didn't live to up to its expectations. Yep, not saying anything more. Goshdarnit, now I feel bad.
RATING: 🌟🌟🌟🌟⭐ 3.6
WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! ABORT IF YOU HAVENT READ IT YET!
Well, okay, I’ll admit that this book had higher expectations than much for me. And unfortunately, it did not reach them. By all accounts I’m not saying that it was bad or that I did not enjoy it, the thing is, it did not make my heart sizzle. It did not make my eyes pop out of their sockets (picture that if you will), it did not make my emotions run wild. But they did go for a bike ride at times. And also, WHY IN THE WORLD OF ALL THINGS THAT BLEED DID THEY KILL IGNITUS?!? Seriously, he was the flame. He was evil, broken and I needed more of him. PERIODT. Let me just say, I love gladiators and warriors. Those are two things I strive to find in books and when the opportunity arises to read something about them I absolutely blow my cap off. My mind goes overdrive and my expectations skyrocket. But dang it, I still don’t see the smartness in killing the fire god. HOW COULD YOU? Okay, I need a second. Alright, let's discuss this from the first impression. It was awesome, the first glimpse we get of the gladiators and arena fights left me in a state of shock not unlike when I read the Divergent series, because, who wouldn’t? And when they introduced the Gods it all just made my insides go all “OhMyhfeuhfehfuer” Yep, I literally had a brain pop. It’s a thing, trust me. My dudes, when I met Ignitus I will honestly admit, I started crushing HARD. Like for real, he was just, ugh. He intrigued me and I knew, I KNEW there was something more to his story. With all this said he was a big, idiotic douche at first glance. And second, perhaps even fifth glance. But you could clearly see that there was more to his story, more that was not told. Because guess what ?! He DIED. HE STOPPED BREATHING. Excuse me as I go drown in my tears. Alright, alright, alright (insert Matthew McConaughey’s magnificent voice here) let’s touch on the rest of the subjects. Like Char and Ash’s relationship. It was so sweet to see those tiny glimpses of their relationship and then that tiny hope for Char and Tor to get together. Be still, my heart. In the first few seconds, I’ll admit with shame that I shipped Tor and Ash but then I heard about their age difference and about her mother so, 5 pages in, a dead ship already. Yeah, this started tremendously well. Then we get to know Madoc which is a fighter (i think we met him first actually, good brain I’ve got, let me tell you that). He is sweet and knows how to fight and is HAWT but color me annoyed if his cowardice didn’t make me want to bash his head in. Oh my gosh! The guy pissed me off MOST of the time, so when we met Ignitus officially, following the death of Char ( can we get a moment of silence, the woman was a hardcore warrior and her death was kinda stupid if you ask me, but we’ll get to that later) we well I just felt confused. It was from Ash’s point of view so of course there were heavy biases which, again, I could’ve done without. But here’s the thing that most confuzzled me:
“He was taller than her, his eyes dark and endless, and Ash couldn’t remember ever looking at him directly for so long. She felt drugged, fuzzy, her mouth filled with cotton.”
My dudes, I just remembered something, he is her grandfather. Um, yeah, we’re going to forget about that detail and concentrate on the quote above.
How am I not supposed to ship them if Ash said something like this, seriously, it doesn’t even make sense. And then, as if to rub on our faces that there was a chance for something between Ignitus and her she threw this in:
“This close, he smelled like cinders and coal and sunlight.
Everything else fell away. “Yes, Great Ignitus,” Ash said. “I will avenge my mother.”
Hello, yes, hi, confused fan girl here. I just needed an explanation that’s all. Moving to another topic, her mother’s death. It was dumb, it was not thought out, I expected her to have more of a BAM! death moment, cause, hello? The woman was a gladiator, she deserved a better death than that. So yeah, that pissed me off. I just went back to the book to re-read some of the things and I just noticed the map at the beginning. TOP 10 DUMBEST MOMENTS INTRODUCING A LOVESICK BOOKNERD. Yep, great announcement. Following their fights, now that’s another point I wanted to see more. I wanted awesome fights filled with angst and horror and despair. So like, every fight scene in Taken. The book is about gladiators so yes, my friends, I was hoping for more breaky breaky fight scenes. The world-building was okay and again, the gods needed more spotlight! I’m pretty sure there will be a second installment so dear author, you better revive Ignitus. Case closed. But hey, let's talk about Madoc’s family, his siblings were...well I didn’t actually get to know more about them so I can’t give an official decree of my opinion in that matter. Skip< Elias, dear Elias you too had so much more potential, you were the funny sidekick but you got on my stress-o-meter baby. The idea was there, it was, I could sense it, it just wasn’t written. What I would like to add though, Ilena, man oh man, she didn’t fight physically but emotionally? She got all the points fam. She almost ripped off Madoc and Elias’s ears and I was HERE for it. Let me arrive on the casket of Ash, lovely Ash, you did like, 3 things in the whole book (no offense). And that’s if I remember correctly. And don’t get me started on the romance. That wasn’t even a romance, it was more like a nomance. Why? Because there was nothing between them. In the 400 and something of pages, their so-called “romance” was not even mentioned. Of course, there were one or two instances where sparks flew. But let me tell you they were snuffed out this quick *snaps fingers*. It would’ve been better without any romance at all unless it was with Ignitus. Cause let’s face it, the last scene where Ash called for his help (ahem, she’s a fighter y’all *snort*) and then he helped her and they had this moment. It was like a kinship of sorts, they both accepted he was still a douchbag of the highest order and then, HE WAS KILLED! Oh my goodness, I think I’ve used too much of my RANT TANK so yeah, those are all the notes I remember. And to close on a good note, the book was not bad, it just wasn’t the book for ME. Ugh, now I feel so bad.
Ignitus possible progress
Ignitus possible progress that was hindered because he was killed
Tor, um, who gave you the right to carry this book on your shoulders baby.
Am I though?
Char and Ilena, mother’s united!
The book cover is to die for y’all, just like Ignitus did in this book. If the cover was a person I would marry them just like I could’ve done with Ignitus if he hadn’t been killed. We could’ve had a future exactly what Ignitus DOESN'T have. *insert massive sob* Second installment where.are.you?