Interview with Rosiee Thor, author of Fire Becomes Her

Hey everyone! Today I’m here with an author who’ve I’d had visit my blog before – Rosiee Thor! The last time that Rosiee visited here, it was my very first author interview and we discussed their debut novel, Tarnished are the Stars. You can find that interview here. But Rosiee recently had another book published – their sophomore novel Fire Becomes Her came out on February 1, and today we’re here to discuss this new book! Let’s check out what Fire Becomes Her is about, first.

Fire Becomes Her | Rosiee Thor

Published February 1, 2022

368 pages | Hardcover

Flare is power.

With only a drop of flare, one can light the night sky with fireworks . . . or burn a building to the ground — and seventeen-year-old Ingrid Ellis wants her fair share.

Ingrid doesn’t have a family fortune, monetary or magical, but at least she has a plan: Rise to the top on the arm of Linden Holt, heir to a hefty political legacy and the largest fortune of flare in all of Candesce. Her only obstacle is Linden’s father who refuses to acknowledge her.

So when Senator Holt announces his run for president, Ingrid uses the situation to her advantage. She strikes a deal to spy on the senator’s opposition in exchange for his approval and the status she so desperately craves. But the longer Ingrid wears two masks, the more she questions where her true allegiances lie.

Will she stand with the Holts, or will she forge her own path?

Summary from Goodreads

So first of all, just tell us a little about yourself!

Hello! I’m Rosiee, author of queer science fiction and fantasy novels. I have two published novels: Fire Becomes Her and Tarnished are the Stars. I’m also an avid gardener and mediocre gamer!

Fire Becomes Her is your sophomore novel, and it’s a fantasy, unlike your debut science fiction, Tarnished Are the Stars. What was different about writing a fantasy book this time, and why did you choose to do so?

It might be a little odd to say this but… not much was different. Science Fiction and Fantasy are really just two sides of the same coin. The difference is really just what you call it–technology or magic? So as far as genre, I still had a lot of the same considerations to make about how the magic/tech worked and how much of that was going to get explained. At the end of the day, it was more of a marketing decision than a clear distinction of genre, since they both contain elements of science and magic.

I think one of the biggest things in Fire Becomes Her was the extremely unique worldbuilding, as well as a government system that was a huge part of the book. The book centers around the use of magic called Flare. How did you come up with the idea of Flare and all its uses throughout the book?

Figuring out the magic system for this book was absolutely central to the world building. Basically, Flare is fire magic that you can drink, but it’s also so much more than that.

I wanted to play around with magic, but I wanted that magic to play a deep and inexorable role in the world. No one lives in that world without being impacted by magic in one way or another. I decided to tie it to multiple areas of society to make sure it was fully entrenched, so it’s the social equivalent of alcohol, the economic equivalent of oil, and the aesthetic equivalent of fire. This allowed me to play around with magic in every aspect of their society–wealth, status, politics, vibe…etc.

In FBH, you highlighted several different identities on the aromantic and asexual spectrums, and two of these characters also ended up in a queerplatonic relationship. Can you tell readers a little bit about these identities, and what it means for you to write them?

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to write about a character discovering her aromantic identity and what it means to her, but I didn’t really know what that was going to look like until I started writing. Ingrid’s a lot like me and her experiences with relationships and the discomfort she feels in romantic situations is drawn directly from my life. When I first started writing stories, I didn’t think characters like her would be well received by publishing at all, so to have my editor give me the go-ahead to write the story the way I wanted to was such a freeing experience. I got to follow my own emotional logic instead of trying to piece it together based on how I assumed others might feel. I always knew I wanted Ingrid to make a big decision about her relationship to romance, but the idea to center a queer platonic partnership in the story didn’t occur to me until I was a bit further into the draft. Originally, I had planned to write a sequel which would allow more time and space for that relationship to form, but when my publisher only bought one book, I realized I didn’t want to leave it out in hopes I’d get the opportunity to write the sequel. I didn’t want to leave that up to chance and not get to write this relationship, so I reconfigured the story and gave certain characters more page-time to make sure they got the story I intended.

The first time I interviewed you, I asked how you grew through writing Tarnished Are the Stars and I want to ask you the same question again. Do you think you grew more through writing Tarnished or FBH?

I definitely grew a lot while writing Fire Becomes Her. As a writer, certainly, but also as a person. I always find things out about myself through writing that I don’t really anticipate. With Tarnished, I learned a lot about my own identity on the ace and aro spectrums, but with Fire Becomes Her I was surprised to find some of my own feelings about gender, pronouns, and perception echoed in one of the other characters in the book, Alex. I knew I was a lot like Ingrid and her journey would mirror parts of my own, but I did not expect to see myself in him and his non-binary experience. It forced me to think a lot about myself and my relationship to gender in ways that deepened my understanding of my own identity. 

How would you describe FBH in one sentence, to someone who hasn’t read it yet?

An ambitious girl must choose between her head and her heart during an election where magic buys votes.

What do you think would happen in an interaction between the main characters of Tarnished are the Stars, and Fire Becomes Her? Do you think your characters would get along?

I don’t think Ingrid would get along very well with any of the main characters of Tarnished, to be honest. She’s a little too prickly in a very specific way for them. She and Eliza might do okay, but I think Eliza would see right through her and Ingrid wouldn’t love that. I do think Charlotte and Nathaniel would get along swimmingly, and Louise and Anna would be like two angry peas in a pod.

And lastly, unrelated to your writing, but what are some books that you’ve enjoyed reading in the past few months?

The last year or so has brought some amazing books to my shelves. A few favorites are In The Ravenous Dark by A.M. Strickland, The Mermaid The Witch and The Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall, and The Reckless Kind by Carly Heath.

Ha you read Fire Becomes Her, or heard of the author? What did you think of the interview? Are you interested in picking up this book?

Enola Holmes Book Tag

Hey, everyone! I’m doing yet another tag this week because first of all I have a whole lot that I need to do and second of all I completely forgot about posting anything until today and I’m going on vacation today (I dont’ even know if this tag will actually get out because I may not have time.)
Anyways, let’s get into this!
This tag is based off of the movie (book?) Enola Holmes and I read the book and watched bits and pieces of the movie a while ago so I thought I’d try it out! (let’s not mention that I literally remember 4 of the characters mentioned here because my brain is great with names irl but terrible with names in books)
I was tagged for this by the wonderful Madeline @The Bookish Mutant and please go and check out her amazing blog!

~Rules~

  1. List the rules and the prompts of the tag in your post
  2. Thank the person who tagged you and pingback to their post
  3. Give credits to the creator of the tag, Bellerose Reads, and pingback to her post.
  4. Tag at least 5 people to do the tag.

Enola Holmes: An independent and smart female protagonist

I’ll go with a choice that I don’t usually stick in book tags here–Emanuela from Beyond the Ruby Veil. The book itself was a little bit meh (bow down to my descriptive skills) but I would definitely describe our main character as ‘independent and smart’. She’s also a morally grey character so if you like that kind of stuff, maybe you should try this book!

Sherlock Holmes: Your favorite mystery/thriller book

Uh wow I don’t read much mystery or thriller. I think I’ll go with The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe–it was the most recent thriller I’ve read and it was also very good!

Eudoria Holmes: A character that defies the rules of their society

I don’t know if this is rules so much as stereotypes and judgement but throughout I’ll Be The One, Skye constantly has to face doubters and haters who don’t think she can/should be in a KPop competition given that she’s fat. She never backs down from the competition and shows everyone that no matter what you look like, you can get to your dreams.

Mycroft Holmes: The most annoying character you know

Uh wow that’s really tough. I mean, there’s a lot of annoying characters out there but how do I choose THE MOST annoying? My first thought went to characters who are homophobic/transphobic, etc. who are the antagonists of books (Simon vs, Felix Ever After) but those characters aren’t what I’d describe ‘annoying’, they’re awful. So I really don’t know what I’d go for, here.

Lord Tewksbury: A character you want to protect at all costs

There’s so many, but I’m going with what my brain immediately thought of: Jesper and Wylan (I know, I know, it’s two, I’m sorry…). I dunno, they are both just such beans and I must make sure they don’t get hurt. Though, if I had to choose one, I’d choose Wylan.

Inspector Lestrade: A loyal side character

My brain sometimes just thinks of a random book I wouldn’t have thought of otherwise, but I’ll go with Miles from Lore for this one. Miles is just a complete mortal with no connection to any of the greek god stuff going on in Lore but when Lore finds a dying goddess outside her house, he helps her with that. Lore and the others, too, constantly tell him to get out of there because it’s dangerous for him and he doesn’t need to be there but he stays and also proves himself useful many times.

Miss Harrison: A book that aged like milk

At first I was very confused as to what ‘like milk’ meant because clearly I don’t know that milk spoils okay then. Anyways. A book that aged badly…I can’t think of anything that aged too badly but recently I read the fourth book in the Magic Misfits series and it just wasn’t as enjoyable as I remember the first three being, probably because I’m just not as young anymore.

Linthorn: A character you hated from the very beginning

I guess I’ll say Minya from Strange the Dreamer, here. I get that Minya had a really traumatizing past and she was just trying to protect everyone, but she went around with it in a very bad way and she was just all out cruel.

Edith: Your favorite book with black rep.

It was really tough to choose, here, but I think I’ll go with Felix Ever After. It was just a really enjoyable book, possibly my favorite realistic fiction ever. It kept me totally engaged the whole time and I devoured it in one sitting to finish it.

Alright, there’s the end of the tag! I’m not gonna tag anyone because I don’t know who has/hasn’t watched/read the movie/book but if you have watched or read it, please try out this tag! It was super fun to do!

That’s all for this post! I really hope that you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed doing it! Thank you so much for stopping by my little corner of the internet and have an amazing rest of your day! Sorry if this tag came off as a little bit rushed (because it was, indeed, rather rushed, but I still loved doing it). As always, stay safe and keep on reading!

Lost in Translation Book Tag

Alright everyone, today we are learning a lesson and that lesson is to never ever trust google translate with your translating needs. This is something, actually, that any teacher teaching me a language has told me countless times and yet people probably still do it because it’s easier. So let’s see what this tag is all about and have some fun as we go!

Thank you so much, Sunny @Revolution Reading for tagging me in this tag! Here’s how it works:

  1. Pick the last book that you read
  2. Translate the title into three or more languages using google translate
  3. Translate it back into english and compare how close or how far it was from the original title
  4. Put the original title down at the bottom and talk about your last read!

Translated title: Magic Technique

(Yoruba, Ukrainian, Icelandic, Chinese, English)

What. WHAT? W H A T?????? Okay but seriously, try to guess. Just try to guess what the heck this title could possibly be. I want you to write down your guesses right now and tell me in the comments after because this is absolutely ridiculous.

The original title is Sorcery of Thorns
How, just how did I get “Magic technique” from Sorcery of Thorns?

Anyways, I did do a book review about this book but I may as well talk about it.

This was a very interesting fantasy book. Our main character, Elisabeth, grew up in a library of magical books so…you all can be jealous of her now. But then (dramatic pause…) she becomes accused of setting a cursed book on the nearby town (even though she was the one who stops it)! Thus, she is sent to the city with a sorcerer to face her judgement!

This was a different book, a different idea, than other books I’ve read and it was fascinating that way. There were some parts that I felt were unneeded or overly convenient and the ending was a little confusing to me, but other than that, it was very good! To see my full book review, click here.

Okay! I’m gonna do another one because I want to and also I thiiiink this one is gonna be great. I hope it will be, anyways. Here goes:

Translated title: We Slip a Hand

(English, Chinese, Thai, Pashto, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, English)

W-what? I don’t even know what this means. We Slip a Hand? It sounds like some book about card games. Or like…nope, I have no idea why you would name a book “We Slip a Hand.”

Anyways. Any guesses on what this one actually is? Write them down now and put them in the comments at the bottom? The actual name is below:

The original title is We Ride Upon Sticks.
So it looks like the ‘we’ part is still the same, but the rest of it…I dunno how on earth this happened.

We Ride Upon Sticks was a really interesting book. It was an adult book and the entire thing was pretty slow, but it was actually really good. I loved it because it was about a female sports team which is not something that you read much. Plus, the girls had a super strong bond which was nice. There was a lot of diversity, both racially and LGBTQ+-wise so that was super cool, especially since it was based in 1989. I loved seeing how the girls grew over the year and discovered more about themselves and each other. You can find my goodreads review on this book here.

Well that’s the book tag! Again, thank you so much to Sunny for tagging me; this was super fun. I will tag:

Alex @The Scribe Owl
Lilly @Lilly’s Little Library
Sibella @YA Book Reviews

Well, there’s the post! I really hope you enjoyed this tag, it was fun to do and had a really funny turn out! Remember, those tagged don’t have to do the review and if you weren’t tagged but think it sounds interesting, please go ahead and do it!
As always, thank you so much for reading; it means the world. Stay safe and keep on reading!

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

I am going to do this review slightly differently than my first review and hopefully it’s just as good! I will focus on four different elements of the story: basic plot, characters, setting and writing, as well as adding a few notes to the bottom.

Plot:

Orisha used to be a land of magic, but everything changed several years ago, when magic vanished and maji all over the country were killed by the ruthless King Saran. Now, Zelie is without a mother and the country is without magic. However, a chance to return the powers to the country arises and she must embark on a dangerous journey to bring it back to her people. But she has a time limit, which is closing in fast. And with the crown prince on her trail, the stakes are higher than ever. If Prince Inan catches her and her companions, she will die and magic will be gone for good. But if she can finish her quest before the end of the month, the maji will have hope once again.

Characters:

Zelie is the first character introduced. She’s amazing at using a staff and is extremely loyal to those she loves. Above all, she wants to protect her brother and father and live a life not in fear. However, as a diviner, someone who carries magic in their blood (but is unable to use it since magic vanished years ago) this is difficult. The king and his men despise diviners and with diviner taxes and constant attention on the white hair that marks diviners for who they are, it’s hard for Zelie to fade into the background. Zelie is the fierce, driven, strong female character who everyone wants to root for the whole way.
Amari is the catalyst. As the Princess of Orisha, she lives in the palace with her father, King Saran, as well as the rest of the royal family. For years she has been fairly clueless to the cruelty her father inflicts on the diviners. However, when she witnesses her father kill her diviner best friend, Binta, after there are hints that magic could return, she escapes the palace. Holding the only thing that could ever bring Orisha to it’s former glory, she meets Zelie and begs for help.
Tzain is Zelie’s older brother who follows Zelie anywhere, no matter how reckless what she does is. Originally furious at Zelie’s choice to help Amari, he still follows the two as they leave on a quest to return magic. However,
Inan is Amari’s older brother and captain of the army. After his sister escapes, he is tasked with tracking down the trio to stop magic from returning and to kill Zelie. Can he reach them in time or will he see what he most despises rise again?

Setting:

The setting, too, is absolutely beautiful. I can just imagine all of Orisha in my mind, it is so vivid. The book starts out in a seaside town, but we get to see the capital city, a forest temple, a desert and even more!

Writing:

The writing, however, is what makes this book truly special. Adeyemi’s writing jumps off the page. Everything is described in rich detail and it is easy to see the entire story in your mind’s eye. I love how Adeyemi uses words to craft a masterpiece.

The things I did not like about this book were few and far in between. WARNING: spoilers up ahead. I advise you skip this section of the review if you do not want to read spoilers. I think that the romance was not written as well as it could have been. Inan absolutely despised Zelie for a good part of the book. He literally imagined killing her! Then, they begin working together for a short while and suddenly the two of them are in love! And suddenly he’s promising he’ll do whatever he can to help get magic back. It just seems so sudden. He has been educated by his father his entire life, he looks up to his father, so how does this one person jump into his life and change his mind so suddenly? Then, when he meets his father again, he immediately begins thinking about how awful magic is. But this is a small part in the story and there are many more important things about it.

The most important part of this book is not the story, not the setting, not the writing. It is why Adeyemi wrote this book. This may not even be obvious until you read the author’s note – it is certainly subtle – but it brings the story into so much more being. The author wrote this book to spread the awareness, the pain, the hurt of the lives of black people lost to the police. She wanted to do something, to say something about the black people – men, women and children – who were killed, who will continue to lose their lives at the hands of police officers who never looked past the color of their skin. So when you are reading this book, when you read about the death of a beloved character in this fiction book, think about the deaths of so many more who were real people and could not protect themselves.

All in all, this is a 5/5 star book. There are strong female characters and the entire cast are POC.

One more thing: I buddy-read this book with Katie from The Storybook Sisters’ blog! Check out her review as well to see her thoughts on Children of Blood and Bone. Plus, you can view all of her other posts as well, to find even more fascinating books to read! Here is the link!