Foxfire in the Snow (The Alchemical Duology #1) – J.S. Fields & Lynn Norris (narrator)

At seventeen, Sorin hopes to become an apprentice with the queen’s alchemist but as they get ready to go to the alchemist fair, their mother, a master woodcutter, disappears, and Sorin discovers she’s not the only one who’s gone missing: other guild masters are nowhere to be found and even the Queen seems to have vanished. Reunited with their childhood friend and Royal Daughter Magda, Sorin reluctantly starts on a journey to save the Queendom of Sorpsi and hopefully win their freedom from the woodcutter guild.

It took me a while to get into the story but having read and adored the author’s Ardulum series, I knew it would be worth it. I found both MCs very interesting, not always likeable but relatable.

Despite what people think by looking at their body, Sorin isn’t a woman, nor are they a man. They’re just Sorin. They’re not a woodcutter either, not yet an alchemist, definitely not a witch, and that feeling of not belonging follows them in every area, all the more so as their mother kept them sheltered from the rest of the queendom, turning them into an outsider to what most young people take for granted. Sorin sounds rather self-centred at times, in a way I found understandable, as they’re trying, not to find themselves – they know perfectly who they are – but to get others to stop questioning who they are.

Magda is the kind of kickass heroine I often love. She’s bossy – she’s the Royal Daughter after all – with a huge sense of duty and a kind heart.

A word about the narration. I already knew Lynn Norris is an outstanding narrator, I’m still impressed at how perfectly she managed to voice trees and fungi in the Ardulum books. Her voices for each character are so good that I often forgot there was only one person narrating.

Foxfire in the Snow is the first book in a duology and while a lot happens and there’s some resolution, the ending is very open, especially on the romance side. I look forward to the second part and hope we won’t have to wait too long for it.

4-stars

Foxfire in the Snow @ NineStar Press

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