Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Review: Set Fire to the Gods by Sara Raasch & Kristen Simmons

*Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

PublisherBalzer + Bray

Release Date: August 4th 2020

Pages: 432

Source: ARC


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.

BUY LINK: Goodreads




Sweat dripped into Maddoc's eyes, soaking the frayed neck of his grime-streaked tunic and burning an open wound on his jaw.


SET FIRE TO THE GODS has: Unique premise. Interesting characters. Cool world-building. But the execution just didn’t hit the mark for me.

π’―π’½π‘’π“ˆπ‘’ π“ˆπ’Ύπ“ π‘”π‘œπ’Ήπ“π“Ž π‘œπ’»π’»π“ˆπ“…π“‡π’Ύπ“ƒπ‘” π“…π‘œπ“…π“Šπ“π’Άπ“‰π‘’π’Ή 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝑒𝒢𝓇𝓉𝒽 π“Œπ’Ύπ“‰π’½ π“‚π‘œπ“‡π“‰π’Άπ“π“ˆ. π΅π“Šπ“‰ π“Œπ’½π‘’π“ƒ 𝒽𝑒𝓇 π‘œπ’»π’»π“ˆπ“…π“‡π’Ύπ“ƒπ‘” 𝒷𝑒𝑔𝒢𝓃 π“‰π‘œ π“π‘œπ“‹π‘’ 𝓉𝒽𝑒 π“‚π‘œπ“‡π“‰π’Άπ“π“ˆ π“‚π‘œπ“‡π‘’ 𝓉𝒽𝒢𝓃 π“‰π’½π‘’π“Ž π“π‘œπ“‹π‘’π’Ή 𝒽𝑒𝓇, 𝓉𝒽𝑒 π‘€π‘œπ“‰π’½π‘’π“‡ π’’π‘œπ’Ήπ’Ήπ‘’π“ˆπ“ˆ π‘”π“‡π‘’π“Œ π’Ώπ‘’π’Άπ“π‘œπ“Šπ“ˆ, 𝒢𝓃𝒹 π“ˆπ’½π‘’ π“ˆπ‘œπ“Šπ‘”π’½π“‰ π“‰π‘œ π’Ήπ‘’π“ˆπ“‰π“‡π‘œπ“Ž 𝓉𝒽𝑒𝓂 𝒢𝓁𝓁.

The premise was of elemental god siblings who overthrew their terrible mother god then squabbled amongst themselves. Fighting for more resources and power they held wars, forcing their mortal Gladiators with Divine Powers (elemental powers reminiscent to their father god) to fight to the death.

“𝐻𝑒'𝒹 𝑒𝓃𝓉𝑒𝓇𝑒𝒹 π“‰π’½π’Ύπ“ˆ π“Œπ’Άπ“‡ π“‰π‘œ π“ˆπ’Άπ“‹π‘’ π’½π’Ύπ“ˆ π“ˆπ’Ύπ“ˆπ“‰π‘’π“‡. π’©π‘œπ“Œ 𝒽𝑒'𝒹 𝒽𝒢𝓋𝑒 π“‰π‘œ π“Œπ’Ύπ“ƒ 𝒾𝓉 π“‰π‘œ π“ˆπ’Άπ“‹π‘’ 𝓉𝒽𝑒𝓂 𝒢𝓁𝓁.”

The book is written in dual POV—Madoc and Ash. Ordinary I don’t like dual multiple POV but it made sense for this story. Ash was a fiery badass and Maddoc was a softee gladiator. The chemistry was there between them but it wasn’t capitalized on so that was really disappointing—maybe this explains some of the reason the story didn’t really do it for me.

“'𝒲𝒽𝒢𝓉 π’Ήπ‘œπ‘’π“ˆ π“Žπ‘œπ“Šπ“‡ 𝒽𝑒𝒢𝓇𝓉 π“Œπ’Άπ“ƒπ“‰?' π“ˆπ’½π‘’ π’Άπ“ˆπ“€π‘’π’Ή. 

I was a bit annoyed because there were character mistakes that could have too easily been avoided.

Unfortunately, I doubt I will read the sequel to SET FIRE TO THE GODS when it's released as I don't feel compelled to know what the future holds for our two main characters.


Sara Raasch has known she was destined for bookish things since the age of five, when her friends had a lemonade stand and she tagged along to sell her hand-drawn picture books too. Not much has changed since then — her friends still cock concerned eyebrows when she attempts to draw things and her enthusiasm for the written word still drives her to extreme measures. Her debut YA fantasy, SNOW LIKE ASHES, the first in a trilogy, came out October 14, 2014 from Balzer + Bray. It does not feature her hand-drawn pictures

Kristen Simmons is the author of the ARTICLE 5 series, THE GLASS ARROW, METALTOWN, PACIFICA, and the upcoming DECEIVERS. She loves her family, Jazzercise, and chocolate cupcakes. She currently lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

For more updates on Kristen and her writing, follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @kris10writes.

Happy Reading!



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