In Rosiee Thor’s lavish fantasy novel with a Jazz Age spark, a politically savvy teen must weigh her desire to climb the social ladder against her heart in a world where magic buys votes.
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?
If you like flawed main characters, you’re going to love Ingrid. She is a smart young woman who could grow up to be a clever adult if she ever figures out how to get out of her own way. Ingrid is a hot mess of epic proportions. Every time she’s offered a choice, she inevitably picks the worst, most chaotic one. She does this under the guise of trying to get ahead, but each time she takes a step forward she immediately shoots herself in the foot. Yet throughout all this, Rosiee Thor carefully manages Ingrid’s identity. Not fully understanding her queerness leads her down some difficult paths, but Thor never makes it feel like being a bisexual aromantic is in itself a flaw.
Read the rest of my review at locusmag.com.
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