A Single Spark

Rise of The Phoenix Series Book 1

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
368 Pages
Reviewed on 04/17/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

A Single Spark is a work of fiction in the epic fantasy, family saga, and adventure sub-genres, and was penned by author Tayvia Pierce as the first novel in the Rise of The Phoenix series. A twisting family drama filled with conspiracy and intrigue, we find ourselves in a fantasy world where an aristocratic family is forced to leave their land and start anew after rumors of murder and corruption plague them. Lady Carys lies at the core of this family, and though she is overlooked and gossiped about, a storm even bigger than what they’ve been through is waiting to break over their new life before it’s even begun.

Author Tayvia Pierce delivers a fantastic mix of fantasy, mystery, family drama, and suspenseful fiction in this sweeping and complex work of masterful storytelling. I was swept into the characters and their world right from the off, from the comedown of the well-to-do into a rustic world, the mysterious figure that offers them aid, and the tragedy that seems to follow them from chapter to chapter. Structurally this makes for a really exciting and hard to predict plot, which sees Carys and her family put to the test by many different trials as it unfolds. The emotional work put into our central protagonist also makes her an intriguing anti-hero figure, which was very well presented and explored. Overall, I would highly recommend A Single Spark as an excellent start to what promises to be an exciting and engaging fantasy family drama with much more intrigue and mystery to come.

Debjeet Mukherjee

A Single Spark by Tayvia Pierce is an epic fantasy adventure and Book 1 in The Rise of The Phoenix Series. Iolryn, Carys, and Rhian are three children of Lord Llew of the house of Egon, who live in Perinthas and are Taurovians. A few years ago the siblings' mother was abducted and presumably killed by the Yehketi, sworn enemies of the Taurovians. Rhian is the youngest of the lot at fifteen, Carys is the protagonist of sorts, while their brother Iorlyn is training to be a jewelsmith. Their travels take them through several sets of places from Kjaransak to the beauty of the scarlet ridge and then to the land of barbarians. The plot takes a twist with the appearance of elves in Lund as well as the reappearance of the siblings' mother, Tesni. The story continues in the next installment as Carys herself is now abducted.

Tayvia Pierce has woven a plot with many layers of emotions. It is coupled with fantasy, war, and intricate details of relationships. The characters have been well described and the mix of themes will engage readers who enjoy embarking on a long adventure. The author has a balanced pace in the pages with the creation of unique regions, secrets, and lore of war. The feel is that of a historical fiction setting with the concept of lords, peasants, and the culture of bygone eras. I liked how the author has developed the storyline into a compact tale. A Single Spark ends in suspense as several questions are raised which only the next books in the series will be able to answer.

Lit Amri

In A Single Spark, the debut for The Rise of The Phoenix Series by Tayvia Pierce, Lady Carys is the middle child of the aristocratic House of Egon. Haunted by the tragic demise of their mother and discouraged by the rumors that threaten their reputation, her father decides to move their family across the land to find a new home. However, danger and misfortune force them to settle in Lund city, a less desirable place for nobles. They hired a new guard, Ben, for much needed extra protection as tension in the family keeps rising when personal freedom and noble duty clash. In the meantime, the threat of war from the dark realm escalates. How will Carys and her family fare?

Set in an expansive fantasy realm, the residents of the world in A Single Spark consist of humans, elves and other races with godly bloodlines serving different factions that either belong to the light or darkness. It’s a balance of character-driven and plot-driven story which serves its concept and premise well, anchored by its intriguing exploration of the strengths and failings of its characters, unexpected loss, and shocking twists. Protagonist Carys is independent and strong-willed; conflicting traits that she has to tirelessly manage when it comes to her obligation to the family, particularly as her older brother has no interest in leading the House of Egon and her younger sister is still a moody teen. The aristocrats have to overcome obstacles, challenges, and unforeseen events that will make readers wonder about the identity of their real enemy. There are still a lot of questions that no doubt will be answered in the next installment of The Rise of The Phoenix Series. All in all, a solid start from Tayvia Pierce.

Rabia Tanveer

A Single Spark is the first book in the Rise of The Phoenix Series by Tayvia Pierce. Lady Carys was the middle child of her family, which means she was used to being ignored. Coming from an aristocratic family meant that she and her family had everything at their disposal, but everything they did affected everyone at the same time. She had no idea that the tragic yet sudden death of her mother and the rumors surrounding their family would drive them away from their home. Before they even knew it, her whole family had to relocate and start afresh. But starting anew was not easy, especially when you belonged to the aristocracy. People knew you and so did your enemies. Carys became the only person keeping her family safe from the dangers lurking around every corner. But what was it? Should they even be afraid?

Tayvia Pierce did a great job of detailing the lives of this aristocratic family. Carys and Rhian, in particular, are two catalysts that pushed the story forward and introduced the characters in a brighter and more realistic light. I enjoyed the narrative a lot, even though I’m not partial to first-person narratives. Tayvia Pierce had great command over the plot and the characters, yet she allowed her characters to set the tone for their progress and development. I loved how each character was individually interesting and very smartly developed. There were little clues and hints that the author very strategically placed in multiple chapters so that readers could find them and marvel at what the clues meant. I could tell the author left plenty of mysteries unanswered intentionally so that readers would anticipate the next installment. A Single Spark is a brilliant start to a series that will be a success.