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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
The Flame Queen by Dax Munro is the first book in The Legends of Peradon series. Violetta's deepest wish is to finally obtain her freedom. Guilt from the past follows her into the present as her hope for the future is thwarted by her father's decision to see her married before she can take the throne. As she works to determine possible feelings for an old friend, the handsome and dangerous emperor, Ryore Frost, catches her attention. Though she's drawn to him, she knows he's her enemy, but marrying him could be the chance she has at freedom or the biggest danger could be becoming his wife.
Violetta is driven by her desire for freedom. Her journey consists of her need for rebellion, wanting to be free and wanting to be her own person. She's kept under control either by her father or by her husband, so the root of her journey is her quite literally breaking free and taking back who she is. She goes from a princess desperate to be free to a strong hero whose powers could save everyone. She has deep guilt about her brother's death, which she carries with her, and it affects her through everything she does. This guilt pulls her down until she's able to work through what happened and find some closure.
The story weaves through a few different perspectives, allowing readers to see different sides of what's happening. The main part of the story is Violetta's journey but even Ryore's perspective is explored with his thoughts on his actions, which provide an interesting clash to Violetta. He's the villain of the story so to see his idea of himself adds layers to his character while also explaining how dangerous and evil he is. Fadius, brother to Ryore, is against his brother with his own agenda which is explored as events unfold.
A love triangle is lightly in the background of Violetta's story as she is drawn to Ryore and has a connection to Xyhoni, but it's not as important as her journey of self-discovery. Part of Violetta's journey is her rise to power both as a princess and via the mastering of her magic, as an inner flame she's been pushing down allows her to break free. This magic within her is another part of herself she works through and she comes to accept it as who she is. Dax Munro weaves a journey of rebellion, strength, and freedom in The Flame Queen which finds a princess in a fight to channel her growing flame and to break free.