Title: WE SET THE DARK ON FIRE
Author: TEHLOR KAY MEJIA
Published: 26TH FEBRUARY 2019 BY KATHERINE TEGEN BOOKS
Genre: YA LITERATURE FICTION/FEMINIST FICTION
In this daring and romantic fantasy debut perfect for fans of The Handmaid’s Tale and Latinx authors Zoraida Córdova and Anna-Marie McLemore, society wife-in-training Dani has a great awakening after being recruited by rebel spies and falling for her biggest rival.
At the Medio School for Girls, distinguished young women are trained for one of two roles in their polarized society. Depending on her specialization, a graduate will one day run a husband’s household or raise his children. Both paths promise a life of comfort and luxury, far from the frequent political uprisings of the lower class.
Daniela Vargas is the school’s top student, but her pedigree is a lie. She must keep the truth hidden or be sent back to the fringes of society.
And school couldn’t prepare her for the difficult choices she must make after graduation, especially when she is asked to spy for a resistance group desperately fighting to bring equality to Medio.
Will Dani cling to the privilege her parents fought to win for her, or will she give up everything she’s strived for in pursuit of a free Medio—and a chance at a forbidden love?
Be still my heart…what a wonderful story. I loved every minute of it and had to stay up entirely too late to finish it. SO worth it, though! I couldn’t put it down because I was so on edge with wanting to know what happens next. Dani (MC) is a brilliant character who has come from a background so different to where her life is heading. She is the top student and so is to be married to young man of a very high ranking and distinguished family. I thought the social system of the inner island was interesting, and explains the Medio School. It’s basically like a finishing school to learn to become a one of two wives – Primera or Segunda – which are based on a myth about their gods. This polarization of their society opens up a brilliant discussion of feminism and what it means to be true to yourself.
This novel takes a good look at our society in parts. The wall creating a barrier between people; the societal divide between women; the marriage rituals; government corruption. And it shows us quite obviously that these are not the way of creating a good society. This particular world is so scary, and that’s partly because some of the issues are so close to what we’re experiencing. The characters are so amazingly well developed and interesting, even the shitty ones! I’ve always found that’s a hallmark of great writing – being able to write characters that are unlikable, yet interesting. Also, keep your eyes peeled for the f/f romance (LOVE)!
I adore this ownvoices story and find myself very much looking forward to book 2 of this duology. I was also unaware it was part of a series, so was expecting a resolution at the finish. However, I was shocked by the cliffhanger! Never saw that ending coming…. 😱 was definitely a FIVE STAR read for me!
Will you be reading it?