My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Incendiary is hands down the best novel I've read by Zoraida Córdova, offering a female protagonist who is more complex than her previous outings in the Brooklyn Brujas series. Ren (short for Renata, from the Latin for "reborn") Convida (a surname that means "with life" en español) has a gift of magic that is terrible and that both King Fernando of Puerto Leones, who conquered her parent's home kingdom of Memoria and kidnapped her when she was age seven, and the Whisperers, Moria resistance fighters, fear and wish to exploit. More than a decade after her kidnapping, Ren still doesn't quite know the truth about her abilities, nor does she know the truth about her lover, Dez, the young man who leads the resistance. In fact, for a mage who can rip memories out of a person's mind, Ren begins to see that her own memories are suppressed, and repressed.
While the Hollow Crown world, meant to mimic a sort of Spain under the Inquisition, is fascinating, the relationship that spurs Ren's involvement with the Whisperers rebellion, with Dez, was so sketchy I found myself caring less about his character than the mystery of Castian, the Principé Dorado, and how a young man with such a horrible reputation could have the devotion of a household servant. Renata and her ironically lost, then recovered, memories are the heart of this book. I look forward to the sequel and conclusion to this duology.
The audiobook is capably narrated by Frankie Corzo.
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