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Be Careful With Those Flames

Ryan Graudin's sequel to All That GlowsAll That Burns—upps the action and brings new life to familiar (to Arthurian scholars, at least) characters.

Be Careful With Those Flames

BOOK REPORT for All That Burns (All That Glows #2) by Ryan Graudin

Cover Story: Soap Opera Softness
BFF Charm: Confused
Swoonworthy Scale: 4
Talky Talk: Modern Magic
Bonus Factor: Arthurian Legends
Anti-Bonus Factor: Love Triangle
Relationship Status: Long Live the King

Danger, Will Robinson! All that Burns is the second book in the All that Glows series. If you have not read the first book—All that Glows—turn away now. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. If you have read the first book, however, feel free to continue below. I will refrain from major spoilers in my review, but there might be hints at plot points and details about the story.

Cover Story: Soap Opera Softness

Much like the cover of the first book in this series, the cover of this book reminds me of something one might see in a soap opera. The soft focus, the rose tint, the flowing hair and fabric. Even the title’s typeface looks like it belongs to an 80s soap (particularly Santa Barbara).

The Deal:

For hundreds of years, Emrys has been a part of the English royal family’s invisible—to mortals—”Frithemaeg,” or faerie guard. But falling in love with Crown Prince Richard changed everything, and led her to reveal her kind and become a mortal. After battling dark forces and the insane Queen Mab, Emrys figured everything would calm down … but reintroducing magic into a world of technology and human ego is no easy task. And when an ages old foe goes missing, the slow simmer of discontent reaches inferno levels.

BFF Charm: Confused

I like Emrys. Really, I do. But, for most of All that Burns, she questions everything. Her choices, her love, her friends, her family .... Some of these questions are valid, but many of them just feel whiny and self-centered. Not to get into spoiler territory, but she does get better at the end. But the emo shtick got really tiresome before that point was reached.

Swoonworthy Scale: 4

As you can see from my anti-bonus factor below, there’s a bit of a love triangle that comes into play in this book. Does Emrys love Richard? Yes—so much so that she’s willing to give up both magic and immortality to live out her years by his side. And yet, in YA stories at least, true love never runs smooth.

Talky Talk: Modern Magic

Ryan Graudin knows how to spin a story. All that Burns is the second in a series, but the action of this book held it’s own, and the plot was much more interesting than that of the first. Graudin mixes fairy stories with modern times quite well, and although the past and present can butt heads, they do so because she’s written them doing so rather than them just not meshing well.

Unfortunately, the characterizations in this novel left a little to be desired. Not until late in the book did we see the bright and fierce Emrys we met in the first book. Instead, we get a washed out version of her, one that’s constantly second guessing herself and searching for the praise of those around her. (Thank goodness for Annabelle is all I’ll say.)

Bonus Factor: Arthurian Legends

I do love a good Arthurian legend spin, and All that Burns ties the story of Camelot to modern day England in a fun and surprising way.

Anti-Bonus Factor: Love Triangle

A new, mysterious, brooding male faerie is introduced in this book, and his appeal is almost too much for Emrys to bear. (Sigh.)

Casting Call:

I cast Emrys and Richard in my review of the first book in the series. To those picks, I’ll add:

Teresa Palmer as Annabelle

Cate Blanchett as Queen Titania

Relationship Status: Long Live the King

Although I have some complaints, Book, I do enjoy getting caught up in your world. I love the mix of modern and medieval, and the idea that magic and technology—often so at odds—might someday work together. If King was an elected position—and I could vote, as I’m an American—I’d vote for your King Richard again and again … so long as Emrys was by his side.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from Harper Teen. I received neither a private dance party with Tom Hiddleston nor money in exchange for this review. All That Burns is available now.

Mandy Curtis's photo About the Author: Mandy is a small town girl living in a nerdy world, or—if you want to get literal—an editor/writer living in Austin, TX. In addition to yearning for YA books—the more dystopian or fantastical, the better—she can also be found swooning over superheroes, dreaming of The Doctor and grinning at GIFs.
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