A Spark from Embers (Tears of Flame #1), by Kaylea Prime

12 Feb 2024

The Book

A Spark from Embers
Series: Tears of Flame
Pages: 476
Age Group: Young Adult
Published on 3 Feb 2024
Publisher: Self-Published
Epic Fantasy
Available on:


A spark smolders within every fading ember. Awaiting the right moment to reignite. To blaze into an inferno.

Eighteen-year-old Sadie’s fiery ambitions have faded to embers. Her dreams of escaping the shackles of her conventional life and seeking heroic adventures have been doused by an arranged marriage. Women in 1914 were expected to be Helen of Troy, not Achilles. Doomed to the life of obscurity she always feared, Sadie takes a chance on an anonymous note—and finds a mirror portal to Arwé, the parallel world featured in her shunned great-grandfather’s book.

But when she steps through, the portal closes behind her.

Cut off from her brother Connor and stuck with Tristan, the enigmatic man sent to guide her to Arwé, Sadie learns it will take more than trading the mundane for the magical to reignite the embers of her heart. Controversial fire and forbidden celestial magics threaten to consume her, layered secrets mask friend from foe, and she’s caught in a civil war she inadvertently accelerated. Walking through that portal should have been freeing. Empowering. So why did she feel more trapped?

Convinced his sister is gone forever, Connor enlists in a war he doesn’t believe in. Before long, he uncovers a dark conspiracy rooted in emerging electrical science.When her enemies offer her the chance to return home, Sadie discovers not even her wild imagination has prepared her for the sobering reality of what happens when you play with fire.

A SPARK FROM EMBERS is The Ten Thousand Doors of January meets the Narnia series, except if Lucy had gone through the wardrobe alone, leaving Edmund to enlist and battle the demons of his inner Witch.  

My Review

A Spark from Embers is the first book in the epic fantasy series Tears of Flame, the debut novel of Kaylea Prime (who previously published A Ballad of Hate and Hope, a novella set in the same universe); comped as Narnia meets the Ten Thousand Doors of January, it was the perfect comp for me. And I can say that it fulfilled my expectations, being an excellent portal fantasy proposal, with a great female main character, a world full of secrets and a secondary plot that kept me hooked to the page.

Sadie's ambitions have faded to embers. In 1914, women are just expected to become wives, and that's not an exception for Sadie's family; except she would love to avoid a conventional life and get into adventures. Far seems the world that her great-grandfather described in his book; however, when she finds an anonymous note, she ends finding a mirror that acts as a portal to that world, Arwé.
At the moment of crossing it, the portal closes behind her, caught in this new world and in the company of Tristan, a man sent that guided her to Arwé. Together with Tristan, she will start a journey through the world, getting to learn more about the magic inside herself, and that threatens to consume her like a fire. Sadie soon finds herself in the middle of a civil war that will put her between the wall and the rock, when her enemies offer her the possibility of returning home; an intense POV that allows us to learn more about Arwé and the immensity of this world.

In the background, we have Connor, Sadie's brother, who is devastated by the disappearing of his sister; especially after the funeral for his sister is organized. Moved by hopelessness, he decides to alist into the war; but soon he discovers there's a conspiracy rooted in the new electrical science. Prime excellently portrays the relationship between both siblings, how the bond between them is, and how deeply it goes (it is really relatable).

The world of Arwé is imaginative, taking some elements from classical fantasy but modernising it; Prime's prose does an excellent job of creating images of the different locations, with a great focus on descriptions. The conflict itself goes hard, giving nuances to the classic bad versus good. It is also worth to mention that it is original to see Canada being used as the Earth location, a rather unexplored place in fiction.

A Spark from Embers is an excellent first instalment in this series; if you loved Narnia like me, this book is perfect for you. Kaylea Prime has created a special world that I hope I can return to the next books.

The Author/s

Kaylea Prime

Kaylea Prime

  Kaylea Prime is the author of the fantasy series, Tears of Flame. She is also a librarian with a passion for planning epic programs that immerse kids and teens into their favourite literary worlds. When she’s not writing or working as a librarian, she can be found exploring the beautiful wilderness around her home in Clearwater, British Columbia, with her two kids, husband, and two golden retrievers.