“Lush. Delicious. Bewildering. And darkly magical. Popovic has created a world that you tumble into from the very first words and wish you could stay in forever.” —Evelyn Skye, author of The Crown's Game
“Wicked Like a Wildfire was like devouring a succulent fairy fruit—it will rob your time, settle into your dreams, and leave you starving for more.” —Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen
Fans of Holly Black and Leigh Bardugo will be bewitched by Lana Popovic's debut YA fantasy novel about a bargain that binds the fates—and hearts—of twin sisters to a force larger than life.
All the women in Iris and Malina’s family have the unique magical ability or “gleam” to manipulate beauty. Iris sees flowers as fractals and turns her kaleidoscope visions into glasswork, while Malina interprets moods as music. But their mother has strict rules to keep their gifts a secret, even in their secluded sea-side town. Iris and Malina are not allowed to share their magic with anyone, and above all, they are forbidden from falling in love.
But when their mother is mysteriously attacked, the sisters will have to unearth the truth behind the quiet lives their mother has built for them. They will discover a wicked curse that haunts their family line—but will they find that the very magic that bonds them together is destined to tear them apart forever?
Wicked Like a Wildfire is the first in a two-book series. Readers will be rapt with anticipation for the sequel.
Readers will be immediately impressed by the lush and vivid writing in this debut novel from literary agent Popovic, which is set in Montenegro. Seventeen-year-old Iris and her twin sister, Malina, were both born with a supernatural "gleam." Malina can use music to sway others' emotions, and Iris can transform flowers into mesmerizing fractals: "Petal nested within petal, each level of the pattern cradling tiny versions of itself, stamen and pistil and vein and leaf swirling in concentric patterns like a nautilus shell." Their mother, who also has the gleam, long ago forbade them from using their abilities, but the sisters are forced to embrace their magical heritage after someone attempts to murder their mother, her body somehow trapped between life and death. Popovic's story charts a somewhat familiar course as the twins discover the true extent of their powers and some alluring boys enter the picture, but most readers will be captivated by her entrancing writing, evocative setting, and distinctive supernatural worldbuilding, and will eagerly await the second book in this planned duology. Ages 14 up.