Book Review

REVIEW: We Set The Dark On Fire

July 8, 2019

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, but both are promised 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 bright future depends upon no one discovering her darkest secret—that her pedigree is a lie. Her parents sacrificed everything to obtain forged identification papers so Dani could rise above her station. Now that her marriage to an important politico’s son is fast approaching, she must keep the truth hidden or be sent back to the fringes of society, where famine and poverty rule supreme.

On her graduation night, Dani seems to be in the clear, despite the surprises that unfold. But nothing prepares her for all the difficult choices she must make, 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 to give up everything she’s strived for in pursuit of a free Medio—and a chance at a forbidden love? 

We Set The Dark On Fire Synopsis
We Set The Dark On Fire front cover

My Thoughts:

I honestly started this book with very few expectations or ideas on what it was about. Honestly I just knew is had a pretty cover and it was queer-ish. It is such and oddly slow burn of a book which I found deeply interesting.

Medio was such a fascinating country and society. In upper-class families, every man has two wives. The Primera is his partner, in business and thought, trained to be emotionless, cunning and wise. The Segunda is his partner in home, trained to be charming and loving and mother to his children.

These are the two options for women from upper-class families and the one that poor families strive for. Every family hopes their daughter can get into The Medio School for Girls and have a better life. Daniela is lucky enough to not only have gotten in but she’s top of her class.

What happens when she is chosen as the most powerful families Primera and her school bully the Segunda. Especially since Dani has a secret she is being blackmailed by the revolutionaries. Who can she trust?

While we are again stuck with a seriously thick main character, a trope that drives me slightly batty. This book has a stunning Latinx dystopian world based around an interesting mythology. Every chapter is opened with a small passage about Primeras from The Medio School for Girls Handbook which had flavour.

There were even a few surprises in there that I didn’t see coming. I am so glad there is a sequel coming out because I was worried about how rushed this novel was going to get in the end. This was my first book by Tehlor Kay Mejia and I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading more by her.

I give We Set The Dark On Fire 4 out of 5 stars

We Set The Dark On Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia was released on the 26th of February by Katherine Tegen Books (a Harper Collins imprint). You can get your copy at Amazon, Mighty Ape, Book Depository, Whitcoulls, or wherever you like to buy books!

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