The Dagger and the Flame

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Pub Date Oct 02 2024 | Archive Date Sep 15 2024
Simon & Schuster (Australia) | Simon & Schuster Children's UK

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From the number one bestselling author Catherine Doyle comes the most fiery enemies-to-lovers romantasy of the year. Perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Leigh Bardugo and Stephanie Garber.  

In the dark underbelly of a beautiful city, two rival assassins are pitted against each other in a deadly game of revenge, where the most dangerous mistake of all is falling in love…

In Fantome, a kingdom of cobbled streets, flickering lamplight, beautiful buildings, and secret catacombs, Shade-magic is a scarce and deadly commodity controlled by two enemy guilds: the Cloaks and the Daggers – the thieves and the assassins. On the night of her mother’s murder, 17-year-old Seraphine runs for her life. Seeking sanctuary with the Cloaks, Sera’s heart is set on revenge. But are her secret abilities a match for the dark-haired boy whose quicksilver eyes follow her around the city?

Nothing can prepare Sera for the moment she finally comes face-to-face with Ransom, heir to the Order of Daggers. And Ransom is shocked to discover that this unassuming farmgirl wields a strange and blazing magic he has never seen before…

Among rumours of monsters stalking the streets and the rival guilds grappling for control of Fantome’s underworld, Sera and Ransom are drawn together by something more than just magic and must face a deadly choice - forgiveness or vengeance? Kiss or kill? Dagger or Flame?
From the number one bestselling author Catherine Doyle comes the most fiery enemies-to-lovers romantasy of the year. Perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Leigh Bardugo and Stephanie Garber.  

In the...

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ISBN 9781398536128
PRICE A$24.99 (AUD)

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Average rating from 27 members

Featured Reviews

If you like Sarah J Maas & Rebecca Yarros you will love Catharine Doyle.

The world of The Dagger & the Flame is rich and really well constructed. The enemies to lovers trope is well done and seemed less pre planned than some I have read in the past.

I enjoyed this book and I know my teenagers will devour it's pages once it is released.

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****Thankyou NetGalley for this ARC*****
Wow! What a book! I must admit, it did take me a hot minute to actually get into but once i was in - i was ALL IN! This is the first Catherine Doyle book i have read and it didn't disappoint.
I loved the tension between Ransom & Sera, it had me hooked right through (especially the little dart message system) and i cant wait for book 2!!
I loved the magic system and the world building. I could picture strolling through town :) Theo holds a special place in my heart too (sssh, dont tell anyone lol)

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A new Author to me Catherine Doyle certainly kept me engrossed in The Dagger and the Flame. I would definitely put her writing on a par with Briar Boleyn and Rebecca Yarros.

You can certainly imagine the scenes as you are reading and the plot is well set out not long into the book. The characters are vivid and interesting and some of those surprises along the way keep it so enthralling. I love the relationship building between Seraphine and Ransom and the secondary characters are just wonderful.

The magic in the story is a little different than others I have been reading about at the moment and that is also very refreshing. And that ending??? Theo?? Just Wow! Will definitely be looking forward to the next book in this series and wholeheartedly recommend this book.

Thanks to Netgalley and Catherine Doyle for the opportunity to read and give an honest review.

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This was really an enjoyable read. Set in a world where many of the inhabitants are either Daggers or Cloaks, and both utilise the same magical component in different ways. We follow a new Cloak, Seraphine, and a seasoned Dagger, Ransom, after he is tasked with her assassination.
Both the romance and the fantasy were handled well in this book, and the world was believable and interesting. Fans of romantic fantasy will love this.

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Wield the dagger . Become the flame

Set in a world where the underbelly of the city is ruled by 2 long standing rival guilds The Cloaks & The Daggers

The story follows new recruit to The Cloak Seraphine as she tries to unravel the mystery her mother's death brings, while playing a deadly game of Kiss or Kill with swoon worthy Ransom, a feared assassin from The Daggers.

While it took a few chapters to captivate me, I soon found myself utterly engrossed in this book. It encompassed all the elements I adore in a YA Romantasy: a perfect blend of enemies-to-lovers romance, an intriguing plot, found family and adorable animal companion. The pacing was consistent, the world-building was clear, and the unfolding events kept me thoroughly engaged.

The romance between Sera and Ransom was one of my favourite things about this book it wasnt rushed it had a little slowburn/all at once feel and their banter was perfection that left me kicking my feet and physically laughing.
The supporting characters we're also so easy to love, I loved the found family connection and I can't wait to see the development in the characters in the next book along with all the Pippin content.

This is what I would categorise as an Upper YA with a little bit of spice and sexual tension, I would love to see it head into more of a NA space in future books.

I'm eagerly anticipating diving into the second book and following the flame and goofy stick man.

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The Dagger and the Flame is a new adult fantasy set in the fictional city of Fantome. The Cloaks are a group of thieves who have an uneasy truce with rival assassin group the Daggers. Both groups make use of an alchemical substance called Shade, which allow them to manipulate shadows in different ways in order to carry out their various tasks.

Sera is a farmgirl who takes refuge with the Cloaks when her mother is murdered. Ransom is the Dagger who is ordered to kill her. The two of them have chemistry which is obvious from when they first meet and provides a good grounding to their rivalry and budding romance. Sera is mentally strong and clever, but her youth and inexperience sometimes means she makes rash and illogical decisions. Ransom is a little older with more time spent in the dark, and comes across as much more level headed. I enjoyed reading their dual POVs. The secondary characters were also a lot fun to read, with Bibi and Theo being my favourites.

The plot develops well overall through gradual revealing of information on behalf of the main characters, although certain aspects did feel rushed or missing towards the end of the novel. The worldbuilding focuses mainly on the shady underbelly of Fantome, with only a few hints as to the ruling class (the royal family) and the greater world beyond the city. The description of the magic made available through the use of shade and the development of lightfire was handled well and a real highlight, especially with the interesting ways in which the characters used them and the side effects caused.

I liked that the ending didn't try to wrap everything up nicely given what occured, and left certainl events open for a sequel. The Dagger and the Flame is a quick and enjoyable fantasy read and I look forward to reading more from this author.

Thanks to Netgalley for my copy for review.

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“sometimes it takes a monster to destroy a monster”

The city of Fantom is ruled by two rival groups, The Cloaks (thieves) and The Daggers (assassins). They both utilise Shade, which is a magical substance that wields darkness 🖤

“Playing with magic was like playing with fire, and in the end someone always got burned.”

After the tragic assassination of her mother, our FMC Seraphine joins The Cloaks so she can find & kill The Dagger responsible. With the help of her new friends & a gift from her mother she discovers she will need to became a flame within the dark 🔥

“And when the time comes, you will rise far above this wicked city, and become a flame in the dark.”

This book is for you, if you love:
>Enemies to lovers 🔥
>Found family
>Magic & monsters
>Murder & revenge
>Knife to throat 🔪

Two moments that are playing on repeat in my mind:

‘We’re already in hell, Seraphine. And in case you haven’t noticed, it belongs to me.’

‘I suppose fire is only mesmerizing until it burns you”

I will be reading Catherine’s other series Twin crowns in attempt to fill the void while I desperately wait for book 2!

Thank you NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for an honest review!

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First impressions 💭
I felt like I was immediately transported into the world of Fantome with incredible worldbuilding and immersive writing! I loved the concept of the two groups “daggers” and “cloaks” wielding the same magic in their own unique ways.

What I Loved ❤️
- the character development and growth was amazing. The love that main characters backstories were not dissimilar and yet they were dealt completely different hands which shaped the people they ultimately became
- the dual POV 👌
- Shadow magic but with a twist! There’s a reason that we all love shadow magic so much but it’s a little bit overdone in fantasy at the moment. However the uniqueness of the delivery system and the different ways the shadows can be wielded made me love it even more!
- sizzling tension and laugh out loud banter!

What I didnt love 👎🏻
- I want to know more and be more invested in the side characters because of the “found family” element. But judging by that ending I feel like we are going to get more of that in book 2!
- the fact that I now have to wait for the second instalment 😂

Favourite Quote 📝
Tears streaming down her face, the words springing from her before she could stop them “you weren’t the only one who prayed to Saint Oriel, I wished for you too Bastian” 😭😭

Final verdict ⭐️
I’m totally invested in knowing what happens next, for the order of the flames, the friendships formed, Bastian navigating a new life without Sera while still protecting her, and ultimately how Sera is going to save not only him but everyone from shade!

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“You are my hobby, Seraphine. Do you want to come out and play?”

I was so fortunate to get an ARC of this book and even though it took me a few chapters to get into it but it was worth it. This one fit into the enemies to lovers tale I love so much. There were more than a few twists and turns, one that was only a fleeting thought but ended up having a huge impact on the story. I don’t want to say any more so everyone can experience it for themselves.

Ransom might do bad things but he’s got a gooey centre under that Shade exterior and you can’t help but root for him. Excuse me while I add him to my book boyfriend list. You could really feel the emotions the character went through and wrestled with and I loved how they found strength in being together.

The story was amazing, flowed well and had a teensy bit of spice and a whole lot of tension 🫠 I’m so looking forward to read what happens next!

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Thank you to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster (Australia) for providing me with an eARC of The Dagger and the Flame in return for my honest opinion.

I am a big lover of romantasy books, especially if it’s an enemies to lovers romantasy 👀. When I came across this book on Netgalley it was described as the romantasy of the year and post reading it, I have to agree that it’s really good.

This book has a really interesting magic system, a great plot and engaging characters! Sera and Ransom are a true enemies to lovers, one a their and the other an assassin (who also happens to be trying to kill Sera). This book is split between their POV, which I find always makes the characters more engaging and leaves me desperate for them to progress from enemies to lovers.

I did not see the plot twist coming and was pleasantly surprised by it (I love an unpredictable plot twist). However.. the ending?! Ouch! I sobbed my way through the ending of this book, it felt so cruel and has left me desperate for the next book in this series.

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Catherine Doyle's "The Dagger and The Flame" captivates readers with its black magic system based on Shade, a mystical force harnessed by both the Daggers and Shadows. Doyle's world-building is meticulous, seamlessly integrating the Shade magic into a richly woven tapestry of adventure, political intrigue, and personal stakes. The characters are well-developed and engaging, making their journeys both relatable and compelling. Overall, the novel stands out as an enthralling addition to the fantasy genre.

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