The Fire Artist by Daisy Whitney, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The Fire Artist
  • Alternative view 1 of The Fire Artist
  • Alternative view 2 of The Fire Artist

The Fire Artist

4.0 2
by Daisy Whitney

View All Available Formats & Editions

Aria is an elemental artist—she creates fire from her hands. But her power is not natural. She steals it from lightning. It's dangerous and illegal in her world. When she's recruited to perform, she seizes the chance to get away from her family. But her power is fading too fast to keep stealing from the sky. She has no choice but to turn to a


Aria is an elemental artist—she creates fire from her hands. But her power is not natural. She steals it from lightning. It's dangerous and illegal in her world. When she's recruited to perform, she seizes the chance to get away from her family. But her power is fading too fast to keep stealing from the sky. She has no choice but to turn to a Granter—a modern day genie. She gets one wish at an extremely high price. Aria's willing to take a chance, but then she falls in love with the Granter . . . and he wants his freedom. Aria must decide what she's willing to bargain and how much her own heart, body, and soul are worth.
In a world where the sport of elemental powers is the most popular form of entertainment, readers will be swept away by a romance with stakes higher than life and death.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Fantasy readers will root for the smart, tough Aria and be awed by her beautifully articulated and actualized desire for independence.” —School Library Journal

“The premise and back story are new, and the power balance between Aria and Taj (she holds most of the power for much of the novel) reverses the too-common structure.” —Kirkus Reviews

“As beautiful and sweet as a Cézanne peach.” —Stephanie Perkins, author of Anna and the French Kiss on Starry Nights

Starry Nights is a beautiful, poignant, romantic story about the mystery and magic of art. Inspiring!” —Malinda Lo, author of Ash and Adaptation on Starry Nights

“An incredibly imaginative, impossibly magical mystery with an equally magical and impossible love story at its center, Starry Nights is the art-lover's ultimate fantasy. If you've ever seen a painting and wished it could come to life, read this book. And then go to a museum.” —Kendare Blake, author of Antigoddess and Anna Dressed in Blood on Starry Nights

VOYA, December 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 5) - Pam Carlson
It all began with a wish gone wrong. Aria is recruited to a top troupe of performing elemental artists who use water, earth, and air to create spectacular effects. Aria’s specialty is fire, and her best trick is a fire twin who mirrors her actions. But she has a secret. Unlike the others, including her friends and family, her gift does not come naturally. Unable to perform any longer himself, her desperate father burned fire into her through matches and candles held to her hands night after night. The suffering was useless until Aria figured out a way to steal fire from lightning and direct it straight into her heart. Each theft results in part of her heart being burnt away. Will that illegal step lead to another—using a wish granter to gain fire permanently? If caught, she would face automatic suspension from the troupe and a lifetime ban from performing. After discovering the horrendous consequences of her father’s long-ago wish, she may just risk everything, including a chance at love, to save her family from his abuse. Aria is an intriguing, beguiling teen, moving from stubborn independence to love and fearful daughter to uninhibited teen—a powerful performer driven by her anger. The inclusion of incredibly handsome and sensitive Taj, the wish granter, adds yet another supernatural element to the concept that people might actually be able to control the elements and perform with them. The revelation to Aria of true power makes for a tale that is at times spellbinding. Do not give in to the temptation to read ahead. Reviewer: Pam Carlson; Ages 15 to 18.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—In the not-too-distant future, elemental arts have replaced sports as the world's most popular form of spectator entertainment. Young people gifted with the ability to control fire, ice, earth and wind are recruited into "leagues," whose teams perform extravagant stunts before sold-out crowds. Rare and highly desirable, an elemental gift can be acquired legally, through genetics at birth, or illegally, through a directed lightning strike to the heart or through a wish exchange with a "granter." Aria Kilandros, the daughter of two elemental artists, appears to have inherited no such gift herself. Something her abusive and controlling father, who "want(s) another fire child more than anything in the world," simply cannot accept. Every night, he sets Aria's hands on fire in a cruel, crude attempt to release fire power from her body. Desperate to get away from her father and save herself, Aria uses both illegal methods to become a fire artist. ("No one ever told me that needing to escape is stronger than love, greater than fear. I figured that out on my own, and I channeled it into my fire.") And though her ill-gotten skills do catapult her out of the Florida backwaters and into the prestigious leagues of New York City, Aria's every day is shadowed by the fear that her Faustian bargain will be discovered. The book occasionally sags under the weight of the elemental art world's many rules and regulations. But fantasy readers will root for the smart, tough Aria and be awed by her beautifully articulated and actualized desire for independence.—Susan Wengler, Saint Dominic Academy, Jersey City, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
In a (slightly alternate) world where elemental powers are a ticket to fame and fortune, Aria's scarred hands and powerful fire control set her apart. Aria's drive comes from fear; her life is shadowed by her father's actions three years ago, when he burned her hands to "help the fire come out." Her mysteriously ill mother and arson-inclined, elementally gifted brother were no help then. Now, as her father threatens her younger sister, Aria is determined to use her fire to break free. But her fire does not rise from within; it's created by a wind artist's illegal funneling of lightning into Aria's heart. When the M.E. Leagues recruit Aria, the edifice of lies threatens to fall apart until her desperate need calls forth Taj, a granter, or genie (this year's hot love interest), who can give her natural elemental power. The catch? If she wishes she'll lose Taj, with whom she's falling in love. The premise and back story are new, and the power balance between Aria and Taj (she holds most of the power for much of the novel) reverses the too-common structure until a late-game reversal. But the weakly imagined world comes across as barely there, as do all the secondary characters. And the gator ex machina ending is just insane. A lightweight entry in a microtrend that has stronger entries. (Paranormal romance. 13-16)
Children's Literature - Kate Szegda
Forced to become a fire artist by her father, Aria is able to create dazzling designs with flames that spring from her hands. A standout in Florida, she is recruited by a prestigious League to perform in New York. But Aria does not have the natural gift of fire. Her father says fire will not hurt her; but every time he holds a flame under her palm to ignite her skills, it does not work. Desperate to escape her father’s abuse, Aria learns to steal fire from the sky, a theft punishable by banishment from the Leagues for Aria and her family. In New York, Aria needs a way to renew her fire. She needs a granter, someone who can make wishes come true. But wishes cost; and for League performers, wishes are taboo. Aria falls in love with the charming and handsome granter, Taj. When she learns that Taj was a payment for a wish and that his life is like a genie’s trapped in an empty bottle, she plans to free him from the granter’s life. If she offers herself in payment for the wish, she can rescue Taj. The plan fails. Discovered and banned from the League, Aria returns to Florida. In a showdown with her father, Aria tries to choke him. Although she has the power to kill the man she hates, she cannot do it. In a stroke of poetic justice, an alligator kills Aria’s father. Payment for her wish comes due, and Aria becomes a granter. Because Taj’s heart is true, his wish to set Aria free saves her. A girl’s read, this dark tale is appropriate for older YA fantasy readers. Story elements tie together well; although, the alligator is a stretch. Making good choices in abusive circumstances begs discussion. Reviewer: Kate Szegda; Ages 12 up.

Product Details

Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Daisy Whitney is the author of Starry Nights, The Mockingbirds novels, and When You Were Here. She lives in San Francisco, California with her fabulous husband, fantastic kids, and the two best dogs. She spends her days reporting on television, media, and advertising for a range of news outlets, and her nights writing novels. Daisy earned a degree in art history at Brown University. • @daisywhitney

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

The Fire Artist 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Brilliant! Inventive, and heartwrenching!
valercrazy More than 1 year ago
2.5/5 stars. The Fire Artist is quite the weird book; I wouldn’t say it all good or all bad, it’s just really weird. In this world, there are elemental artists who create beautiful displays and our main character, Aria, is one of them…. Kind of. You see, elements start to show around the age of thirteen but Aria was a late bloomer and she ended up stealing her fire from the skies (more on why in the next paragraph). Naturally, it’s killing her because that is what happens when your best friend (Elise, an air user) has to strike you in the heart with lightening. It’s an intriguing world that they live in.  The reason that Aria steals fire is because her father, a royal douchebag, took a match to her hands for years trying to coax the fire out of her. He promised her that fire doesn’t hurt fire users but that wasn’t true; her hands are scarred from years of torment and it’s really heartbreaking. Her older brother was sent to jail for setting cars on fire which meant that her father put all of his desperation onto Aria. It’s such a recognizable scenario, a parent who lost their dream forces their child into a life that they don’t want and it is just terribly sad. Aria was scared of her father but she tried to be strong because her mother was ill and she wanted to protect her younger sister from his evils. She was a really brave character and I appreciated that fact about her. Her scars run much deeper than her hands and the book talks about that a lot which was hard to read. Aria frequently referenced her trauma and since the author wrote about her abusive father, I was appreciative that she also mentioned her trauma that followed her around.  Aria has taken on so much responsibility to take care of her entire family and all of her actions are taken from that initial foundation that we were given. A series of events occur and she feels like in order to protect her family, she must find a granter (a genie) and ask for the natural gift of fire. Now here is where the real story begins; she meets a granter named Taj and they start to fall for each other. This book honestly isn’t even about her powers; it’s more about the granters. I read this more like Just One Wish than anything else. Things happen and craziest occurs with all of that but spoilers… It was interesting at times but not entirely great as a whole. I felt like this novel was 40% abusive father, 40% genie love/drama, and only 20% fire artist which is odd considering the title…. If you really like genies, I think that this could be the book for you.