Córdova’s “Incendiary” Sets Fantasy Ablaze


Córdova’s “Incendiary” adds an exciting new world to the fantasy genre. (Courtesy of Instagram)

“Flames as large as houses don’t crackle – they roar.”

Renata Convida is a member of a magical race both worshiped and feared, the Moria. As a Robari, she can steal memories from anyone she touches. Whether it’s for good or bad, many want to get their hands on her power. It wasn’t too long ago that she was counting her days as a ward of the King, under the careful care of the palace where she was guarded day and night. After all, Renata was the one to bring about the King’s Wrath, an attack that resulted in thousands of deaths — thousands of Moria deaths. 

Stolen from the palace by rebel spies, Renata becomes a Whisper, one of the many who help Moria escape the kingdom. However, even years of dedication to the resistance cannot shake Renata of the flagrant whispers and glares, rooted in mistrust and blinding hatred. After all, she is a Moria to be feared, a demon that can turn a person “hollow,” empty of everything that makes someone whole. 

Renata is not exactly content in her new way of life but counts her blessings that she was rescued from the crown’s guardianship. That is, until the commander of her unit, the architect of an upcoming undercover assignment, is taken prisoner by the infamous Sangrado Prince leading Renata to be charged with returning to the palace to undertake this mission, a feat that none of the Whispers expect her to return from.  

“Incendiary,” was a world that was unlike anything I had ever read before, set with a magic system and plot that are totally unique. For one, her powers were extraordinary, and I particularly loved how her abilities perfectly fit into the plot. Her abilities challenged both herself and her world, leading to retrospective reflections that Renata had to make about herself. These abilities were used as a device to see her world in many different ways. Especially as her Robari abilities made her both an outcast and a shining commodity. 

Furthermore, it was clear to see that “Incendiary” was a book that was supposed to set up a huge adventure. It was almost eerie how Córdova set up her novel like one would a chessboard. I had no complaints about the pacing of the novel — it neither moved too slow nor too fast in any part. Having the right amount of action and inner monologue, I felt that neither overpowered the other, which made this book skillfully balanced. 

Not only did the plot and magic system stand out, but I found the characters to really resonate as well. Renata’s abilities, while brilliant and powerful, are also incredibly sad. No one trusts her because of what she is capable of, and the one person that does is taken from her. Her motivations from the beginning to the end of the novel are clear, and though they are a bit predictable, they allow readers to sympathize with her. She appeals to her audience with chilling inner monologues, and I found myself rooting for her the entire book. 

The Sangrado Prince, however, truly gave me whiplash from the moment he was introduced to the last few pages of the novel. I love characters like these because it means that there is more to come. His motivations are anything but clear, actually contradictory more times than not. It just made the novel more exciting, the stakes higher.

“Incendiary” not only delivered a unique and extraordinary setting and magic system but also set up a grand adventure nowhere near completed.