Pawn of Mine by Tabitha Vale

The world never ended in fire and ice. The people were consumed by it and now control the elements. The Fires have harnessed the power down to an art while the Waters cower in fear of their abilities, remaining weak and hopeless. Seventeen-year-old Sage Sinclair hopes to dispel the weakness of her Water people because she knows that if she doesn’t do anything, no one will. When she discovers something special about herself, she seeks Humble Narcissist Ruler Agni in the great fire city, Saint Firefly. Once she gains his seal of approval, she’s admitted into Erra Academy where she secretly sparks a revolution among her ennui peers—a revolution to fight back against the Fires. She has every hope in her movement, just as long as her feelings for a handsome and frivolous Saffron Larkspur don’t get in the way—that, and Agni’s sudden fascination with her

I found this story interesting because of the unique take it took on fire vs water, with the addition of a powerful magic of stars. I have not read anything with a similar idea, although I have read a lot of books about teens in a special school honing their powers. This one found a good twist to it that I found enjoyable.
In this story from the blurb I was hoping for a little more action sequences, but the "sparks of revolution" includes a lot of planning and decision making more than fighting. The story is told heavily (but not 100%) with dialogue. Most of it being between Sage and Zane. So they are the ones that really drive the story.
As they prepare for the revolution, there is a sense of unity and friendships that form. Sage becomes a great leader and has a sense of feeling guilty about how even doing something for the greater good, there will always be innocents that could get hurt in a time of war. In that way she seems to think through her actions very carefully and carefully.
When we do get some fantastic action scenes, there is a focus on fire vs water. As this is what the school specializes in. They look at the tattoos of the students when they first enter the school (each person has one that wraps around their upper chest and shoulders) From these tattoos they can also tell alot about the person and the powers they may have. So fighting with these elements is a main theme, and with the combination of using stars as well, it makes for a good and fun read.
It's got a great female lead character that is intelligent and a fighter. I think that the end of the story was my favorite. I had a great time imagining them fighting with the water. I rate this one 4 stars.
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