A brutal story of power, betrayal, and guilt, Children of Fire sets the table for what looks to be a decent series. It starts simple enough, introducing the main characters one by one through their births. It can be confusing for somebody with a fleeting mind (like me) as so many characters are introduced, but through attrition, manipulation, and of course magic – the characters start to come together. Things get a little easier to follow once most of the “heroes” are together and they follow a single storyline.
The characters aren’t perfect, both inside and out, and the adventure definitely takes its toll on both.
The story is a little slow paced to start but really picks up by the end of the book.
If the first book is any indication, the remainder of the series will be full of twists, turns, and of course brutal violence.
Hero meets anti-hero in a fast paced tale of action and adventure.
Hadrian is our hero, a somewhat naive… killing machine? Turns out his father taught him to be a fantastic swordsman capable of amazing killing efficiency.
Royce is our anti-hero, a jaded thief who finds the simplest solution to any problem is to kill it dead, twice over.
Together they embark on an adventure – to settle a debt each owes the same man.
Of course, nothing is ever as it seems, and the adventure is nothing more than a ruse to make the two “opposites” learn about each other, in the hopes both turn out somewhere in the middle at the end of it all. There is the hint that they will be needed in the future, and both will need to improve their skills to face the challenges that lie ahead.
Aside from the obvious issue of the “naive hero” being a ruthless killing machine, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
It does a good job of introducing the major characters with enough left to the imagination to keep you wanting more.
I had a hard time putting this book down, its very well paced and well written, and left me wanting more.
Reading this book reminded me of reading an older, golden age comic book – but not the kind full of heroes with wondrous powers. Instead, it conjured memories of The Phantom, The Lone Ranger, and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. In fact, many of the heroes we meet are of the famous (and infamous) variety.
While not always featured in the book, several characters are introduced that awaken your imagination of the era in which the story is set.
Bram Stoker (and Dracula). Jack the Ripper. Einstein’s father. Indiana Jones’ grandfather!
Together with the young protagonist Gideon Smith, a strong willed fisherman’s son, from a fishing village out in the sticks, the author weaves a quick-paced tale that reads like an old pulp fiction.
Its a fast paced tale that intertwines magic and steampunk themes, and it does it fairly well.
Gideon finds himself on a mission to find help from a renowned adventurer, Captain Lucian Trigger. Along the way he befriends allies and adventurers alike, learning about himself and what it means to be a hero.
Its a very quick read, but it was throughly enjoyable.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
Thanks for reading!