Fantasy Romance Epic.
The city is crumbling beneath a mountain of indulgences. Its soldiers find entertainment in the beds of the castle’s servants rather than fight, believing they are safe from the deadly embrace of wielders. Wars are fought to encourage otherwise absent mortality, and countless citizens suffer the terrible pangs of nalka – the hunger for intimacy. All the while, Cadra’s king concerns himself with choosing which of his disappointing concubines to execute next. The duty falls upon his son, Morghiad, to restore the city’s strength and the army’s purpose. As Morghiad attempts to do just that, he uncovers darker horrors and encounters a young servant who could either be his greatest ally or his greatest hindrance.
City of Blaze is a story of changing allegiances, self-control and love.
Includes glossary of terms
Blurb and cover from Goodreads
4 out of 5 stars
It’s no secret I’ve fallen behind on my reviews, but I read this baby last autumn and it’s taken me this long to tell you lot about it. (Yes, I’m a horrible blogger. Bad me.)
I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I started the book. I grabbed it under the old cover (without the seminude man) because it was Epic Fantasy and it was free for Kindle and that combination is like a siren song to me. It sat around on my Kindle for Lord knows how long before I read it, but once I did, I got involved, I got emotional, I became invested. Next thing you know, I’m buying the second book, the third book. I’ve never read anything quite like this and it got its hooks in my brain.
The thing to be aware of when reading this is that it truly is an epic. The tale spans several years and takes us through a great deal of character development. The book takes commitment to finish, but I found it exceptionally worth it. Not to mention the world building and the rules of the world are about as original as I have seen. It was so different, so thought out, it’s pretty much impossible not to be impressed.
I’ll admit I was kind of stumped about this for a while. My inner editor was trying to identify the exact plot and I couldn’t, so I just stuffed my inner editor into a cupboard and decided to enjoy the story.
It might seem like the plot meanders a bit, but I actually didn’t mind. There was plenty of action and I got hooked on the romance, though I’m going to take that opening and tell everyone that this is not Young Adult. There were some pretty intense lead-ups to sex scenes and I’m going to assume those parts of the scenes were also intense because I still maintain my practice of sex-scene-skipping. (Yes, I’m nearly 20 and still do that, shut up.)
I wasn’t quite sure what to make of Artemi at first. I was certain that I wasn’t going to like her because in general if a girl is playing two different men at once (which she kind of did, but kind of didn’t), I tend to get upset. However, we ended up getting along quite nicely and I really want to ask the author on where her name came from.
As for Morghiad, I think we can safely say that he has joined the ranks of my babies (a hypothetical collective of fictional characters over which I am viciously protective). He seems to have this masochistic belief that he’s horrible, which doesn’t go away—at least not in the first two books. But he’s a sweet chap overall, so we’ll cut him a break.
This review is running a bit long, but I just want to mention Silar—whom I didn’t like at first, but who grew on me. There are also several different antagonists who provide varied amounts of antagonization at different parts of the story and the book has an open ending—which is code for “cliffhanger,” so be ye warned.
Looking back, I’m not really sure what I loved most about this book. I finished reading and the characters kept bouncing around in my head until I broke down on downloaded the sequel. I truly did enjoy this and am very excited to see what lies in store for the series.
P.S. It’s free on all eBook venues I’ve checked!
Find City of Blaze on Goodreads
sherry fundin said:
Great review, Elisabeth. I think most of us are behind on our reviews. LOL
It’s kind of a law of nature, isn’t it?
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sherry fundin said:
Got it. It sounds like the characters sell it and I’m so good with that. 🙂
Anna from Elements of Writing
They certainly did. 🙂 I’m about 70% through the third book and freaking out because I know something horrible is about to happen.
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