Friday, 28 February 2014

Fireblood: Trisha Wolfe

A land in turmoil
An evil king plotting
A rebel force assembling
A prince on the cusp…good or bad?
And one girl stuck in the middle of it all
Let the war begin…

In the tradition of dystopian fiction Fireblood is set in a futuristic time where a virus has devastated the human population. One man, a King, has built his own kingdom modelled on the old legends of Camelot, Karm, where those who survive live sheltered by a domed force field from the terrors of the outside. Living within Karm is one Zara Dane, a simple girl who unlike those around her doesn't dream of princes, pretty dresses and a life lived in luxury. Instead Zara craves nothing more than to be with her father and the animals they care for. So when the prince, and next King of Karm, announces his betrothal to Zara a series of events will unfold that will sweep Zara up in an intricate web of lies, deceit and a struggle for power. Zara is about to find herself cast as pawn in the raging battle between King Hart and the Rebels who wish to overthrow him. A storybook fairy-tale this is not. Zara is in the battle of her life…for her life…and the lives of those she holds dear. Failure is not an option….

This novel surprised me, I really enjoyed reading an Arthurian style story with its knights, kingdoms, royalty and secret plots mixed in with a dystopian future. It made for a refreshing read blending the old world-ness of the traditional fairy-tale story with modern dystopian plots. Zara as the protagonist was engaging; she is smart and quick witted with an independent mind. At times she comes across as selfish, focused only on what she wants but I found this to be an appealing trait that is easier to connect with than the self-sacrificing protagonists of most tales. Prince Sebastian was an intriguing and complex character and I have to say I was disappointed not to see more of him or his back story. Just what was life like for him? What happened to make him the man he becomes? Perhaps if the story had been told from his point of view it would have added to the story.

Overall the story flowed nicely with the plot keeping a nice pace so that pieces of the story were revealed to keep the reader on edge for what was to come next. I think what particularly grabs me about this book is the strong female presence, not only is Zara a strong independent woman undertaking a massive tasks but her maid, her best friend, the Rebels leader and other female character show strong independent streaks that can only be praised in YA fiction. The male characters are present but they do not protect they fight alongside the women…standing as equals. The only deterrent from this of course if the strong focus on the romantic side of the story for several characters which somewhat deters me from the story but only because the setting, the characters and the plot where strong enough to stand without the romance aspect. Otherwise however I enjoyed the refreshing mix of Arthurian/dystopian traits. Fireblood has something for everyone; romance, action, adventure, secrets and mystery. Worth the read J


Courtney :)

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