Friday, July 27, 2012

Book Review: Flame of Surrender: The Flame and Ferryman Book 1

Kaliel is an impulsive Elvin girl whose always getting into trouble and falling behind in her studies. Krishani is an insecure boy who isn't confident in his abilities or himself. They meet, either by fate or by chance and instantly fall in love. But this is no simple love story, even though it looks that way on the surface. That's why it's so intriguing.

Flame of Surrender by Rhiannon Paille (who happens to be a lovely person to follow on twitter, just FYI) asks a simple question; What happens when you fall in love with someone else in a world where that kind of love is forbidden? Can it find its place in the world, or will it be wiped out? Or worse, can that kind of love cause the destruction of their world as they know it?

This was a beautiful little book because it did start out so simply without much more to hook me in than to watch two people figure out what love is, and why they might feel it for someone else. But because we find out early on that this kind of love which is hard enough for us all to figure out on our own is forbidden, it makes it especially hard for the two main characters to navigate that part of themselves along with everything else.

But that simple little love story isn't the only thing going on. Not only do the main characters have to navigate their forbidden love affair, they have to figure out what it means to be special, to be more than the sum of their parts when they don't think very much of themselves to begin with. Kaliel and Krishani must figure out what it means to be a Flame and a Ferryman respectively, both titles carrying with them dire consequences. A deadly enemy is tracking down Flames for nefarious reasons and Ferrymen have heartbreaking duties to carry out.

The book is an easy read and the characters, especially the main two, feel very well lived in and fleshed out. There's not much big and important that happens for the first half of the book, which is not a complaint. It goes along at an easy clip. It's not until the last half where I was truly made aware of what was at stake. From there it barreled along and I hated setting it down. The ending, not to give too much away, is a real humdinger and left me quivering for more.

I do have one little nitpick though, which I'm hoping will be explained away maybe in a later book so I can keep it from eating at my brain. And it is the weirdest, nerdiest nit I've picked in a while. I feel weird for catching it and even making it a full blown thing in my head is how weird this nitpick is. There's a minor character introduced named Melania who talks about her father. I was given to understand that the children in the book were born from the land were found in a field certain times of the year and that the traditional idea of mothers and fathers didn't exist. Also, there's a king that has three daughters and I couldn't get a good sense about why that may be. It could be a logic slip by the author or it could be intentional and explained away in future books. If it's the former, it takes me out of the book a bit and requires me to argue with myself like I just did in this paragraph. If it's the latter, I look forward to the explanation, because I'm a little lost.

Nitpick aside, it's a breezy, entertaining read. B+ (If my nitpick really was a gaff on the author's part)/A- if it'll be explained away later.

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