Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Reader's Review: "Fire's Song" by J. E. Mueller


Synopsis from Amazon:

Having already lost and given up everything, Key is determined to find a cure for her curse. With her very touch able to kill, she must seek answers from a distance. In this world, if a curse born dies, then the demons win their soul. Without much more to lose, Key decides to try the last of her luck on a village catered to magic born. Her questions unleash events that take her places she never expected existed.
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My Review:
 
Oh good golly, this book was amazing!
For starters, the unique premise is as eye-catching as anyone would wish: a girl who has to deal with a curse that came through no fault of hers. We’ve all seen the stories where a person is cursed as a consequence of their actions or choices, but Key’s soul was promised to a demon before she was even born. The trouble was, the deal was never sealed, so she is cursed with a deadly, out-of-control fire that causes her and others nothing but pain, a terrible reality she can never escape.
The ensuing story is a genuine pleasure, one where Key searches for answers while feeling like she needs to hide her dastardly past, and feeling isolated from everyone because anyone who touches her dies. She searches for meaning at the same time she craves understanding, and there aren’t many places she gets those things. To make matters worse, no sooner does she find a place where she can be accepted, safe, and loved, than that place is under threat from a force intent on destroying her and anyone else like her.

I loved the wide variety of characters this story introduced. Mueller manages to make each one of them fascinating and important enough to leap off the page in vivid “Technicolor”: not just Lee and Juni, but also Tella, Celia, Leia, Kegan, and Zarek, David, Jamison, Sandra… the fact that I can still remember the names and picture favorite scenes for them all is testament enough that these characters are stellar examples of how to use words to bring characters to life in the minds of readers!
The plot itself was neither over-complicated nor straightforward. Key has a singular goal: try to find a way out of her curse. But those around her, like the magic-wielding citizens of Faraden, each have their own unique wants and goals, and some of those might turn out to be obstacles to Key’s goal. Speaking of magic-using, I love the unique flavors and limitations Mueller put on her characters: one might see into the future, but only a week at a time; another person could run really fast, and had the ability to see supernatural beings like ghosts, angels, and demons—and speaking of which, the balance between Cursed magic (like what Key suffers with) and Blessed magic was both brilliant and well-tempered, excellent execution of an intriguing concept. The reveals came at just the right moments so that it was pertinent to the situation at hand, but not so much that it felt like getting an “info-dump.”

These are just a few of the reasons I enjoyed FIRE’S SONG, and they also provide reasons why I will most likely pick up the sequel, SPIRIT’S LULLABY, at the next available opportunity. Of course, this book earns a full *****5 STARS***** and furthermore, I endorse it with an Upstream Writer Certified DEFINITELY RECOMMENDED. Mueller has done a fantastic job creating a marvelous world with a host of characters I wouldn’t mind revisiting again and again!

Further Reading: (Fantasy/Excellent Worlds/Wonderful Heroines)

The Untamed Series--Madeline Dyer
       -Untamed
       -Fragmented
The Vemreaux Trilogy--Mary E. Twomey
       -The Way
       -The Truth
       -The Lie
-Sky Knight--Sandra Harvey
The Red Dog Conspiracy--Patricia Loofbourrow
       -Jacq of Spades
-Songstruck--Sofia Black 
-A Spell in the Country--Morgan Smith
-The Seventh Crow--Sherry D. Ramsey 
The Fair Folk Chronicles--Jeffrey Cook and Katherine Perkins
        -Foul is Fair
        -Street Fair
        -A Fair Fight
        -All's Fair 
The Firebird Fairy Tales--Amy Kuivalainen
       -The Cry of the Firebird
Spirit Knights--Lee French
       -Girls Can't Be Knights
       -Backyard Dragons 
Lord of the Wyrde Woods--Nils Visser
     -Escape From Neverland
     -Dance Into The Wyrd
Talented Series--Amy Hopkins
     -Dream Stalker
     -Barrow Fiend