Monday, October 26, 2009

Review: Flesh and Fire by Laura Anne Gilman

From acclaimed bestselling author Laura Anne Gilman comes a unique and enthralling new story of fantasy and adventure, wine and magic, danger and hope....

Once, all power in the Vin Lands was held by the prince-mages, who alone could craft spellwines, and selfishly used them to increase their own wealth and influence. But their abuse of power caused a demigod to break the Vine, shattering the power of the mages. Now, fourteen centuries later, it is the humble Vinearts who hold the secret of crafting spells from wines, the source of magic, and they are prohibited from holding power.

But now rumors come of a new darkness rising in the vineyards. Strange, terrifying creatures, sudden plagues, and mysterious disappearances threaten the land. Only one Vineart senses the danger, and he has only one weapon to use against it: a young slave. His name is Jerzy, and his origins are unknown, even to him. Yet his uncanny sense of the Vinearts' craft offers a hint of greater magics within — magics that his Master, the Vineart Malech, must cultivate and grow. But time is running out. If Malech cannot teach his new apprentice the secrets of the spellwines, and if Jerzy cannot master his own untapped powers, the Vin Lands shall surely be destroyed.

In Flesh and Fire, first in a spellbinding new trilogy, Laura Anne Gilman conjures a story as powerful as magic itself, as intoxicating as the finest of wines, and as timeless as the greatest legends ever told.

Received from the publisher for review.

This one gets three stars. It didn't really do much for me. I found the character names a bit difficult, not Tolkien difficult, but different enough to disrupt the flow of reading. The story itself was okay, but left me vaguely unimpressed. The violence in the story wasn't for me either. I also found the thinly veiled religiosity of the "Sin Waster" a bit off putting. I just felt that overall it was a good book, but just not for me. Someone who reads fantasy on a regular basis may find it a bit more engrossing.

★★☆☆ = Liked It


Ryan G said...

Seems that all the reviews of this book tend to be either really positive or so-so. One of these days I will pick this up if I see it in the stores.

Anonymous said...

I loved this book. I finished it last night, and I found the world detailed and complete and the characters compelling.

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