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- Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
It's hard to describe everything that's going on in the novel, because it has a complex plot with a lot going on at once. It reads like an epic fantasy, with multiple main characters, but is more tightly written than most epic fantasies, fitting nicely into one (admittedly rather long) book. If you enjoyed the complexity of epic fantasies but could never make it through multiple 700+ page books, you'll definitely enjoy this book.
The gist of it is that Firefly island is divided up into four distinct races (and countries). Each race has its own distinctive look and ability. One race is telepathic, one can manipulate stone, one can heal, and the last can (I think) turn into animals. Each race has a "firechild". One firechild is born every 100 years, and the firechild is gifted with abilities far above the other members of their race. Fireflies glow with a particular color when a firechld is alive, so, say, when there are four living firechildren, fireflies come in four different colors.
So that's kind of the background. The plot of the novel is fairly simple -- one firechild has set himself up as king over his people, and has turned himself into stone. No one can hurt him -- except the Esiren (telepathic) firechild, who can make him feel what she's feeling, so he can't kill her. When the fireflies indicate the Esiren firechild has been born, the king sends his son (Prince Lale) to slaughter all the Esirens, in the hopes of killing the firechild through sheer dumb luck, I guess (there's nothing physically by which you can differentiate a firechild from a regular person). Anyhow, one way or another, Prince Lale manages to get the whole island embroiled in war, and the book tells the stories of the four firechildren and a few secondary characters as they try to protect their homelands and kill the evil king.
The world Mr. Arenson has written is complex and deep. He's clearly put a lot of thought into it. The plot is efficient and masterfully timed, with few extraneous scenes. A few well placed flash backs contribute to plot and character development without revealing too much. Most of the characters are well fleshed out and not annoyingly powerful. The battle scenes are gory, but don't revel in it, and a few unexpected twists kept me turning the pages.
My (few) problems with the book are how easily some of the characters, previously untrained in fighting, defeat seasoned warriors. And while most the characters are enjoyable, the book flags a bit when focusing on Aeolia, the Esiren firechild. She possesses a curious sort of self-centered insecurity (All these people died for ME and I'm not worth it) which I found rather grating. Similarly, the few instances of romance were somewhat awkward, and the sooner they were over, the better.
If I could give the book 4.5 stars, I would, since overall it was extremely enjoyable. If you enjoy fantasy at all, particularly epic fantasy, it's definitely worth picking up.