I am a big fan of Science Fiction, fantasy, paranormal, and the like. After reading RJ Scott's first book in the The Fire Trilogy series, Kian, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read this book, Darach, as well. The book did not disappoint.
Darach is the main protagonist in this second book. When Kian left to the otherworld (our Earth) in book one, Darach was left behind. Blood brothers with Kian, Darach feels empty and lost without his best friend. Add to the mix that their third blood brother died in a burst of flames when he received his power at 21, and we have the stage set for a journey of longing and reconnection.
Along the way, Darach must seek the help of Ceithin, a Cariad. The Cariad are believed to be savage, a group to be feared. At least that's what Darach was brought up to believe. To associate with a Cariad was equal to committing treason and could easily lead to severe consequences.
So when Darach ignores warnings, following the directives in Kian's journal, he comes into contact with a person who he spent a lifetime learning to avoid. So when sparks of attraction filter into his consciousness, the struggle to unlearn what has been learned becomes a barrier Darach must overcome if he's to accept into his heart what he truly feels and desires.
There were several aspects to this story which I absolutely loved. The language was exquisite. In several places I had to stop and simply re-read a paragraph or a phrase simply because the images evoked were so beautiful and poignant, I couldn't help but marvel at the facility with language and imagery.
The commitment to the world Ms. Scott has created is equally impressive. The reason speculative fiction is my favorite genre is because the author has created something so unique and original that I'm carried into a place of fantasy and imagination. When details conflict or if aspects of the world are left hidden from the reader, it is a disappointment. Far from disappointing, Darach continues the rules and culture established in book 1 with seamless precision. I was drawn right back into the mystical power of the fire within the characters, beginning to associate their personalities with the color of their fire and the power their fire gave them.
The emotions were also brilliantly drawn out. Darach begins his journey struggling against his feelings for Ceithin, but through artful uncovering of thoughts, feelings, and processing, we can truly believe Darach has transformed by the end of the story.
There were two aspects to the story which prevented me from giving it a higher rating. First, a lot was left dangling at the end of the story. While the love story was concluded by the end of this book, there is more to come. Cliffhangers are great, but this was a major cliffhanger. I can't wait to read the next book, but I wouldn't call this a standalone. It is, but not if you want things wrapped up by the end. This will leave you frustrated if you need clean endings.and I prefer them.
Second, and perhaps more significant for me, but not for other readers, was the heat index. While the use of descriptive language and imagery was wonderful in portraying emotions, I found myself wanting the love scenes to last longer. I adored what Ms. Scott did with the love scenes, but there wasn't enough in each scene; heck, I would have loved a few more scenes. The two connect sexually late in the book and when they do, the physical action, something I grew to anticipate and want, didn't go graphic or far enough for me.
Overall, this was a wonderfully crafted story, one which is worth reading. I would recommend reading Kian first so you have some of the world-building stuff as well as the first part of the story, but it isn't necessary to enjoy this book.
Darach Gravenor has the magik of blue Fire. He is alone in his world and he wants to rescue his friend Kian from the horrors of the Other World.
Ceithin Morgan is Cariad. Strong with Ancient magic he teaches Darach that not all children's fairy stories should be believed. Ceithin has his own reasons for helping Darach and shows Darach that there is magic that he never even knew existed.
They are living on borrowed time. Guardian knows what they are doing and he is coming for Ceithin. Darach and Ceithin have two choices -- do they run, or do they make their stand together?
Please note, this book was originally published through Silver Publishing