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Spirit of Fire

   (2 reviews)

With a life that is almost painfully normal and unremarkable, 16 year old Torsten has no reason to believe in anything out of the ordinary. Then, a series of cryptic events throws him beyond the boring familiarity that he knows, into the mystery and magic of reality unmasked.

Copyright © 2017 Stellar; All Rights Reserved.

Story Recommendations (3 members)

  • Action Packed 3
  • Addictive/Pacing 2
  • Characters 3
  • Cliffhanger 2
  • Smoldering 1
  • Tearjerker 1
  • Unique 3
  • World Building 3

  • Like 24
  • Love 6
  • Haha 1

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ChillFire

   1 of 1 member found this review helpful 1 / 1 member

While out exploring a cave nearby his house, Torsten finds some sort of football-sized egg. What the hell kind of animal could lay an egg that big? Suddenly, it hatches, and out comes… a baby dragon??

Looks like Torsten’s life is about to take an unexpected turn. 

What I Loved

The deep lore behind the world. For fantasy, this is essential! 

Several action-packed scenes featuring cool dragon fights.

Spoiler

I found Araziah acting essentially like a tsundere at times quite amusing, haha. Except that one time he went a bit too tsundere and killed Theo. How did Lucy describe him, again? “Like something out of a fuckin’ anime?”

Stories featuring the main character in a polyamorous relationship are not my thing. (Don’t get me wrong, though – I have no issues with people who engage in that type of stuff!) That being said, I have no issue with how Torsten, Sebby, and Araziah worked out. In fact, I loved it - the setup for the throuple was perfect! Though, I wonder why Sebby and Araziah’s ingrained “adverse reaction” never happened…

I did not foresee Torsten becoming the Seer. (Sorry.)

Nice connection between the ending and the beginning (“My name is Torsten and I am witnessing the end of the world”, paraphrased). Didn’t catch that until a re-read!

What Could’ve Been Better

Sometimes the obligatory lore info dump scenes were a bit dry.

Just a small nitpick that probably doesn’t really matter: I wonder why the school or local government aren’t getting worried about the main characters missing so many days of school, haha. This is a common thing I’ve noticed in ‘magical’ stories featuring teenagers, so it isn’t necessarily unique to Spirit of Fire.

Spoiler

About the ending… Without sugar-coating things, I was let down by the ending. I get that Spirit of Fire is being set up to have a sequel or perhaps to become a trilogy like Aspects of Dawn. However, I was really hoping for something much more conclusive rather than the gigantic cliffhanger that the novel ends on. (My distaste for this type of ending stems from the fact that there is never a guarantee that a sequel will be released. I’ve been stung by this before... Can you tell?) There must be a way to provide some sort of closure, but at the same time, leave some plot threads open for a sequel. Or, just publish the entire two/three/however many parts together, maybe?

Miscellaneous Thoughts

Baby dragons sound really cute. Minus the scratches, bleeding, and claw marks that will inevitably happen. Though, now that I think about it, in that state they’re not much different than a cat…

I really hope that none of the primary characters die in the next book. (I mean, I think it is a given that at least one person will die… It’s a Stellar novel, after all. But still!)

Man, I want to fly on a dragon after reading this. It sounds really fun.

Spoiler

Theo’s sudden death shocked me. I honestly thought that things would somehow “work out” and that he would be the one for Torsten!

Verdict

Spirit of Fire isn’t a story that I’d usually consider reading, with all the shapeshifting and whatnot. But, since it was written by Stellar, I decided to take a chance on it. And I’m glad I did! The story is thoroughly enjoyable and is a great read for any fan of the fantasy genre.

4 stars.

Response from the author:

Thank you very much!

There's a lot of love for Spirit of Fire in your review, and I appreciate it all. Not much for to say other than some mildly spoilery responses, that I shall include below.

Spoiler
  • Lucy's description of Araziah was talking about his appearance (his hair, specifically) as being anime-similar. His personality was meant to be the fire archetypal might-makes-right and I'm-the-strongest, but that does land quite heavily near 'tsundere' when there's a tacked-on interest in humans.
  • I never originally intended to make the 'OTP' into a threesome! Polyamory doesn't generally work for me either -- I prefer the traditional duo pairing -- but Sebby's character sorta shoe-horned himself into the romantic subplot and it became baked in and canonical.
  • lore dumps being dry is a fair call, and even as the author, there wasn't always a better way of doing this, so it just kinda ... happens, sometimes. Organically developing exposition to just reveal as required is very tricky, especially when there's quite a volume of it.
  • re: the teenagers missing school. I want to refute this! Just about every time it might be an issue in Spirit of Fire, it's explicitly or implicitly taken care of by the adults who are relevant to the situation; i.e. parents of Torsten and Lucy. Basically they haven't missed enough school in one go for it to matter, and in Torsten's case, his mother does end up realising that Torsten's position in the whole dragon-apocalypse scenario sorta takes precedence.
  • I've been hit with the 'no guarantee there'll be a sequel' hammer before, and all I can say is this: I have no control over the expectations of other people, and this book was never meant as anything other than the tale of Araziah's fraught ascent into godhood, and how Torsten ended up witnessing (and causing) it from his unique perspective. The following work -- and there will be one -- was always planned as a discrete second-half that will resolve and provide closure for everything in the first, and to be both written and published in a single run. Judge me on my merits, not on the failings of others -- and certainly not on Gabe Newell's memetic sequel-creating aspirations. So while I am certainly regretful that the ending wasn't as well received as I'd have liked, I am quite unapologetic about the format leading to something much larger.
  • Theo's death was also planned from the start! I think a lot of people assumed that was the 'ship, when I never meant for it to sail anywhere. Friendly warning not to get too attached to any characters I create.

Baby dragons are delightful, but problematic in the same way it is to own a tiger as a pet. Beautiful, but deadly. Also, not meant to be owned as a pet at all, and may one day decide to eat you.

In any case, I am happy you found such enjoyment in my work, and I thank you for your recommendation!

  • Like 1
  • Love 1
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Avaloch

   1 of 3 members found this review helpful 1 / 3 members

I have been eagerly following this story from the start, waiting for a new chapter to be uploaded as soon as I read the one just uploaded.

 

The plot, characters, lore and writing are delightfully stellar (pun intended). This story just left me feeling the void left behind, like those you get after reading a fantastic book.

 

This is an absolute must read for fans of the fantasy genre.

  • Like 1
  • Love 2
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