A fairly recent trend in publishing is to create "trailers" for novels. Here is the full trailer for the Twenty Palaces books, created by Wyrd Films.
Sunday, January 8, 2012
CHILD OF FIRE: AN URBAN FANTASY NOVEL BY HARRY CONNELLY
Child of Fire is an Urban Fantasy novel that has been “on my radar” for some time now. “Excellent reading…delicious tension and suspense”, Jim Butcher author of the Dresden Files Novels is prominently featured on the cover, and even though this is my current favorite author and series, I still did not purchase Child of Fire. What was my hesitation to read Child of Fire? The main protagonist Ray Lilly was clearly a former criminal and from my minimal research, did not seem like a particularly likeable character. I’m not a fan of the anti-hero; and yet Child of Fire still intrigued me.
Finally, after more than two years from its original publication date, I bought and read Child of Fire by Harry Connolly. I was right that Ray Lilly, Child of Fire’s main character was not your standard “hero”, but it turns out that he is fairly likeable.
The novel starts with Ray driving his “boss” Annalise Powliss on a mission to find the cause of children missing from the small town of Hammer Bay, Washington. Ray is a “wooden man” assigned to Annalise , who is an agent of the Twenty Palace Society – a group of sorcerers that hunt down and kill other users of magic. Ray, a former car thief, is released from prison by the Twenty Palace Society for the sole purpose of acting as a sort of body guard and servant to Annalise. When they arrive at Hammer Bay, no one in town remembers the missing children and it quickly becomes apparent that magic is the key to their disappearance.
The tone of Child of Fire is very “noir”, but the action and mystery elements keep the story from bogging down and becoming too morbid – despite the many deaths of both the innocent and guilty. The magic in Child of Fire is very different from most other Urban Fantasy novels, in that it involves the use of written spells, as opposed to the usual verbal ones. Not much time is spent on either explaining the magical rules or the origins of the Twenty Palace Society that Ray and Annalise work for. This causes a bit more work for the reader than I’m used to, but it works for Child of Fire in that it forces you to focus on the plot at hand and work out the magical rules for yourself.
The sequel to Child of Fire, Game of Cages was published last year, and I’ve already bought this – with plans to read it in the coming months. If I like that as much – and hopefully more – than the first novel, then I will more than likely buy and read the third novel, Circle of Enemies – published in August of 2011 – as well.
TECHNICAL: Plot – 9 Characters - 8 Style - 9 World building – 9 Big Finish - 9
VISCERAL: Imagery – 9 Creativity – 9 Intellectual – 8 Emotional – 9 Involvement -9
TOTAL RATING: 88