Friday, October 25, 2013

Children of Fire-Drew Karpyshyn

Title: Children of Fire
Author: Drew Karpyshyn
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Format & Pages: Hardcover, 488
Publication: Del Rey, 2013
Source: Borrowed
“Drew Karpyshyn has made his mark with imaginative, action-packed work on several acclaimed videogames, including Mass Effect and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, as well as in a succession of New York Times bestselling tie-in novels. Now Karpyshyn introduces a brilliantly innovative epic fantasy of perilous quests, tormented heroes, and darkest sorcery — a thrilling adventure that vaults him into the company of such authors as Terry Goodkind, Brandon Sanderson, and Peter V. Brett.

Long ago the gods chose a great hero to act as their agent in the mortal world and to stand against the demonic spawn of Chaos. The gods gifted their champion, Daemron, with three magical Talismans: a sword, a ring, and a crown. But the awesome power at his command corrupted Daemron, turning him from savior to destroyer. Filled with pride, he dared to challenge the gods themselves. Siding with the Chaos spawn, Daemron waged a titanic battle against the Immortals. In the end, Daemron was defeated, the Talismans were lost, and Chaos was sealed off behind the Legacy — a magical barrier the gods sacrificed themselves to create.

Now the Legacy is fading. On the other side, the banished Daemron stirs. And across the scattered corners of the land, four children are born of suffering and strife, each touched by one aspect of Daemron himself — wizard, warrior, prophet, king. Bound by a connection deeper than blood, the Children of Fire will either restore the Legacy or bring it crashing down, freeing Daemron to wreak his vengeance upon the mortal world.”

Children of Fire is a story about the children that embody one part of Daemron’s soul and what their lives are like. The prologue is very enlightening, as it describes how these children came to possess these characteristics as well as why there are four children instead of just one. Proceeding from there we meet the children, two boys and two girls, each born to the death of a parent or parents.

Over the course of the novel we follow each of the children as they grow up. Often they are followed by horrific events or trauma. Every time we switch point of views, the children usually age a few years. This keeps the pace of the novel going and makes it less tedious. It was also very easy to tell which child possessed which part of Daemron’s soul.

I found the general premise of the children deciding the future of mortals rather interesting, but the novel fell flat for me. The point of view changed too often for me to really get to know any of the characters. None of the children was particularly endearing. I didn’t want to read about any of them over the other and fell into skimming. I did find that as the children got older I started to enjoy the piece more. The action picked up and their lives became more intertwined.

The world in which the story is set was well thought out. The politics, religion, and general geography were thoughtfully put together. The whole of the novel has some very creative elements that kept me reading even though I was not invested in the characters. It was too late to really make me enjoy the piece, though, as I was already bored out of my skull. While the idea of the novel was good and the prose was pleasant enough, it just did not resonate with me in the least.

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