Ahoy there me mateys!
fire logic (Laurie J. Marks)
This was a very interesting complicated fantasy novel. At its heart is the relationship between Zanja and Karis – both elementals. Of fire and earth specifically. The other elementals are of course air and water. The magic of the world was actually fascinating. The people who have magical skills are rare. There does seem to be structure to the magic but the personal consequences to the wielder are harsh at best and do not always make life easy. After reading this novel I wanted to know more about the structure and found a great explanation by the author.
This novel did take some time to get into and did not really hit its stride for me until about a 1/3 of the way through. The character Zanja is what kept me interested. Just the horrible things that she experiences and how she survives and reacts is worth the read. The friendship and love between her and Karis is unusual in both its beginnings and how it progresses through the novel. The politics of a fallen country and the fighting was not interesting to me in and of itself but only because of Zanja’s part in it.
The take on gender, race, and sexuality was particularly nice. The characters have varying sexual preferences just as “real” folk do and come in a variety of genders and races. Overall however the author is just writing about people who happen to have lovers of the same sex or dark skin or whatever. The descriptions seem to have no judgment to them at all. Just seemingly “real” people living and experiencing life. Lovely.
Apparently this book is one of a quartet. It felt like a stand-alone novel to me. I am not opposed to reading the other books but would be satisfied if this is the only part of the story I ever get.
Amazon has this to say about the novel:
The martial Sainnites have occupied Shaftal for fifteen years. Every year the cost of resistance rises. Emil, an officer and scholar; Zanja, a diplomat and last survivor of her people; and Karis, a metalsmith, half-blood giant, and an addict, can only watch as their country falls into lawlessness and famine. Together, perhaps they can change the course of history.
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