- Paperback: 312 pages
- Publisher: Jabberwocky Literary Agency, Inc. (September 16, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1625671423
- ISBN-13: 978-1625671424
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 72 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,291,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Fire's Stone Paperback – September 16, 2015
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About the Author
Tanya Huff may have left Nova Scotia at three, and has lived most of her life since in Ontario, but she still considers herself a Maritimer. On the way to the idyllic rural existence she shares with her partner Fiona Patton, six cats, and a chihuahua, she acquired a degree in Radio and Television Arts from Ryerson Polytechnic—an education she was happy to finally use while writing her Smoke novels. Of her previous twenty-three books, the five—Blood Price, Blood Trail, Blood Lines, Blood Pact, Blood Debt—featuring Henry Fitzroy, bastard son of Henry VIII, romance writer, and vampire are among the most popular.
Top customer reviews
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I would say it inherits their wry wittiness, has similar elements of adventure and danger, and a nice slow-burn 'will they, wont they', but it just doesn't have the same depth or follow through. The world building is okay...the author provides a lot of detail for some things and none for others. The character development is a little rocky. Some things I got slapped in the face with; Aaron needs to be alright with being bi-sexual. Darvish needs to stop drinking. Chandra needs to gain some humanity. But the more nuanced issues that the characters work through get muddy.
The third person omniscient is both satisfying and annoying. I love getting everyone's perspective in a novel, but in this, the author jumps around kind of wildly. To me, the relationship between the three MC's suffers for it. We hear so much about what they are thinking and feeling, but they actually communicate very little. By the end it left me wondering when they developed the bond they seem to have.
Everything has a place though, and it is the perfect book if you know what you want and what you are in for.
I had just read The Foxhole Court and needed a break before its likely more intense followup, The Raven King. I needed an neutral palate cleanser. Something fun, nice and easy to read that would give me a breather before I headed back to the dark, heavy-hitting novels I like to read. That is exactly what this book is.
However, one of my biggest gripes was with the editor/publisher: the grammar was nonstandard (albeit consistent, so I will give it that), with a very literal implementation of commas. Many sentences lacked a comma where one would do wonders in helping readability and understanding it. Furthermore, there were a number of mistakes with quotation marks. It's silly because I usually gloss over editing mistakes (I am NOT a good editor), but I found these especially jarring. In those time, I was distracted from reading to figure out where the speaker stopped speaking.
As for the writing, I found myself absolutely in love with all the characters, not just the main characters, but all the side characters who had storylines invested in them. Aaron's transformed from self-despising quiet kid who waits for the embrace of death, into a boy who cries about his failings but can admit them to himself, and it incredibly real. Too many stories have troubled characters that magically become better at the end. Not here, with Aaron still struggling to embrace liking men, with Darvish having to live as a recovering alcoholic, even to the end.
I do question some of the motivations the author chose. In particular, there seemed to be a disconnect between Aaron struggling to accept that he liked men and his issues with Ruth. In particular, the way that it was phrased suggested he slept with Ruth, hence why she was killed, yet if he liked women, I can't see him struggling with liking men as much. He should be able to, at least somewhat, bury those feelings as he has an alternative. It's completely possible Ruth was just an outlier, that her emotions appealed to Aaron, but as a writer and reader, I feel like this was a poor choice by the author. It could have cemented the primary conflict in Aaron so much more if Ruth was simply a man, and perhaps instead of being killed for sleeping with Aaron, he was killed for sleeping with a man. Aaron could still have felt responsible because perhaps they became friends and confided in each other. Aaron's father could still have made Aaron to run away by making him watch as "Ruth" was punished.
Like I said, the chosen story for Ruth is fine, but it doesn't resonate with me, as a reader or writer.