Sunday, October 30, 2011

Book Review: Flame of Destiny

Flame of Destiny

By:  Colleen Helme

Publisher:  Mundania Press

Publish Date:  January 2011

Format:  Paperback 249pgs, Trade Size

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  1st book of The Flame series

Recommendation:  Oh Yes!  Highly recommended fantasy read, full of action and a magical world.

Book Synopsis:
For Callista, joining the Elite Guard will give her the means to find the murderer who killed her family.  With the sword of her ancestors, she enters the Academy and soon discovers latent powers only heard of in legends.  Her uncanny skills do not go unnoticed, and when her first assignment goes terribly wrong, she is saved by a man whose destiny becomes entwined with her own.  Soon, she is forced to re-consider who her enemies really are.  As her power awakens, she is drawn into a web of deceit that will ultimately shake everything she believes in.  With a new sense of her identity, she must confront a dark evil hidden behind an unspeakable secret.  This evil threatens to destroy her and the man she has come to love.  Will she be strong enough to withstand this power, or will she become the very thing she has sworn to destroy?

First Sentence:
The afternoon sunlight glinted off the crystal stone of her sword, sending a prism of color onto her desk.

My Thoughts and Review:
Callista has spent two years at the academy learning to be one of the Elite Guard hoping to be a stepping stone to bring her closer to finding the one responsible for violently killing her loved family, whom she has vowed revenge on.  She survived taking her family sword with her.  The sword linked with each ancestor who owned it, and now her as well.  Things go array on her first assignment in her trial period with the Elite Guard and Callista faces off with a pack of Shadowbeasts.  Suffering a deadly wound, in more ways than one, Captain Justin shows up saving Callista and helps by taking her to his ship to bandage her up.  There is a stir to the inner magical flame of Callista's since the attack, a darkness appears, and in part of the saving there is a connection with Captain Justin realized.  Callista wonders why the legendary Shadowbeasts have returned now when war is breaking in the North.  Is there a connection?  The research that's done to learn of the Shadowbeasts and protection from, Callista will learn a great deal of herself and family history.

This is another of a wonderful reading streak I'm on.  I really really enjoyed this fantasy read.  It had several of my favorite elements; action and magic along with a great story.  This book captivated me from the beginning and had me flipping pages to see if Callista would be okay, if Justin or anyone will make it in time to help her or at least keep her from serious injuries, and what Callista would get herself into next as she is very good at putting herself in harms way, and now that I think of it so is Justin.

I like the steps we take getting into this world.  Nothing is boring or slow but very well laid out to ease you into a new world in this first book of a series.  Pulls you in quickly and builds from page one.

The magic!  I didn't think there would be much magic here.  But I was pleasantly surprised the further I went into the book.  We start with just a flame present in Callista, and it expands to much more meaning.  From warriors, to healers, to wizards.  Very nicely done and expanded on.  I love the inner flame with Callista and what we learn happening through that magical touch inside.  This flame is the essence of life which all have but only few can tap into and use.

I really liked that the characters are smart.  They can add 1+1 to equal 2.  They don't fight the obvious and do see what's there in front of them.  They don't come up with lame excuses to overlook what is obvious.  I like this as it gets us to more story and moves along faster to other more important items.  Although the characters are stubborn, which can be expected in a book I enjoy. 

I like Callista.  She has a burning anger she pulls from.  Yet as she is quick to temper and anger, she learns to hold herself at times.  Then we have Justin.  Oh, he is more than what meets the eye and you learn this early on in the book.  But, the character he is... he just adds to Callista's fire.  They connect early on, thanks to the inner flame, and grow in friendship through the book.  We have a Healer, Madare, which is kind of a magician type as the book goes.  He is smart and quick.  We have the sword master, Torin which helps explain some of the flame on his side and teaches Callista something new, very cool new.  And we have our thief.  Wonderful fantasy mix.

This was definitely a fantasy read I was needing.  And a definite recommendation to pick it up.  The second book is already out, so I WILL be looking for it very,VERY soon.  The story is complete.  No major cliffhangers at the end.  There are only a few items to carry on with in the next books.  And I want to follow Callista, Justin, and the others along in this series.

If you would like to check out Colleen Helme's site, please do.

I read this book for an honest review from the publisher.

This book qualifies for the Speculative Reading Challenge hosted by Floor to Ceiling Books.


Anonymous said...

"They don't fight the obvious and do see what's there in front of them. They don't come up with lame excuses to overlook what is obvious." Don't you hate it when an author purposely makes characters have atypical dim moments just to make the plot move in a certain direction?

Blodeuedd said...

Lol, I like that too. Characters that can add up things, and can see things. most just seem so stupid

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

StephanieD - I do. I know there are some books it works great in, but it gets old and I like to have smart characters once in a while. And this book did a great job at that. :) Thank you!

Blodeuedd - I know there are books that characters avoid or neglect or are in denial, and it works. But it does get old sometimes. So it was wonderful to enjoy these characters and that they are smart. :) Thank you!

Melliane said...

I'm so difficult with fantasy and Science fiction books... But I confess the synopsis makes me want to read it ! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one so much. The characters sounds interesting, and it's really nice that nothing was boring. I will definitely add it to my wishlist !

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Smart characters and no cliffies? Sounds like a good one. I also love the idea of the flame. This really sounds like a good fantasy read! Brilly review!

Missie, The Unread Reader said...

I'm a fan of characters with a feisty side so I'm sure I'd get along with Callista! Plus, the no cliffy thing won me over!

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Melliane - Fantasy and Sci Fi books can be hard, there are so many different stories and thing in them that some can be loved and some not so much. It really has different feels to it. But I'm really glad you like the synopsis here and adding it to your wishlist. :)

Melissa (Books&things) - Thank you! I really liked the way the author expanded on the flame idea. Very nice! And of course there is room for the book to go on, which book 2 is out, but nothing huge that you rush out for the next book yesterday. ;)

Missie - Oh great! :D Callista is a wonderful character. But you just might like Justin too! ;) hee hee. Very nice young man there. ;) Of course there's room at the end to go on with the next book, which is out, but nothing that makes you feel like you needed the book waiting to dive in. Thank you!