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Fire in the Mist (Arhel Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
This was Holly Lisle's debut novel and was later followed by two more books that completed this series ("Bones of the Past" and "Mind of the Magic"). She is definitely one of the queens of fantasy and an avid builder of fictional worlds. Her characters are fully dimensional and realistic, and her attention to all detail is commendable. This story in particular is so action-packed and full of innovative dark elements that you will not be able to put it down. As a matter of fact this is one of the few books that I will happily read over and over again, and simply can't give enough praise for.
This novel has a deep and rich magical, environmental, historical and cultural background, all woven together with great skill. The world feel vibrant, from the stuffy mages and sages - the male and female wizards who have split the magical city and university so they do no have to have contact, to the full of decapitating barbarian, the country girl who has never seen a city and so many more in between
The combination of integrating us into this alien world, making friends (and enemies), murders and adventure, I felt the book was perfectly balanced.
Somebody who has never read any fantasy may find it a difficult starter book as the beginning assumes some knowledge of common terminology, but the glossary in the back will get even the least seasoned reader though in no time
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This book is a good, solid fantasy, with a well-realized world and some unconventional plot twists. There are some excellent scenes, both tragic and comic, but the characters are most creative. There is a professor at the college from a truly savage background, though she doesn't wear warpaint while teaching. There's a mage experimenting with winged horses that no sane person would ride. There's a cat with hands who likes to play with matches. There are magic otters, subversive activities, an ancient feud and one small dangerous quest. The story may not have something for everybody, but people who like to see strong women think their way through difficult circumstances will enjoy it
Faia (main charcter) is a simple shepherd girl with wild magic coursing through her veins, but when plague strikes her home town and she returns to find everything and everyone she ever loved dead...
Well lets just say its not pretty. Struck down with despair Faia finds only one other survivor of her home town and together they go off to find a better life.
But that doesn't happen for the mages and sajes of Ariss have tracked her down. Faia is forced to return with the mages to Ariss where the magic that runs through her blood can be controlled.
However Faia doesn't find it easy in her new home, espeacially when murders have been taking place and it could result in war between the two cities of Ariss: Mage Ariss and Saje Ariss.
Its all very exciting and very suspense full and definetly full of suprises. I defintely recomend this book to any fans of "The Secret Texts" trilogy and other readers who enjoy female heroines for a change!
Ariss is divided into two sides - the mages and the sages (men magicians). Absolutely no intermingling with each other. In fact, mages are thrown out if they become pregnant. Hatred runs high between them because of a war that occurred 400 years before that each side blames on the other for starting but no one knows for sure what happened. So there are, as Faia thinks, a bunch of "lonely old virgins" on both sides.
Mages and hedge witches have come up dead in grotesque ways. The mages blame the sages for it, the only solution is war and completely obliterating the sages. Faia and Medwind, the only two mages who had actually had experiences with men, try to stop this war before it starts.
I had read Holly's The Secret Text trilogy and when I saw her name on this book at the used bookstore, I snatched it up. Unfortunately, I let it sit on my shelf for quite some time. But I finally read it last week and am so thankful that I did and am kicking myself for waiting so long. This book is wonderful. I am a romance kind of girl myself, but even though it really doesn't have romance or the HEA ending (other than the whole good triumphing over evil thing), good characters died, and I cried, I loved it. I usually gloss through pages of writing where there are no speaking, but not here. I was completely engrossed, absorbing every single word. So overall, the book is worth the time, is worth the money, and is definitely worth these five little golden stars.
Besides intriguing, realistic characters, is the excellent play of foreshadowing and plot twists.
The mage academy Daane is equally interesting, so is the unfolding history of Ariss, and the magic that exists in this world, as well as the people who wield it.
If there isn't a sequel, I wish there were.
Fire in the Mist is an excellent novel, and I encourage everyone who likes fantasy, originality, and Holly Lisle's other works, to read this one soon.