on 21 January 2008
Kate Jacoby is one the best authors I've come across in years, so it still astonishes me that her novels remain on the fringes of popular, main-stream fantasy. The quality of her writing and the scope of her world is far superior to most fantasy authors. Her characterisation is excellent: flawed, fully realised men and women who don't always do and say the right things, who make mistakes and have to live with the consequences. The protagonists are driven by realistic needs and desires and the antagonists have justification for the evil they cause.
Trial of Fire is the culmination of Jacoby's five-book Elita series. While the war between Kenrick's forces and Robert's unfolds, Robert moves ever closer to the final confrontation with Nash, the Angel of Darkness. His relationship with the Ally - Jenn - is fractured by a lie, leaving Robert vulnerable and alone in his fight against his internal demons and the prophecy he refuses to accept. Named as the Enemy, Robert holds the secret to the Word of Destruction - but will he use it and risk destroying everything he loves?
Jackson's epic narrative finds a fitting conclusion in Trial of Fire, and I would highly recommend both the book and the entire Elita series to any lover of the fantasy genre.