Fireblood is the first book in a new series of the same name, it’s dystopian/fantasy and I was very impressed with this introduction to the world of Karm….
Following an apocalyptic, ending of the world as we know it, the world has changed and filled with mutated monsters, viruses and destitution, so a man built a kingdom in which to rule under the guise of safety & protection but he ruled as a tyrant, taking away peoples’ rights to be free, killing those who show signs of virus, restricting peoples’ lives in a way that means to even speak of any unauthorised topics meant death. He created a kingdom based upon Camelot, filled with Knights, a royal court, tournaments and the whole way of life, keeping it under strict control, but with tyranny always comes rebellion and the rebels are mounting an offence that has been years in the making. So when Prince Sebastian – only heir to the throne - chooses a commoner as his bride, the rebellion see opportunity. Zara Dane can’t work out why on earth the prince chose her for his bride, she is just a girl who lives with her father and clones animals for a living but when they take away her father who is showing signs of the virus at the same time that they come to cart her off to the castle she decides to go willingly in hopes she can see her father again, but that quickly become escape plans. Once there though she is assigned a guard, none other than the prince’s own first Knight- Devlan – who although watchful of her, helps her adjust to life at court and dissuades her from fleeing, until she over hears some plans for her that changes her whole view of life in Karm. After being introduced to the Rebels, she finds some startling information, not only about the secrets being kept from the people but also about the members of the rebellion themselves. Being more determined to escape than ever, she begins training for a very important mission that will hopefully lead to not only her freedom but freedom for all, she doesn’t bank on losing her heart in the process…. Will the plans work this time?
So, I really liked this book and it was a great introduction to the series. This is only the second time I’ve read dystopian fantasy and I have to say it’s a lot better than the previous. I find this genre is a bit hard to think of as being a post apocalyptic world because it goes back to a medieval scenario or in this case Camelot, I get why the King wanted to do this because of the society that King Arthur created and people felt this was a successful and peaceful society and in some respects he is all about the safety & protection of his people, that just got warped somewhere along the way but it’s easy to see his intentions. I thought the idea behind that was great and it brought something new to me as a reader although I would have liked to have seen a bit more of the outside than what we got but with this being the first book, there is always a possibility that we will get that. I liked the characters, of course Zara & Devlan are our main characters and I did feel connected to them straight away, I felt the connection to each other from the point they met which always helps pull me into the story. What I liked about Zara most was that whilst she was willing to let things play out, she always had her own mind and wasn’t going to just sit there and be compliant, I liked that she questioned things which is against tradition in their time. I loved the relationship between her & Devlan, it was sweet and tentative, with an innocence about it that was really appealing and out of the two suitors, Devlan would win, hands down. I do like what she tries to do with regards to Sebastian, everyone deserves a fair chance.
The storyline was really good, it is very much a getting to know you and your world and the training sometimes bogged it down a bit but what kept me interested was the promise of action from the rebels & the developing relationship between our two leads. As I said, I like the idea behind this and the intentions in creating Camelot and to be honest, I thought maybe the rebels would make a mistake by changing things considering the purported danger on the outside, I understand the need for free will but I also know that to feel safe is another need and I wasn’t sure if I was convinced by the rebels intentions on some points. The book really took off for me when the rebels came into it, the prequel I had read was great and I was expecting more of the same action but it took it’s time coming, saying that when it did come it was awesome and eventually brought lots of action in the form of battles, rescue attempts, lots of espionage with lots of plots & plans and that added a much needed excitement to the story. I really liked the conclusion and thought it was really fitting, it did feel like the end of a stand alone though so I’m really curious to see where it’s going to go now, this was a great start though.