Author: Marc Johnson
Publisher: Longshot Publishing
Published: March 19. 2011
Source: Received from the author
in exchange for an honest review
Read: November 4-7 2012
In A Few Words: Action packed
My Rating: 3 Stars
Goodreads: Add This Book to Your TBR Shelf
Far from home, Alexandria’s princess is abducted. When a young villager named Hellsfire stumbles upon her and her captors, he rushes in to rescue her, alone and unarmed. His fear and fury unleash an uncontrollable magical force that grants him the power to save the princess—and change the world.
Hellsfire has never craved nor dreamed of power. But such magic as he now possesses has not been seen in Northern Shala for a thousand years, since the devastation of the War of the Wizards and the creation of the Wastelands.
Now Hellsfire must leave all he’s ever known, and make a dangerous journey to learn to master this wild, ferocious power—power he knows he is not ready to wield. More difficult still, he needs to master his emotions. If he can’t, the power will consume him, Alexandria will fall, and darkness will eclipse the land, destroying everyone he loves.
In the dead of cold, the spark shall burn...
I must admit that I don't often read a lot of fantasy novels so I was a little hesitant to give it a try.
The story starts out with Hellsfires' birth and the prophecy that he will do great things. There isn't a great deal of backstory given about his family or this prophecy, which I found to be disappointing. Then he comes into his powers, and his mother sends him on a journey to seek out the "angel" that prophecied his great skills. This angel is really a wizard named Stradus.
The good thing about this story is that there is a lot of action. Each chapter begins with a string of action and it's very consistent throughout. There are a few spots where the book drags on, but it usually picks up again within a few pages.
One thing I didn't care for was the main characters' name, Hellsfire. It felt very cliche to me, especially since his power and control laid in fire. I think it could have been something different. Or, if continuing down the unusual name route, the character shouldn't have named his love interest Krystal, since that isn't quite as unusual as the other characters like Sharald, King Furlong, and Stradus.
My favorite character was actually Cynder, the dragon. He kept the story light and filled with banter exchanges between himself and Hellsfire which I really enjoyed.
There are some inconsistencies and minor details that bothered me as I was reading. In one scene in the beginning of the story Hellsfire ends up burning a bully, Nathan, who has constantly teased him. Hellsfire then tells himself that he doesn't want to be around others for fear he might hurt them. And yet, right on the next page, he ends up traveling with a family. There are also several spots where Stradus, Hellsfire's teacher, says that there is much Hellsfire needs to know, but he can't tell him. These exchanges were infuriating because there were more than a few, and I felt that in leaving Hellsfire in the dark just seemed pointless. Stradus' job is to teach him, yet he's clearly keeping things from him? Doesn't quite make sense to me. Unfortunately there's not much light shed on his prophecy in this book, but maybe that will be fixed in the next book.
There is a lot of explanation of different kinds of mana and magic, so people who enjoy these themes will like that element. The addition of mana and the potions sort of made this book feel like an old adventure video game. There are also elves and dwarves with their own brands of magic as well.
Overall this is an enjoyable story, even with it's rough spots.