Flamefall had so many of the elements that made Fireborne so gripping: internal character conflict, external character conflicts, class conflicts–yes, a lot of conflict. The author really puts her characters through their paces and pulls no punches, which always takes a lot of courage. This book felt fresh with the introduction of new characters and their storyline entwining with the original cast of characters’ stories. Be prepared to not doing anything but read once you start because you will be swept up in its current. Munda made the enemy particularly despicable and hateful.
However, in contrast to this first book, perhaps some of the conflicts were taken a bit too far. It was hard to not become frustrated with Lee’s vacillating, Annie’s loyalty to Lee that started to feel undeserved, and then Annie’s non-recognition of loyalty from unexpected individuals.
Supposedly (according to Amazon), Flamefall is book two of a duology. However, either that is misinformation or this book has the world’s most unresolved ending. Having read book one and considering how swiftly that one concluded, I was prepared for a quick wrap-up even as I approached the end of the book. So, clearly an unexpected turn of events and complete cliff-hanger blind-sided me. Another literary source indicates that there really is another book in this series–so you won’t have to live with disappointment.
Review of a Digital Advance Reading Copy
This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Profanity/Language: 13 mild obscenities; 19 derogatory names; 10 scatological words; 8 anatomical terms.
Violence/Gore: Threats to family members; memory of being physically abused in the past; dragons muzzled, which caused them distress; a few references to violence/deaths from first book in series; threat to raze a city; ceremonial slice of palm with knife; recollection of source of scars; disturbing recollection of a person and their family punished by dropping from a great height resulting in deaths and permanent injury; character purposefully re-opens a wound to inflict pain; dragon is allowed to torture a peasant; extended scene of rioting with destruction, injuries, theft, arson, intent to kill, dragon fire; kidnapping of children for blackmail; extended, some description of battle scene with dragons and riders resulting in injuries, fall to death, deaths, burns, destruction of property; report of dragon bathing another in fire (no death); nightmares about a past battle; character pulled by hair and face forced to the ground while humiliated; reference to old story/history where king and finace kill each other; threat to burn a person’s family in dragonfire and make them watch; extended dragon battle scene with injuries, fire, biting, etc.; people are kept from safety of bunkers and are killed en masse by dragon fire; report of massacre that was covered up; extended scenes/reports of insurrectionists/rioters having altercations with authorities, destroying property, injuring people, etc.; mob destroys property and breaks a character’s wrist; extended fight with intent to kill; character shoved to ground.
Sex/Nudity: Recollection of kissing member of opposite sex as they removed shirt; memory of pressing body to another; reference to rutting a person; recollection of half-dressed form/someone being naked; characters embrace; characters of opposite sex kiss upon various occasions; reference to holding hands and kissing; touch neck; character admires another’s beauty; character desires a character of the same sex; kiss hand; character is clothed and gets in a bathtub with an unclothed character who is mourning to give them comfort (non-sexual); characters fall asleep while embracing; characters of the same sex kiss; clandestine affair between members of the same sex, brief references to kissing, touching; characters of same sex kiss and embrace; slanderous accusations of a woman being the sexual toy; sexual references; character comes upon a couple in their underclothes; character dresses another, sexual tension.
Mature Subject Matter:
Death, insurrection, blackmail, class differences, physical abuse/torture, PTSD, same-sex relationship, kidnapping, torture.
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Characters (older teens and adults) drink wine/alcohol at functions, celebrations, dinners, and taverns.