Good morning and welcome to a special edition of In the Books, featuring Spark of Defiance: Elemental Magic & Epic Fantasy Adventure (Games of Fire) (Volume 1) by Autumn M. Birt.
Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of the ebook in exchange for an honest review.
About the book: Six months after a tragic war, the world of Myrrah has found peace. But many of the heroes have not. Wandering to avoid memories of lost friends and past actions, Zhao reluctantly returns home to fulfill a promise to his sister. And to proclaim to the elders of his people that their treatment of Air Elementals is wrong. His homecoming is met with hostility but not for the reason he expects. It is far worse. To protect his gifted niece from a life of hardship and subjugation like the one he endured, Zhao must rescue his sister. Even if she doesn’t wish it. Quickly caught once again in events greater than he can handle alone, Zhao struggles to prevent a personal conflict from erupting into a larger battle. But friends are distant, and more than a few are wrestling with new problems of their own. Welcome BACK to the world of Myrrah full of elemental magic and epic fantasy adventure! A new trilogy begins in Games of Fire with book 1, Spark of Defiance.
My Review: As a fan of the first trilogy, I came into this wondering what was in store for the characters following their previous adventures. I do think it’s fair to point out I haven’t read book 3 of the first trilogy yet, so this had some spoilers, but nothing in depth that will ruin the story for me. I’m a fan of the journey more than the end results, so that doesn’t bother me. If anything, this helped grow my anticipation for the previous and upcoming stories.
The characters were fun and well rounded, though I missed having Ty and Khodan having major roles. It’s understandable as this was mainly based on Zhao and Lavinia to a lesser extent. Still, their inclusion helped move the story forward in a smooth and exciting way. Personally, I loved Zhao and Laireag’s interactions and how they relied so heavily on each other. It has a friendly and familiar feel to it.
One thing I really thought was interesting and enjoyed was the Saturday serial feel to the story. Each of the good guys nearly always managed to walk into a serious situation born from their lackadaisical attitude following their victory. It was fun watching them trying to get out of one predicament after another.
One point I thought the author did a great job of touching on was the PTSD that varied from one character to another. For two characters, it linked to a single event, but I’m not going to say and spoil it. I have to admit I was a little disappointed that at least one wasn’t overly aggressive following their experience, but that’s just me and probably due to me not being fully up to speed with the rest of the series yet.
Over all, I really enjoyed this and look forward to the rest of the series and how the characters deal with their changing world.