Two new reviews of Blue Fire, my stand-along young-adult fantasy penned as E.C. Blake and published by Shadowpaw Press, came along within twenty-four hours of each other this week, and both were very positive!
Aurealis Magazine is a long-running Australian science-fiction magazine. Writing in Issue #141, reviewer Clare Rhoden says, in part:
“This novel reads immersively because of the deep physical world-building and the meticulous construction of the diverse belief systems. The Nightdwellers and their homes, habits and culture are a triumph of invention.
“E C Blake, author of the excellent Masks of Agyrima trilogy, shows a deft mix of revelation and restraint in this stand-alone work. The teenagers each suffer their own certainties and doubts, often putting a happy resolution in peril. Betrayals, seeming betrayals, and volte-faces from people they trust ring true. It’s refreshing that not all the adults are wrong-headed.
“A thoroughly enjoyable exploration of belief systems and arbitrary divisions between different people who share only one world.”
Meanwhile, over at Sask Book Reviews, Marlin Legare writes:
“Blake’s lore struck a fantastic balance between being grandiose and mysterious enough to be interesting without being convoluted . . . The plot and the storytelling of this novel are the solid core of it. While the lore does help build the world and explain the characters’ motivation and biases, it never gets in the way of the story, nor does it ever seem to be just there for filler.
“The characters are exceptionally well-written as well. Despite belonging to the magical realm of Nevyana, the three central characters still felt distinctly like teenagers. Blake understands that readers, especially young ones, need to connect with their characters to be engaged in the story. Petra, Amlinn, and Jin all carried common traits and insecurities of real-life teenagers that often made me shake my head and smile.
“In conclusion, Blue Fire is a delightful YA fantasy that I can recommend to readers of any age.”
Blue Fire is available from: