Dream of Fire is a contemporary urban fantasy novel featuring a bit of romance and a fight to win the battle of magic and evil beasts. Kara is a young painter who has moved to Washington DC to establish herself in the scene. Several past events have made her hesitant to use her powers even though her training has made her an adept user of the arts. Yet, an attack at a party forces her to expose her talents… and meet a demon-hunter in the process. This sparks a budding romance and a pull for Kara back to some memories she may have wanted to keep forgotten.
Another thread running through the novel is that of Saba, an underdog initiate at the Quershi Prison that doubles as a school for young magic users. She is there to join cause against the evil doers of the world. It is a good portrait of the “training school” as we are also given the POV of the teachers, directors, and other students.
Here are some overall thoughts about the book:
- I liked the character of Kara and Cora hid her backstory well to frame her past against her current motivations.
- While the premise and minor conflicts are dealt with well in the first half of the book, there’s no over-arcing problem that the characters are struggling for or against to sustain tension.
- The setting descriptions were detailed (maybe too much at times), but the dialogue felt stilted at times… too much explanation between the characters. There are just more assumptions that people make when talking to each other.
- The halfway point marks a drastic change in both storylines. The action picks up and the characters are tested… a war of magic and a battle of internal conflicts.
Despite some issues, there are many things about Dreams of Fire to enjoy. Pick it up for new urban fantasy read.
3.5 out of 5 stars.
Thank you to the author for an advanced copy for review.