Sunday, April 24, 2016

Book Review: Irons in the Fire by Antonio Urias



BLOGGER'S NOTE: Minor spoilers for the book.

The City of Talis is a fragile beacon of civilization on the edge of the Faerie Lands. Beyond lies a wilder world of dark enchantments and terrible wonders, but behind the city walls humans and faeries live together in an uneasy peace-until an explosion rocks the city and long smoldering tensions threaten to ignite.

As the Commandant of Police, Baron Hessing has maintained stability for decades. But with a murderer on the loose, an anarchist bombing of the city, and rumors of a faerie uprising, he is starting to lose control. Hessing finds himself caught in a web of interlocking conspiracies and he may need to choose between saving his city or his family.

Into this maelstrom appears the Countess. Trained from birth for a single purpose-vengeance-suddenly she's everywhere from secret catacombs to the hall of power. Beset by enemies of all sides, it will take all of her training to succeed in a city on the brink of a revolution. Plans are in motion centuries in the making that will change the fate of Talis forever.

The cover is simply breathtaking, both symbolic of what is happening in the book and visually striking to the reader. There's not a lot more I can say beyond 'I want the cover artist for my own work!'

As with most fantasy books, there are quite a few characters to keep track of in Irons in the Fire, enough to potentially get lost in the beginning. However, the more I read the more easier it was to figure out the importance of each character, and by the end I was rapidly turning the pages to see what was going to happen next in the story. A great deal of time is put into establishing the importance of Talis, enough to invest the reader when the city is put in grave danger towards the second half. There are also quite a few intriguing plotlines to keep the reader interested throughout, primarily with the mysterious Countess, Mister Nix, and Hessing.

Where the book falters a bit is towards the end. Since this is the first book in a series, not every plot was resolved in the end. Without going too much into spoiler territory, there was one plotline in particular that could have been concluded very easily, and in my opinion the book would have been stronger if it had. It is certainly a good idea to have enough left hanging to keep the readers invested for a sequel, but it's also a good idea to give them a sense of resolution as well. But overall it's a minor complaint.

FINAL GRADE: 4.5 out of 5. Strong characters, a detailed world, and a sense of mystery easily makes this a great book to read.

Irons in the Fire can be found here.

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