Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Fire and Frost by Allen Goodner

Fire and Frost

Paperback: 308 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform ()
ISBN-13: 978-1523385645
Kindle: 666 KB
Complimentary review copy

Available on Amazon

Clean Adventure-Filled Epic Fantasy

Fire and Frost is the first book in an Epic Fantasy series "Seven Realms" by new writer Allen Goodner. The protagonist is Alaric Dell, the third son of a baron, and in his world humans stay in the Middle Realm with a cautious eye trained on Infierno, where the Igni - a race of intelligent fire wielding creatures - live. There have been raids and clashes between the two races since forever.

In the first scene Alaric is leading a scouting party near the border to investigate recent raids when he and his companions are brutally ambushed by creatures who resemble the Igni but wield ice and cold as weapons. These Frost Fiends are attacking both humans and Igni, which leads to Alaric forming an unlikely alliance with Kahji, an Igni war-chief.

The first thing I noticed about the book is the well-developed and unusual setting, with hints of humans not being native to it. I like how the history is hinted at and not just laid out all at once. I'd love to find out more about that and "the Ancients."

Fire and Frost is a fast-paced adventure filled fantasy epic. Alaric is an old-school hero, one who is skilled in tactics and combat, who wrestles with his conscience and prays for guidance. There are a lot of battles, evil magic, and heroic acts. The scenes of combat are very well done, with the pain and costs in lives not glossed over.

The book is not without flaws - the dialogue could use polishing and I would have liked more development of the secondary characters. But that did not stop me from enjoying the story and overall this is a good first book from an author. I love that it is a clean adventure that boldly incorporates characters with true Christian faith into its fantasy setting. Although it's written for adults, I'm guessing teen boys who like adventure and fantasy games will like Alaric a lot.

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