- Author Jeffe Kennedy, Darynda Jones, Grace Draven, Amanda Bouchet
- Release Date December 22, 2021
- Publisher Brightlynx Publishing
- ISBN/ASIN B09JBFX8KK
- Our Rating
- Reviewed by Raonaid
FIRE OF THE FROST is a collection of fantasy-romance stories set during a midwinter holiday. Each novella is distinctively different. The anthology has four amazing authors, ones who are well-known in the fantasy genre.
FAMILIAR WINTER MAGIC by Jeffe Kennedy
Haniel “Han” Hanneil is uncategorized – a student who has not yet manifested as a wizard or familiar. Iliana is a familiar from House Ariel. The two are secretly in love. However, the Convocation forbids undergraduates and uncats to fraternize. When Han is finally categorized, it spells doom for the forbidden lovers. Can Han and Iliana escape their fates? What reckless risks will the lovers take to be together?
I feel for Han. It must have been difficult for him, especially when others his age, and younger, were already classified and graduating. What I adore the most about Han is his protectiveness towards Iliana. Even as an uncat, he always thought of her welfare over his own.
Iliana surprised me. She starts off on the timid side, the model student and familiar. Iliana has no reason to fight the normal expectations forced on her kind, until Hans is categorized. What I admire the most about Iliana is her bravado. She refuses to allow her and Han’s emotional attachment to be cruelly severed. I cannot wait to see how she further grows in upcoming stories.
FAMILIAR WINTER MAGIC is book 3.5 in Jeffe Kennedy’s fantasy romance series, BONDS OF MAGIC. This story can easily standalone. The novella takes place in the same world; however, it revolves around a new cast of characters. I still find it deplorable how familiars are treated in this world. This story does give readers a glimpse of the unfairness familiars face from wizards. Gabriel and Veronica are only mentioned.
KING OF HEL by Grace Draven
Castil il Veras is from a low-ranking noble house. She works as a scribe. Castil attends her friend’s wedding, only to find herself attracted to the otherworldly groom. When that friend sends her a letter, she travels to Helenrisia to visit. Doranis is the witch king of a frozen and mysterious kingdom. He could never forget the fascinating woman he met in Caskadan. When his queen dies in childbirth, Doranis intends to choose his next wife. Can Doranis convince Castil to be his? Can the two ignore the gap between their social statuses?
Doranis is a fascinating hero. He sparked my curiosity from the beginning. I would have liked more of Doranis’ point-of-view. It did feel a little one-sided. What I adore the most about Doranis is how he acknowledged Castil’s true worth. He admired her intelligence and her forthrightness. Plus, she is the only woman who was not repulsed by him.
I liked Castil from the start. She is a woman who accepts her lot in life. Castil has no interest or aspirations in improving her social status. She openly ignores the higher noble houses’ disdain of her interests. What I admire the most about Castil is her loyalty towards her friend. She tried to be there for Kareena when the woman needed her the most. Castil even approached Doranis on the best way to win Kareena.
KING OF HEL is a standalone novella. Originally, it was Grace Draven’s first published story. She revised and expanded it for this anthology. I really enjoyed the uniqueness of this world. It differs from the author’s THE FALLEN EMPIRE series, the one I am familiar with.
WYNTER FYRE by Darynda Jones
Wynter of Skadeesh is the daughter of an ice demon. She has one task: to protect the vampyres from extinction. If Wynter tastes vampyre’s blood, she turns into stone. Gareth of Abilene is known as the vagabond. He has been hiding from Skadeesh. Gareth asks Wynter to help him kill her demonic mother. What secrets will Gareth reveal about the Blood Wars? Will he and Wynter succeed in defeating Skadeesh?
I had a difficult time connecting with both Wynter and Gareth. I would have liked more of Gareth’s point-of-view. It would have helped with the story’s pacing.
WYNTER FYRE is a standalone novella. I have heard about Darynda Jones from other book friends. This is my first time reading this author’s works. I had a rough time getting into this story, especially the characters and plot but I am not a fan of vampire stories.
OF FATE AND FIRE by Amanda Bouchet
Sophronia “Sophie” Iraklidis is a high school French teacher. She receives a mysterious yet dangerous package from her friend. Sophie needs to evade Novalight and to deliver the Shard of Olympus to the Goddess Athena. Piers is a warrior from the world Thalyria. He finds himself in an alien city with no memory of how he got there. Piers jumps to Sophie’s rescue. Can Piers and Sophie keep the Shard of Olympus from Novalight’s hand? What sacrifices are the two willing to make?
Sophie is not your typical, run-of-the-mills heroine. She is just an unsuspecting woman thrust into a perilous situation. What I like the most about Sophie is her lack of interest in magic. She knows the modern world is dangerous enough with our advanced technology and magic would add another unnecessary danger.
Piers is a total love! He may have found himself in a strange land; however, that did not stop him from coming to a woman’s aid. What I adore the most about Piers is his ability to swallow his male pride. He knew to survive in this new world, he needed to rely on Sophie for almost everything, despite how it rankled.
OF FATE AND FIRE is book .5 of Amanda Bouchet’s fantasy series, KINGMAKER CHRONICLES SERIES. I have been curious about this author and this series for some time. I quite enjoyed the harmonious blend of mythology and fantasy. I will check out her other books in the future.
FIRE OF THE FROST is a fantasy lover’s dream. Jeffe Kennedy and Grace Draven are the main reasons I wanted to read this anthology. It also gave me the opportunity to sample Darynda Jones and Amanda Bouchet.