Child of Fire (Twenty Palaces #1)
Ray Lilly is living on borrowed time. He’s the driver for Annalise Powliss, a high-ranking member of the Twenty Palace Society, a group of sorcerers devoted to hunting down and executing rogue magicians. But because Ray betrayed her once, Annalise is looking for an excuse to kill h ...more
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Jim Butcher and Laurell K. Hamilton have a lot to answer for, specifically, for achieving a level of commercial success that has spawned a host of imitators. Child of Fire is one of the later entries into the urban fantasy field, first in a short-lived series of three books.
Dresden is the obvious comparison here, but not for the reasons you might think. On the surface, not t ...more
This book started off strong -- I wanted to find out more about the backstory, what the Twenty Palaces were, how Ray became entangled with them, what Annalise's story was, why the kids were being burnt into worms of smoke -- but kind of sagged when they got to town and had repetitive encounters with the locals. Similarly, I liked that Connolly created the opportunity for ethical questions to be raised, but then was disappointed that not much was done in regards to those issues.
Reasonably enterta ...more
Needless to say, thankfully, I kept reading. 4.5 stars. Ray, the main character turns out to be quite introspective, and funny as hell. He is the woodman ...more
Before I read this novel I was beginning to think no one was even interested in writing good fantasy anymore. I cannot recommend this book enough.
Which is a bit depressing as the series has already been cancelled. I'm planning on ordering the next 2 (used) tomorrow.
The thing is that I was unaware of this series of books when it was "looking for buyers". Sad I suppose.
Anyway...the book. Our hero (Ray) has a problem. See he's a crook, or maybe an ex-crook and in the life he did some time, establi ...more
Instead, we have Ray, an ex car thief drawn into a world of monster hunting by good intentions and a bad friend, and serving as a 'wooden man' for a powerful monster hunter who hates him for getting her best friend killed. He does ...more
From the first paragraph, we get a fascinating relationship between Ray (the POV character) and Annalise. She wants to kill him but isn't allowed to. A back story why she hates him is hinted at without being explained (it's covered in the prequel, Twenty Palaces, though I'd recommend reading Child of Fire first). What would typically be a mentor/student relationship is instead handled as a grudging, hostile relationship in which she tell ...more
I started to read the prequel novella but felt lost and assumed that it was a novella written for people who had already read the series and wanted to retrospectively know how it all began. I think I was wrong, that is just the way Harry Connolly writes.
Ray Lilly is the driver for Annalise. Annalise is barely human anymore, she hunts t ...more
As a page-turning thriller, Child of Fire works. I finished the entire book in two days--despite having young children and a very important test to study for--and it was better paced than many NYT bestselling thrillers that I read in airports. Unfortun ...more
Child of Fire is a very, very difficult book to write a review about. I think the biggest problem with the book is chara ...more
Really more like 2 1/2 Stars
When I first read about Child of Fire by Harry Connolly, I just knew I had read this book and immediately put it on my wish list. So when I won a copy of it on Twitter, I was pretty psyched about reading it. Plus, the majority of reviews I had read were raving about Child of Fire. Unfortunately, this wasn't the case for me.
Child of Fire reads like a gritty, supernatural crime novel. Ray Lilly is not a super being, just an ex-con artist trying to make amends for past...more
I really wanted to like this book, but there was something about it that was just off putting to me. Maybe it was that it had a kind of Lovecraftian feel about it. I'm really not a fan of that type of horror at all. I usually go for the creepy ghost stories or psychological thrillers. Maybe it was the type of gore, or maybe it was that I just didn't really con ...more
This never would have crossed my radar (publisher dropped the series, didn't get any traction with my friends) but the gf liked it. I guess I did too – the magic was creative and interesting, and the unfolding of the central mystery was genuinely creepy. But this book squandered a whole lot of things. The set-up is 70% of the way to some effective semi-goth ...more
Annalise is a hell of a fierce character; my mouth literally dropped open during her first battle scene. It's a good thing Ray is the first-person point of view character, because I don't think I'd want to be inside Annalise's head--even if she did get a teeny bit more sympathetic toward the end of the story. I liked Ray; he's trying to be a g ...more
but there was also a lot of stuff that was hard to swallow. I know, I know, its urban fantasy, youre supposed to go along for the ride....but people need to stay in character, their decisions need to at least seem to make sense.
The action and the nt-so-happy ending kept it in the positive for me though. 3.5 stars
There's something exciting about discovering a new series that already has several books out. No anxiously awaiting for the next book to be released - it's already been published and if you want to go on a glom - you can! That's how I feel about Harry Connolly's Twenty Palaces series. I'd never paid much attention to the series before. I thought it was ...more
I purchased Child of Fire: A Twenty Palaces Novel by Harry Connolly when it was on sale this summer (it’s still 99 cent and I highly recommend it if you like UF) and finally got around to reading it. It’s urban fantasy and on the dark side. It’s a fairly unusual urban fantasy in my opinion. It’s told from the point of view of the side-kick rather than the amazing kick-ass heroine. Ray is “just a driver” whose task is to help a woma ...more
One of the refreshing things about this novel was that while this story falls under the urban fantasy spectrum, it pushed the border almost into a horror novel. The monsters were different than the typical vampires and werewolves and such and I liked the underlying idea of this book. I actually liked both of the main characters, Ray and Annalise, and I especially liked how they in ...more
Also, I felt like the plot went awry with all these unnecessary side plots, just for the sake of non-stop action filler. Like, they're trying to get to the bottom of the burnin ...more
Ray Lilly is a believable, likeable kind of guy. I honestly believed him as a character. He isn't some super-amped up ultra mage or mercenary or supernatural being with magikal powers. He's a (fairly) normal guy who has one spell to his name: the ghost knife. The ghost knife operates like Ray's Swiss Army Knife throughout the ...more
I liked the fact that Ray really could only rely on ...more
Not for the faint of heart or those who don't care for gross and grim and lots of death. Still, can't say I felt it was gratuitous for the most part, thoug ...more