Barbara ★'s Reviews > Flesh and Fire

Flesh and Fire by Laura Anne Gilman
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's review
Feb 23, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: read-2010, fantasy-sci-fi, first-in-series, paranormal-witches-wizards, paranormal-magic
Read from February 20 to 22, 2010

A slow starter with slavery at the heart of the story. I don't condone slavery of any sort so I found it hard to get into. However, it is a great book and well worth the read.

Magic is misused by greedy kings and war after war is fought until the people beg the Gods to help. The God Zatim smites them all and decrees that magic users must come from slavery and hardship so they appreciate the gift they have been given. All magic is practiced through wine - take a sip of spellwine and perform magic. The vintars (who are all previous slaves) are mages who infuse the grapes they grow with spells during the processing stage. To keep any one Vintar from getting to powerful, each vineyard produces different spellwines - healwines, windwine, firewine, etc. There has been peace for many many years but suddenly each vineyard is being magically attacked.

The story revolves around Master Malech (the Vintar) and Jerzy (his slave who has magic) and the growing of grapes and making of wine. Master Malech realizes that something bad is happening and starts investigating. He finally sends Jerzy to a friend on the coast to learn his magic and to listen to gossip and see if he can identify the culprit of the attacks. The story of Malech and Jerzy is very interesting until it gets to this point where it drags. I found the characters at this new location, boring and vindictive. Though the ones in the beginning of the book are very likable and giving. But this portion is necessary to the storyline as Jerzy makes friends who help him escape when he is framed for illegal magic use.

I can't really see where this series is going but it's interesting and very different from others I've read. Not sure what the next book is or when it will be published but I will be waiting to read it.

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Reading Progress

02/22/2010 page 240

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