K. Bird Lincoln's Reviews > Child of Fire

Child of Fire by Harry Connolly
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Dec 05, 2009

really liked it
Read in December, 2009

This book succeeds with characters with complicated, unexplained backstories where other books would fail mainly because of the narrator character; Ray Lily.

Ray Lily is an ex con. In hints dropped throughout the book but never fully realized, we find out he's killed, stolen, cheated, and basically been a thug.

And yet, in this story he is a compelling POV character because he can throw down the bad guys, gives into anger, kills, and yet still has a the vestiges of a conscience that compel you to care for him.

We are dropped into the middle of a complicated story with little preparation. We discover Ray Lily is the "wooden man" (decoy/slave) of a powerful and taciturn wielder of magic named Annalise. We know she hates him, but the why is never fully explained either. Together they are trying to track down the cause of children immolating and turning into worms in a small town in the Pacific Northwest (insert my comment about delight in reading about my current stomping grounds here.)

The other strength of the story is the bad guys in this book. They are fully realized, fallible, self-serving, weak, and the magic they wield is unlike anything I've come across (i.e. causing children to suddenly turn into fire worms.)

As Ray and Annalise work out the mystery of what's happening, there is a high body count and many people in the town are exposed as either evil doers or, even harder for Ray, people who knew of the evil and let it happen.

Extremely compelling and yet slightly frustrating. I definitely have to read the next one just to clarify the backstory!

Food Designation Rating: Cool Ranch Doritos; you're not exactly what that taste is or what went into the flavoring of the chip, but you can't stop eating them anyway. At the end of the bag, you may feel slightly greasy and full from the cheese.
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