Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Firelight (Darkest London, #1)” as Want to Read:
Firelight (Darkest London, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(Darkest London #1)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  16,236 ratings  ·  1,923 reviews
Once the flames are ignited . . .

Miranda Ellis is a woman tormented. Plagued since birth by a strange and powerful gift, she has spent her entire life struggling to control her exceptional abilities. Yet one innocent but irreversible mistake has left her family's fortune decimated and forced her to wed London's most nefarious nobleman.

They will burn for eternity . . .

Mass Market Paperback, 372 pages
Published January 31st 2012 by Forever
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Firelight, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Elizabeth Why would it be "old english style"? it's not Beowulf. This is old english:

"HWÆT, WE GAR-DEna in geardagum,
þeodcyninga þrym gefrunon,
hu ða æþelinga…more
Why would it be "old english style"? it's not Beowulf. This is old english:

"HWÆT, WE GAR-DEna in geardagum,
þeodcyninga þrym gefrunon,
hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon! "(less)
Marlyn I don't think it's squeaky clean like Twilight. But it isn't horribly racy, there are some spicy scenes but it didn't make me cringe like Fifty Shades…moreI don't think it's squeaky clean like Twilight. But it isn't horribly racy, there are some spicy scenes but it didn't make me cringe like Fifty Shades of Grey (ironically FSOG started off as Twilight fanfiction...). I'm not one who likes more sex than plot and character development, but if you're going to read romance some sex comes with the territory. In this book they were tastefully done. I'll read the next one for sure.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  16,236 ratings  ·  1,923 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Firelight (Darkest London, #1)
Oct 14, 2015 rated it really liked it

Well, well, well. That was all sorts of awesome.

Expectations. They're everything. I fully believe that they can make or break a reading experience.

This book might have a lot of paranormal elements, but make no mistake, this is not an urban fantasy set in the late 1800s, and nor is this is a steampunk (seriously? Who even shelved it that way?).

This book is a historical romance. Straight up. With a shot of pyrokinetics, demons, and what I’m pretty sure might be a werewolf thrown in for good meas
Val ⚓️ Shameless Handmaiden ⚓️
I found this to be a somewhat frustrating read. I don't like being "kept in the dark" in regard to certain things for so much of the story - only to have them all info dumped at 90% - especially when those things are intrinsic to the storyline.

Also, the connection between Archer and Miranda was slow in coming and I wanted more than I got when it finally came to fruition.

Don't get me wrong, the writing was great and the story line was ok...just a little too convoluted for me.

You can definitely
UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

Unique, exciting, poignant, thrilling, sexy, funny, romantic… these are the words I’d use to describe Firelight, and yet, it’s so much more! I can’t really compare it to anything else I’ve read and it can’t be lumped into a single genre because in this first installment of the Darkest London series, author Kristen Callihan gives us the beauty of historical romance along with the dark, edginess of paranormal and the magic of fantasy. All of these elements combined have made this one of the best s
♡Karlyn P♡
4.5 stars. Not what I expected, but a great read all the same! I first heard of this debut book a few months ago and was instantly intrigued that it is a PNR series set in historical London 1880's. So when I noticed Netgalley had it I immediately requested it.

This book paints a vivid picture of a darker Gothic London, one plagued with cut throats and thieves, fathers who sell their daughters for a tidy sum, and cunning men willing to risk damnation of their very souls.

In this version of a 'bea
Aug 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book surprised me in the best way possible, thanks to Helena! I was looking for more historical romance to read and she suggested this book that has historical, paranormal, mystery, and fantastical elements to it and it was all so beautifully blended.

I didn’t know much going into this, even though I read the blurb. I’m so forgetful, I forgot about it as soon as I read it. I loved the journey it took me on, the world was great, and the characters I fell in love with. I wanted it to not end.
✩ Yaz ✩
4 - ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Archer's finger grazed hers. "I feel you. As if you were connected to me by an invisible string." He touched his chest. "I feel you here. In my heart."

She couldn't think past the mad pounding of her blood. She swallowed painfully. "I feel you too."

Firelight is the first installment in the Darkest London series and can be read as a stand-alone. If I had to categorize this book I would say it is a Historical Fiction with heavy romance set in London during the Victorian era.

It combines
Aug 27, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I!!! LOVED!!! THIS!!! BOOK!!! Kristen Callihan just made all my monster romance dreams come true. 🥹

It’s never too early to get started on the Halloween reads (... right?) and this was the perfect book for the spooky, atmospheric vibe I was craving. Kristen Callihan, I can’t believe I never gave you a chance before! Sorry I’m such a dumbass! 🫠

Firelight starts out with a bang: Lord Benjamin Archer is a monster, and he’s on his way to kill someone. More specifically, Mr. Hank Ellis, who has frustra
Jen Davis
Dec 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book doesn't fit in one simple category. It's historical... with elements of the paranormal. It's gothic, dark, dangerous and romantic. It was completely enthralling and I absolutely could not put it down.

It's been three years since the mysterious Lord Archer first met Miranda. She captivated him with her fearlessness and fiery disposition. Now he has made arrangements with her father to marry her. Miranda doesn't realize that Archer is the same man she encountered that night in the alley a

Lord Benjamin Archer is considered an aristocratic freak, his face covered by a mask to hide his deformity. He has travelled the world searching for a cure. When word comes from Egypt that there may be at last a solution, his assistant despatches the clue in a small box and sends it to England on Archer's fastest ship. Before reaching England's shores the ship is raided by pirates working for Hector Ellis, the small box lost along with Archer's hope of a cure.

With revenge on his mind, Archer det
Despite rough beginnings, Firelight by Kristen Callihan ends as a fun debut.

Callihan worried me when Firelight opened with one cliché stumbling over another cliché, smoking another cliché. The opening revealed some of Callihan's weaknesses, i.e. a tendency to wax purple when attempting flowery scenery, a bit of exaggerated insta-love, a beautiful-but-not heroine, and some self-conscious references to English culture by English characters. When I saw the girl in trousers, I groaned.

However, Fire
Rachel (BAVR)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
So check this out. One day I was just browsing through netGalley. As you know, most of the books there are cheesy, weird or sucky. Usually I go through the Sci-Fi/Fantasy category because from time to time it gets some cool stuff. Anyway, so I’m going through this, and I see a wonderful fiery cover. And I say what the hell, request the b*tch! So yeah, my main reason for reading this is the damn cover. Congrats cover artist! You managed to trick me!

It could have been worse. At least I enjoyed the
Blacky *Romance Addict*
This was great :) Paranormal wrapped in a historical setting, with a gothic feel to it :) A new combination for me, and I really liked it :)

The beginning reminded me of "A Rose in winter", it's very similar, both heroes wear masks and are rumored to be vicious murderers. In both novels they pretty much force the heroine to marry them, there was actually an identical scene where they eat at his house after the wedding, actually she eats and he doesn't because of his mask, it was like, identical.
Sarah Mac
Curse you, Firelight. I begged for a reprieve, & you granted no quarter. But the time has come. This battle of titans has reached a breaking point. Crank up the AC/DC & slip into your peril-sensitive sunglasses, because IT'S ON.

That's right. Consider the gauntlet thrown.

(Content warning: spoilers, swearing, & gifs.)

When I oh-so-innocently suggested a buddy read to GR pal Rachel, we had no clue what we'd agreed to finish. While the plethora of glowing reviews made me somewhat wary (the googly-eye
I both liked and didn’t like this story. I have a feeling I would have enjoyed it better as a book than audiobook, although the narrator (Moira Quirk) did a fine job. It felt like it took months to finish.

This was a bit ‘Beauty and The Beast’ with a pnr slant. There’s a secret supernatural club with special coins, (view spoiler)
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker
Who is the Beauty, and who is the Beast? Sometimes, it is not so easy to figure out.

The writing was simply outstanding.

Hard cobble bruised her soles, her boot heels clicking loudly with every step. Mud and muck splashed her shins, the smell of sewage clogging her nostrils. Pain pinched her side, the boning in her bodice restricting her breath, but she could not falter. Grunts and thuds of fighting sounded beyond the net corner. She rounded the corner, her heels skidding on the wet stones.

Isabella - SnooRegrets
Reread downgrade from 4 to 3 stars.

Buddy read with Sam, Bubu and Joanna from Romance Book Buddy reading.

Almost 4,5 stars.

This was absolutely great. I read Ember, the novella before this one and was really glad about it, because otherwise the beginning wouldn‘t have been quite as enjoyable as I found it to be. Also some of the character behaviors are way more understandable with Ember, so before you dive into this one, I highly recommend to read the Prequel novella first.

The book starts with t
Jan 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Huge 5 stars!

Wow! This book is superbly written, with jaw dropping plots, that will have you turning the pages to get answers. It's evocative, romantic and the sexual tension is off the charts, guaranteed to leave you breathless and weak at the knees.

Here's a little teaser:

Archer's finger grazed hers. "I feel you. As if you were connected to me by an invisible string." He touched his chest. "I feel you here. In my heart."

She couldn't think past the mad pounding of her blood. She swallowed painf
Thanks so very much to my dearest friend, Anzu, for lending me her ARC. Because you're so sweet, and I'm so generous, you may have Barrons all to yourself next weekend.

Have you ever read a book and felt as if it was written solely for you, keeping everything you love and want when it comes to novels in mind? I hadn't either, not before Firelight.

Firstly, allow me to gush about the exceptionally well-written historical aspect of this book. The entire book is filled with precise details and the s
✨ Helena ✨
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is probably my all-time favourite historical paranormal romance!

-swoon-worthy romance
-elemental magic
-paranormal creatures
-Beauty & the Beast retelling
-regency era

What's not to love??? ;)
Jan 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
review posted at Demon Lover's Books & More

Spoiler Free

This book has compelling writing, although right off the bat you are bombarded with clichés. That may not bother some readers, but if it is a pet peeve of yours, then I promise that by the third chapter, the author really hits her stride, and the clichés are gone.

I have had a few of my friends telling me to read this one for weeks, since our tastes are similar, I downloaded from netgalley and was completely underwhelmed by the blurb. If it h
Nov 26, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pnr, 3-stars
Update 03/18: b-r with Joanna, Sam and Isabella. Thanks again, ladies. I know I'm crazy about this series, but it's so, so much fun doing this with you.

Nothing to add to my previous comments concerning the book.


Update 22/02/17

I enjoyed Firelight a lot more the second time I read it than I did the first time around. The characters were familiar; I knew what would happen to the characters, including the secondary characters - at least the sisters and their prospective partners. Consequ
Wendy Darling
3.5 stars I liked this one. It has an intriguing premise, it's set in Victorian London (which I love!), and it's overall very well-written. I would like to have seen a bit more of the supernatural elements as well as character development, however, and for some reason I was never really as drawn in by the romance or the sex as many of my fellow readers have been. Still, I *loved* the part when we finally find out the fascinating thing under Lord Archer's mask--if the story had concentrated more ...more
Sep 22, 2013 rated it liked it

[Edit: Oh, and I forgot to say that it's -- not really "based on" but I'll say influenced by the tale "East of the Sun & West of the Moon" in ways that become more explicit as the story progresses.]

When I started this book, which I picked up at random from the library without any advance knowledge, it seemed like it was going to be a fairly standard historical romance with a dollop of fantasy for color.

However, as it progressed Callihan skillfully dropped hints of a larger and more complex plot
Joanna Loves Reading
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very entertaining read. There were a few quibbles with the plot, but it was a fun, fast read. I dug the attraction between the leads, and the paranormal aspect was unusual and not overwhelming. Different from my usual fare, and I will be continuing with this series.
Wow. Captivating. Compelling. I could not put this book down.

Firelight by Kristen Callihan was a pleasant surprise. I’m not usually a historical romance reader, but I was enthralled by the rich detail and the beautiful writing style. Firelight combines historical romance with a touch of the paranormal and adds in just the right amount of mythological lore.

In a way, Firelight reminded me of The Phantom of the Opera and Beauty and the Beast. This is not a retelling of those tales – instead the aut
Oct 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
Seeing as this is a rather well-loved novel (even among my GR friends), I'm pretty sure that a lot of people won't agree with me, but I'll write this review in my usual brutally honest fashion nonetheless. So if you're a super fan of Firelight and can't tolerate criticism of your favourite book, by all means skip this.

If, however, you're open to a different perspective of the novel, which may even be food for thought later, I welcome you to read on.

Before anything else, I'd like to clarify my cr
24 February 2020: $1.99 on Kindle
6 June 2014: $1.99 on Kindle
**Update** 11/1/2012: Just $1.99 on Kindle! Such a great deal for this fantastic book!!

I admit it, the first thing that drew me to this book was the gorgeous, fiery cover. Somehow this book got pushed quite far down my to-be-read pile, and I’m so incredibly sorry that it took me so long to pull it out.

Firelight is a beautifully written, passionate, mysterious book that kept me on the edge of my seat to find out how things turn out for
DNF at around 80%. I just can't get into this.

Things I sort of liked:
- I liked that the heroine for once didn't believe every bad thing said about the hero without proof. That was really nice.

Things I intensely disliked:
- The worldbuilding: I love fantasy, so maybe I went into this with the wrong expectations, but I do not get how this world works. At all. I've been told it develops over the books, but I don't care enough to test this theory. At 80% I still have too many questions to care.
- The
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk, #1)
  • My Lady Quicksilver (London Steampunk, #3)
  • Heart of Iron (London Steampunk, #2)
  • Mission: Improper (London Steampunk: The Blue Blood Conspiracy, #1)
  • The Odd and the Strange: A Collection of Very Short Fiction
  • Prince of Hearts (The Elders and Welders Chronicles, #1)
  • Shadowbound (Dark Arts, #1)
  • Forged by Desire (London Steampunk, #4)
  • The Mech Who Loved Me (London Steampunk: The Blue Blood Conspiracy, #2)
  • The Iron Duke (Iron Seas, #1)
  • Of Beast and Beauty
  • Black Ice (Ice, #1)
  • Smart Girls Don’t Kiss Aliens (Smart Girls Love Aliens #1)
  • Of Silk and Steam (London Steampunk, #5)
  • Dukes Are Forever (London Steampunk: The Blue Blood Conspiracy, #5)
  • The Seventh Spark: Volume One – Knights of the Trinity
  • Fireproof (Busy Bean #8)
  • Nala's World: One Little Cat's Quest for Love and Adventure
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she'd rather be. She is a RITA winner and three-time nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer's Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher's Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine's Seal of Excellence, was named a best boo ...more

Other books in the series

Darkest London (7 books)
  • Moonglow (Darkest London, #2)
  • Winterblaze (Darkest London, #3)
  • Shadowdance (Darkest London, #4)
  • Evernight (Darkest London, #5)
  • Soulbound (Darkest London, #6)
  • Forevermore (Darkest London, #7)

Related Articles

Fans of Sarah MacLean know her as a writer of historical romances, a passionate defender of the romance genre, and a creator of some truly...
91 likes · 19 comments
“Slowly, her slim hand smoothed over the swell of his buttock, lingering there. A shocked laugh choked his throat, the sound muddled by a stifled groan that her intrigued touch elicited. The saucy little sneak thief was copping a feel. He felt inclined to turn around and let her get a handful.” 52 likes
“Know this, there is only one truth left to me." His trembling fingertips caressed her jaw. "That I love you." He said it again, his voice broken, his arms pulling her tightly against him. "I love you. The rest is darkness."

Her fingers curled around the smooth swells of his biceps. "Then let me be your light.”
More quotes…