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Child of the Flames

(The Seven Signs #1)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  908 ratings  ·  79 reviews
The Red Swords came with the sunrise, and took everything Shawna Llewan held dear.

She alone escapes the slaughter, spiriting away the secret which brought them down on her family. Revenge is all she has to keep her alive. Dormael Harlun just wants to find a place to sleep off the drink, but he decides to help her--though he wonders why something in her possession makes h
Kindle Edition, 366 pages
Published July 30th 2016 by D.W. Hawkins (first published November 24th 2011)
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Average rating 4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  908 ratings  ·  79 reviews

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Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating and review for SPFBO5 to come soon...ish
Ray Briggs
Feb 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this to be an exciting book to read. The author introduced a magic system that was believable and did not stretch the bounds of reality beyond the acceptable. The character development was interesting and continued throughout the book so that new information was timely and lead to further developments in the story line.

There is one complaint about the book that will be taken care of over time. The sequel is not available so that I can continue the story. There are some series of books th
Richly imagined with meticulously developed theories of magic, history, myth, geography, politics and more, D.W. Hawkins’ The Sentient Fire is the first in a series of epic fantasy novels. But it stands alone as a well-drawn, well-finished novel in its own right. The level of detail can be overwhelming at times, but well-plotted history and geography are nicely fed into discussions between strangers (fast becoming friends) on a long and dangerous journey. The scenery switches between frozen wast ...more
Jan 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books, 2012-reads
electronic copy from the author

An impressive fantasy debut.

"The Briton in me would say: "Not bad for a fantasy debut novel. It is worth to take in consideration to read the next book in the series"

The German in me would say: "You get a lot of well executed content for your money. That is a true epic fantasy book."

The fantasy lover in me would say: "I found a gem before a publisher discovered it. A great debut. I can't wait to read the next book in the series."

Read my full review over at Edi's B
Alyssia Cooke
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, indie, stunning
It's been a month for some excellent books to come my way and this is certainly no exception. Hawkins creates a complex and detailed world of magic, treachery and intrigue. From the very onset we are thrust headlong into the action and there are no punches pulled as Shawna witnesses her family and household staff tortured, raped and murdered. For the sake of what seems to be merely a trinket of jewellery, her entire life is torn apart in front of her eyes.

But it quickly becomes apparent that thi
Feb 03, 2020 rated it did not like it
Well developed characters with an okay story. Nothing too out there, nothing to hate.

But what made me review it so badly?

It was the telling vs showing. Scenes are scarcely described. Emotions are almost never shown.

It is “character was feeling angry”


“The scene was tense”

It would be more interesting to read if we were shown how it was tense.

Or shown how the character is feeling instead of being told.

“She was angry”


“Her knuckles tightened around the hilt of her blade and her jaw clenched
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa Greiner Maughan
I enjoyed this book. In the story you will humor, adventure, magic, fighting, blood, budding friendships, intrigue, deception, kindness, strong wills. You are taken on a trip with some great likable characters that makes you want to keep reading to see how their story unfolds
Ashley Martinez (ilovebooksandstuffblog)
Child of the Flames

An intriguing tale of swords and sorcery! Dormael and D’Jenn were entertaining, fun and kickbutt to read I can’t wait to see where the story goes from here.
Apr 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let me start by saying, this book is nearly 800 pages, so be warned, it is not a quick read, but believe me, it is worth it. The characters are engaging and human. They are not depicted as perfect, which makes it easier to connect with them and find them believable. One of my biggest pet peeves with reading any novel is when an author creates a character that is so far out of the realm of reality that there is no way a normal, average person like me can connect with them, as they have no flaws, ...more
3.5 stars. It took me forever to finish The Senitient Fire because I had so many other things going on and it was so long. I'll start with the good.

I thought the characters were engaging. I liked how Dormael went from being a roving bachelor type to someone more mature. I thought Shawna was a good, strong female character who also retained her femininity. D'Jinn and Allen were both good supporting characters. The bad guys were very sinister which is how they should be. I began to dread reading
Feb 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review is going to be hard to write, without giving away any spoilers. I just don't want to give it all away for you guys!

Let's start by saying this book is long. I am used to reading books that are roughly 350 odd pages. This was double that. Yet I never felt it dragging on! Instead of cramming information in, or leaving it out, D.W. Hawkins has just simply made the book long, and it works.

The character's were wonderfully written and you are able to relate to them. The heroes aren't perfec
Apr 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
Magic ruined this for me. It's as strong or weak as the plot needs it to be at that point, with very little explanation of why. At one point one of the Wizards sinks a ship, from a distance, in what is basicly a bit of a grumpy tantrum. Then, at the climax where sinking a ship would have solved all their immediate problems, the two Wizards don't even seem to consider it an option!
Charles Haworth
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book

It started OK, the usual "damsel in distress escapes distress and actually is really good with swords and kills things" tale, following on to the rest of the book. It paces well, the baddies are bad and the world is OK if nothing spectaular

There are some jarring moments, the magic system is just sooooo powerful it makes you think the two wizards wouldn't be quite as annoying as they are and at certain points the troubles that meet them just wouldn't be a problem (a fight at se
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I don't usually read "sword and sorcery" (I am reading through the backlog on my kindle and this was next in the list), but Child Of Flames was character driven enough for me to really enjoy. This was evident in the lack of direction from co-protagonist Dormael, who, at the beginning could have been regarded as a directionless wandering drunken bard until he comes across Shawna with an arrow in her back who provides him with a mystery to solve. Or perhaps, Shawna was his dentiny all along...

M.R. Cullen
Sep 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed Child of the Flames a lot. Even the chapters that took over an hour to read didn't turn me off reading it. It's an engaging dark fantasy and the main characters; Shawna, Doramel, D'Jenn and Bethany are really strong anchors to build a story around. The interplay between the two wizard cousins (Doramel and D'Jenn) gives the reader some lighter moments, and there were a couple of times their banter left me laughing out loud.

I got this book - and the next two in the series - free during a
Angel Haze
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This was AMAZING!! I was first introduced to Hawkins' writing with The Killings at Rockman's Ford, a short in the Defiant Guardians collection which was absolutely phenomenal--to the point where I was literally shaking it was so good-- so I had to get into this series and read more about D'Jenn!!

Child of the Flames is an epic masterpiece! Rich characters and even richer world building. It grips you from the first heart-pounding scene, takes you on a wild adventure, and just when you think it can
Renata Riva
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Child of the Flames is the first book of the Seven signs trilogy.

The story starts quite strongly with a vicious attack to Shawna’s family home with the purpose to steal a jewel. Shawna is the only one able to escape with the jewel, but she is wounded. The object she carries attracts a young mage who will be compelled to help the girl.

From there, the story becomes a journey that the heroes (strong willed Shawna, the shy child Bethany, the picaresque mage Dormael and his cousin D'Jenn) must unde
Stephen Rip
Jun 27, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blacklisted
Verdict: Don't Read
Go read some of the other bad reviews, you will notice a very strong theme.

Poorly written. Juvenile characters. Massive plot holes. Enormous stereotypes and sexism. A poorly if at all thought out magic system with no discernible structure.

Worst of all! The ending is SO illogical, what transpires does so only to ensure a second book.
"You're starving, you're broken, someone hands you $20 to buy yourself some food... You burn it up, spit in their face, and jump up a cliff, over
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Overall rating: 5

A first for me by this author, this was the perfect introduction to this authors writing style and imagination. This started off with a bang, totally grabbing me, and led me down this journey riding all the emotions these characters were subject to. Love the hard learned growth that Shawna experienced, and Brianna totally had me floored. Speaking of which, this book suggests violence towards minors and should not be read by the easily triggered. This author earns five stars for
Judith Roberts
Aug 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Slam Dunk

This book is first in a new series. I adored this book, and loved the writing style. It is a grand adventure with believable characters. We have a young Baroness, who is also a swordswoman. Two erstwhile wizards who become involved with her along with a cruel used young girl. The story is about their involvement with each other, the journey to save the Baroness and solving the mystery of the girl. It is a fast moving, totally engrossing story. I was up until 3am reading because I couldn
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
I found one of the protagonists, Shawana, was too jarring to read. She starts out as the victim, struggling, but is later revealed to be a complete asshole who spends most of the time shouting, glaring, staring, scolding and just being a general condescending prickleboar.

The other two are overpowered wizards and it's completely who put up with her.

There is an ok story with very black and white characters. The villains are evil and the good guys are the shining beacons of virtue in this ugly wor
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great start to a series

I've read a previous edit of this book already, and liked it enough that I was happy to buy this rerelease. It has a great kick ass heroine, with a younger girl waiting in the wings for her chance to shine in later books. The two heroes are also interesting, funny, and intelligent, and the bad guys are properly evil who you'll want to see the end of! I'm really looking forward to the last couple of books, and recommend the whole series to anyone who likes sword and sorcery
Franziska Bloodsworth
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Pretty awesome

The story has some very interesting in depth characters that one can't help but like and enjoy. The story pulls you in right at the start. I couldn't read fast enough to find out what was gonna happen next. I was at the edge of my seat. The wizards were awesome as well as their bantering. You'll love the main characters growth and fire. I wanna know what will happen with Bethany and the artifact. Who is this Maaz that showed up? This story will pull you and make you want more. The
Sarah Potter
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
So it begins....

The first part in this series, which i chose on a whim. The plot come together quickly and the story was relatively fast paced. This book is an easy read and I found myself sometimes guessing what would happen next
I look forward to seeing the characters develop in the next book , young Bethany and her traveling companions would appear to have a long journey ahead of them xXx💖 xXx
Rhona Houston
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Perfect for a Rothfuss/Martin Fan!

this book has the right amount of intrigue, drama and violence to keep you turning pages. The character development is good and there's no romance thank goodness! It wasn't too political heavy or hard to follow either, the world it's set in isn't so outlandish or unbelievable. Overall I enjoyed the characters journey and excited for the rest of the series.
David St. Lawrence
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Non-stop excitement!

DW Hawkins has created characters so well fashion that any one of them could support a story on its own. We have three wizards and a noble swords woman fighting the forces of evil. What's not to like!

plus, his descriptions of the magical happenings are so real that you can see them occurring. Do not try reading this book if you are trying to get some sleep. You will find yourself reading well into the early hours of the morning.
Ellen morais
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
A Good First

This is a good first book for the series. At the beginning you are introduced to the characters and kind of wait for them to catch up with each other. That doesn't mean there is nothing g going on and it's boring! Oh no hot two heroes Dormael and D'Jenn show us about their magic and ways of life. They are some good guys. After a whi!e Shawna is awakened from her coma and the adventures continue.
Audra Zimmer
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good start to an interesting fantasy series

I was thoroughly entertained throughout this book! The magic is interesting and the world is intriguing. The characters are believable though I’m hoping for more background and depth on a few. I definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good fantasy story with witty banter, a badass woman with magical blades and strange bearded wizards!
Suki Rickey
Book 1

Book 1 had errors throughout and was a fun read. The characters and plot was well done in most places. The characters are well developed and have good and bad qualities to them. The plot is very broad and does not give a lot of information on what the future holds for the characters until the end. There is a lot of guesswork on the characters parts that work out. I look forward to book 2.
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Goodreads Librari...: Book information outdated 6 26 Jul 03, 2015 04:42AM  
Q&A with D.w. Haw...: The Story 1 5 Jan 19, 2012 02:23PM  
Q&A with D.w. Haw...: Writing, Publishing Process 1 3 Jan 19, 2012 02:07PM  
Q&A with D.w. Haw...: Introduction 1 3 Jan 19, 2012 02:04PM  

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My name is D.W. Hawkins. I write books, and you should read them.

This is the fourth time I’ve attempted to write this self-description. Anyone who has ever written one of these–or maybe their own dating profile–is smiling right now in sympathy. It’s tough, describing yourself. What you’re probably wondering is who I am, and what sort of books I write.

Let’s get down to it, then.

I love fantasy. I’ve

Other books in the series

The Seven Signs (5 books)
  • The Knife in the Dark (The Seven Signs #2)
  • The Old Man of the Temple (The Seven Signs #3)
  • The City Under the Mountain (The Seven Signs #4)
  • The Oath of the Blade (The Seven Signs #5)

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