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Fires of the Dead: A Fantasy Novella

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  30 ratings  ·  28 reviews

Fire can’t be tamed.

Wisp is a pyromancer: a magician who draws energy from fires to make his own flames. He’s also a criminal, one job away from retirement. And it can’t come bloody soon enough.

Leading his misfit crew, Wisp ventures into a charred and barren forest to find a relic that could change the realm forever. But they aren’t the only ones on the hunt, and the

Kindle Edition, 192 pages
Published September 20th 2019 by Undergrove Press
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Average rating 3.70  · 
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 ·  30 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)
For someone who doesn't read much fantasy, Fires of the Dead surprisingly fulfilled my expectations. Although a little slow at times, the action and thrilling aspects surrounding the main character Wisp and the array of side characters present was enjoyable. A good introduction to the world of Pyromancy, which I'm not the biggest expert on. This is available on Kindle Unlimited, so snap this up fast for a lunch break read!
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: author-request, 2019, blog

I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I didn’t know exactly what to expect going into this novella. Especially since, I’m generally not to keen on reading them (I get too emotionally invested and want the stories to last longer, sorry!).

For the first 90% of the novel, I was actually getting a little flustered. Here I am really enjoying this novella and actually dreading the end. I was thinking to myself, “Now, why would he
Ross Thompson
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
* I received a free advance copy of this book from BookSirens, and would like to thank them, and the author, for the chance to review this book honestly *

This short story (around 90 pages) somehow manages to establish a well-explained magic system, and enough information about the world, and a decent story in a very small number of pages.

The story follows a small group of battle-worn mercenaries sent on a mission through the fire-ravaged wasteland to capture the skull of a dead pyromancer. Along
Katelyn Dickinson
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
**I received a digital ARC of this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.**

I typically do not read a whole lot of novellas, unless they're connected to a series I'm reading, but this one was definitely worth my read!I really enjoyed the character. Each one had such different personalities, so I actually really enjoyed the multiple perspectives. There were characters I really liked, and characters I didn't like, but still liked reading from them.
Megan » Hello Book Bird
Dec 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Crouching was murder on the knees.

Wisp is a pyromancer: a magician who draws energy from fires to make his own flames. He’s also a criminal, one job away from retirement. And it can’t come bloody soon enough.

Leading his misfit crew, Wisp ventures into a charred and barren forest to find a relic that could change the realm forever. But they aren’t the only ones on the hunt, and the forest isn’t as barren as it seems…

I'm not usually a fan of shorts, as I never feel there is enough time to
Margaret Pagington
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Realistically, I'd give 3.5/5 stars if I could. It was good. Honestly, I can't muster any stronger feelings than that either negatively or positively.

It was billed to me a YA, but did not read like YA at all. It was relatively short, in a way that didn't feel like a novella, but more like it just needed to be fleshed out more. I never felt much for the characters so when anything happened to them, I kind of just shrugged and moved on. A little before halfway through, it seemed you could predict
Mitch Bruce
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Spoiler free review:
Fires of the Dead is a gripping, fun, twisted tale of a band of misfit thieves as they adventure through charred forest to retrieve a valuable, magical item with a mega payload. Whilst (saddeningly) short, this enthralling heist/ survival/ adventure novella really satisfies in terms of both the characters you get to know and the obstacles they must overcome. Be prepared to smash this book out in one reading; you'll be left wondering what's next at every damn turn. I can't
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Herne has created an intriguing world of pyromancy, but we only get a snippet here. This fantasy novella was fast-paced with compelling characters, and I found myself wanting a full novel of all their past adventures. I would have enjoyed more backstory and world building (with a more believable love story line), but I thought overall this was a great novella and I would recommend to anyone looking for a quick fantasy read!
Maureen Meredith
I have not read fantasy before so was intrigued with the characters and the powers and the twists and turns and the suspense at the end. Can’t wait to read more or see a movie come out. Well done Jed.
Jed Herne
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I mean, I wrote this. Can't exactly give it less than 5, can I?
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I haven't read fantasy in a long time but it used to be one of my go-to genres, and this novella reminded me why. I really loved the world that was built in this, particularly the focus on pyromancy. The way it was described and how the characters strategised was really interesting. I also thought there was a great balance of drama and humour.

I would have liked a little more background describing the world and the notorious figures/families that are mentioned. The context provided was still
Enaya N.
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
[ARC Review I was not paid for]

We were thrown into the action quite literally. In a world where fire rules supreme, and the privileged rule the afterlife, a band of thieves and goons challenge what holds their world together. The book introduced characters well through each chapter, however the main intricacies of the world were only introduced in the last 2 chapters. Overall, a promising read with interesting characters. (3.5/5)
Paul Hathcox
Dec 23, 2019 rated it liked it
When I originally saw this book it was advertised as a good read for people who like to read Joe Abercrombie. I'll admit I did get an Abercrombie grimdark vibe from it although not quite as intense.

The book has a lot of exposition to do in the beginning (of course since it's not part of a series at the moment) but after all of that the story picks up and becomes a fun read.
Taylor Campbell
Nov 04, 2019 rated it liked it
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily. I liked the idea behind the plot of this story. I really think that if it was longer i would have liked it more. The story felt rushed. But overall i enjoyed.

Thank you and keep writing!!
Paul Allard
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it

Quite good fantasy novella with some surprises.

This book centres around Pyromancers, manipulating and mainly killing using fire. It also involves a quest to find more power to fuel the flames. Having also read the prequel, Ascendant flames, about Marogan, I enjoyed this tale involving a group of diverse and interesting characters. There’s plenty of action and surprises along the way. A good effort at fantasy writing. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved every second of it. I didn't want to put it down. After I finished, Fires of the Dead left me wanting to continue reading about this world. Highly recommend this book for someone who loves a quick read full of action and suspense.
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: booksirens
Disclaimer: I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

I liked this. I think it was creative and interesting. I would give it credit for being fairly strong in captivating the reader in just eighty something pages. It has a decent magical system in place and I found it intriguing. I didn’t care very much for the characters which is why I think I didn’t get extremely attached but overall I still enjoyed the story enough to mostly overcome that hiccup. It’
Rob Di Giovanni
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fires of the Dead is the debut novella Australian author Jed Herne. It's a heist book wrapped in a sweaty fantasy world of fire and death where a rag-tag group of thieves, miscreants, thugs and liars try to pull off an almost impossible task for a Baron in a far-off city. Each chapter is told from the perspective of a different character and as you progress through the novella, hearing more about the world and the people in it, the diverging motives of each character become clear. So much ...more
Lauren Fleming
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this audio book - would call the physical copy a page turner if I had it! Never a dull moment, I’m looking forward to what’s to come from Herne.
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2020, fantasy
A common misconception about fantasy novels is that they are all epic, thousand page long tomes. Yes, some of them are. I’ve even read a few myself. Authors that come to mind include George R R Martin and Brandon Sanderson. Those are just two examples. Fires of the Dead proves that you don’t need to write reams of narrative to fit all the components of a classic fantasy novel into one tale.

A number of personalities shine through in the narrative, predominantly seen through the eyes of the man
Daniel Pabu
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
A really well written story.
Good pacing, great characterisation, descriptive action and a world with its own lore and history that is shown to the reader organically. The book doesn't bring many new concepts to the table but where it lacks in originality it makes up in quality. It might err a bit too much on the grimdark side for some people but Fires of the Dead is a really well told fantasy story that has a well-rounded cast and an engaging story.
A book that I'd recommend to any lover of
Caitlin Shaw
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So I received a free review copy of this Novella from the author, hence why I'm reviewing it before it's even released, but this is all my own opinion.

I don't often read novellas - I'm more of a full blown hefty scifi/fantasy tome kinda gal, so this was a different experience for me - but I loved it.
I really enjoyed the fast pace of plot and the characterisation just clicked for me. I found it facsinating how the diverse range of characters gave such different interpretations of the same world,
Allison Springer
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
I received this book as an ARC and am giving it my honest, voluntary review.

This was a quick read and a good introduction to anything that might follow. The synopsis I read sounds like a D&D campaign: a group of adventurers with varied skills trying to complete a quest. It didn't play out like a game campaign. I was definitely reading a story.

The group of five are led by a pyromancer named Wisp. Wisp is in his early 50's, which is quite a lifespan for someone such as he; a pyromancer and a
Rhianydd Cooke
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an advanced copy of this via BookSirens in exchange of an honest review.

I went into this little novella not really knowing what I was going to get and I can say that what I got I loved!

For such a short book there was a lot packed in here, you learned to very quickly love the characters and and the world quickly began to make sense.

I’d like to know more about this world, the pyromancers and the lore and I’ll be on the lookout for more books written by this author!
Jennifer Ayre
Oct 20, 2019 rated it did not like it
Firstly, this is a novella do it's only 90 pages long or something. It doesn't have time to really set the universe up. However. I have read novellas that I enjoyed. I did not enjoy this book.
The characters were awful, no depth, I didn't care about any of them. There was a lot of action, but no explanation as to why. The magic system was odd, are there other magicians than pyromancers? I didn't like the colloquial writing style. I don't mind if a character talks in a colloquial style, but I
Sarah Coleman
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I could not put this book down! I wanted to keep on reading and not sleep, and ended up the next day being a very moody person with a good story on the brain. I am so glad I read this and will be keeping an eye on books by this author.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Pyromancer Tale

Padmini Roy
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: novella
I received an ARC of this via BookSirens in exchange of an honest review.

Right from the get go we were thrown into action. It’s a fast paced story about pyromancy, friendships, connections and survival. A perfect read for fantasy lovers who want a quick read.
rated it did not like it
Dec 22, 2019
Leslie Pinson
rated it it was ok
Jan 16, 2020
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Jed Herne is a fantasy and sci-fi author from Perth, Western Australia. His books include Fires of the Dead , which readers say is "the perfect read for someone looking to be quickly immersed in a magic system unlike anything else," and Across the Broken Stars , described as "an epic fantasy that has a unique setting."

His short stories have been published in The Arcanist, Scarlet Lead Review,