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The Fire King: A Dirk Steele Novel

(Dirk & Steele #9)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  1,351 ratings  ·  89 reviews
“Readers of early Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, and the best thrillers out there should try Liu now.”
Publishers Weekly

In the realm of paranormal romance, no author burns hotter than New York Times bestselling author Marjorie M. Liu! The Fire King is yet another blazing example of her originality, sensuality, and breathtaking storytelling prowess. Her passionate tales centered/>—Publishers
ebook, 384 pages
Published June 8th 2010 by HarperCollins e-books (first published July 28th 2009)
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Average rating 3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,351 ratings  ·  89 reviews

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Throughout the series there has been a creeping foreboding about Dirk & Steele. In the beginning they seemed like 100% pure, upstanding good guys, but as each book adds to the series, we, along with some of the characters, start to question the people behind the organization. Another layer is added to that here.

After a unique gravesite is uncovered, Karr comes to the attention of the Dirk & Steele organization. He is taken and held by some of the employees while the boss, Roland, contac
Julie (jjmachshev)
Jul 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-reads
A 3000-year-old, hunky shifter and a special woman wounded physically and emotionally make for an engrossing read. "The Fire King" is Marjorie M. Liu's latest in her 'Dirk & Steele' series and I loved it. Each of her books, at least those in this series, dig down behind the differences in her characters whether they're shifter or human and draw on the feelings and emotions that are present in each of them.

Soria is a human with something extra--the ability to understand and speak any languag
Really touched by the heroine in this book. She has a physical disability she is still coming to terms with when the head of Dirk & Steele (a black ops type of agency for the paranormal), calls her in to aid on a special case.

The last thing Soria wants to do is rejoin D & S, but I suspect she has a hard time saying no when her gift is in need. (Like a universal translator, she can instantly learn any language and communicate.)

Dirk & Steel has brought in a shifter- an ancient Chime
Aug 22, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

The Premise: The heroine of this story is Soria, a woman with an extraordinary ability to pick up languages. It's always been the case since she was a child, and people call her a prodigy. They don't realize that it's magic, and that the mere presence of a fluent speaker is all she needs. It was a useful gift when she was with the Dirk and Steele agency, but after the loss of her right arm, Soria had a falling out with them and left. Unexpectedly, the agency makes another appearance in
This was the first Dirk and Steele book I've read, and I think my experience suffers for not having read the previous 10 books, lol. I really REALLY was attracted to this book because the main character is a one-armed woman, which I thought was so weird, but, in the hands of the author, was so lovingly handled as not to be a joke. I really loved that part of the book, and the relationship between the two main characters. I guess the plot was just a bit too thin to support it, not a lot seemed to ...more
So far i have read 3-4 Marjorie M Liu books. All are unique. Her story telling and writing style makes the whole book interesting but always , the book doesn't satisfy you completely once you finished reading . It definitely leaves an impact with the readers but i think some questions aren't properly answered. And also when some characters bond with others in these books we think next we will get their books but when it comes out those characters are paired with different people , it is little b ...more
Apr 25, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, 8, romance, 2010, paranormal
I haven't been in the mood for romance lately, or at least, not the genre version, but I wanted something different as a break from The Curse of the Mistwraith and this is the one that caught my eye.

I've been reading Marjorie M. Liu's Dirk and Steele series from the beginning, but I was starting to lose track of what had gone before and who was who, so I didn't immediately buy this one when it came out. Then I discovered that it, and all the previous books, were finally available as ebooks. That pre
I received Marjorie M. Liu’s The Fire King, her ninth Dirk & Steele novel, as an Advanced Reader’s copy. In general, I am not a romance reader, with the exception of paranormal romance, and even so, there are only two authors I like and whose series I follow. That number has now grown to three.

The Fire King pairs Karr, a three thousand year old shape-shifter with a twist and Soria, a maimed human with an innate gift for languages. What they have in common is a painful past. Karr
Cecilia Quick
This was my first Marjorie Liu book, and I liked it enough to read more, but not enough to keep. I loved the premise-an ancient tomb is discovered and inside is a chimera, who is still alive after thousands of years. The heroine was unique and fully realized-I liked that she was disfigured, with only one arm, and was more mature and haunted than the average paranormal romance heroine. The hero was intriguing, although more one note than the heroine. The book started off with a bang, and I raced ...more
Paranormal Romance
An abomination in the eyes of other shifters the male is Chimera, born of two shifter species and hunted for it. They have a mental instability that causes them to snap without warning and after such a spell, the man realizes he's killed his friends woman. So he committed suicide only to wake 1000 years in the future and kidnapped by modern day shifters. The heroine can speak and understand any language so she's sent in to determine if he's a threat or not. She's been through a horrible trauma t ...more
Gina Briganti
Oct 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Fire King is a solid Dirk & Steele novel. I loved the couple, Soria and Karr. One thing about Liu's couples that I like is that they are somehow matched by their experience so that they value one another in a way that another mate would not.

The lore of shapeshifters and chimera's is filled in more with this book, which I truly enjoyed reading.

Nine novels into a series is a challenging number for an author, in my humble opinion. Liu leaped over those challenges wit
Renee Sweet
Jul 22, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another one of my favorites from the Dirk & Steele series. I particularly loved these characters--their special powers and their weaknesses. And the opening to this book is (to repeat myself) another favorite. It made me want to be a better writer myself.
Nov 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this. It was the first Dirk & Steele novel that I've read even though it's #9 in the series. I'll be sure to look for more by her.
Dec 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Soria retired from D&S after losing her right arm during a mission. But then her ability to speak any language in the world brings to back when the agency finds a shapeshifter who speaks an unknown language.

Upon waking up after sleeping thousands of years, Karr finds himself in a strange bewildering world unable to communicate with anyone.

Loved the story, but I do have one complaint. There was too much emoting in the middle of the story which really slowed down the ac
Jess (The Cozy Reader) Kennedy
Plot: 4

Setting: 5

Writing: 5

Originality: 5

Characters: 5

Passion: 4

Overall: 28/30 = 93%

Cover/Title Bonus: 5

Dorchester Pub sent this wonderful book to me to review a few weeks ago.

Summary (author’s website):

Long ago, shape-shifters were plentiful, soaring through the sky as crows, racing across African veldts as cheetahs, raging furious as dragons atop the Himalayas. Like gods, th
Deborah Necessary
Way out there, great is you're into shape-shifters!
Lover of Romance
Soria is a member of the Dirk and Steele, have special gifts of her own. Although she isn't a shape-shifter, she can understand any language on earth. So when the leader of Dirk and Steele, asks her help them with a problem that only she can assist with. Soria is however very reluctant to do so, because a year previous she lost her right arm, and has had a difficult road since then. However when she meets a creature unlike anything she has ever met, she is intrigued and acts out of character, ev ...more
Jun 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is BY FAR my favorite novel in the series.

I was originally introduced to this author when I read a novella called "A Dream of Stone&Shadows" which was part of the Dark Dreamers anthology. It was such an original and fresh paranormal romance (at least to my eyes), that I couldn't resist looking for other books by Miss Liu. After having read A Taste of Crimson, she became an auto-buy. I have read all the Dirk&Steele novels - and even though not all of them have been as good A Dream of Stone&Shad
Feb 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second Dirk and Steele novel I've read after the newest book, In the Dark of Dreams (yes I did things out of order). Liu doesn't write easy stories, and by that I mean her books more often then not will have both the hero and heroine face tremendous odds. Odds that most people would find unimaginable; The Fire King is no different. Karr faces the fact that he wakes up thousands of years after he thought he had died, in a world that is in stark contrast to what he knew, but still mana ...more
Ashley Gibson
Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rated-reviewed, owned
This is the story of Soria and Karr. Soria is a human with the ability to understand any language when in the presence of the person speaking it. When Karr is captured, she is called in because nobody knows the language that he speaks. He was found buried in a chamber that was sealed thousands of years before. Karr is a chimera - his mother was a dragon shifter and his father a lion shifter. He has been at war with the shifters his whole life. They killed his parents and other chimera when they ...more
Lauren Willshire
Aug 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, owned
Because of its various animalistic and X-Men spin off characters The Fire King really captured my interest and in the end surprised me. The beginning was rather slow which is part of the reason it did not get the fifth star. It took me a while to get to a part that I could really sink my teeth into and it seemed as though the characters were not having very much of a connection till around the last half of the book. Character growth was fairly good for the most part I think pretty much every cha ...more
Jan 31, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I was surprised that I enjoyed this more than I expected. Soria is a member of Dirk & Steele, a detective agency that employs paranormal creatures of all kinds, utilizing their talents and hiding them from the world in plain sight. Soria's talent is the ability to understand any language, and when a mysterious shapechanger is found alive in a tomb sealed for thousands of years, she is called to help translate his unknown language. But there are others who want the creature dead, and Soria is ...more
Jun 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok this one took a bit of a turn, but it was brilliant...I never could quite figure out where each character stood! I loved Soria, and I felt so bad for Eddie when she first saw him again! I love Eddies character and I can't wait till he finds a good girl to compliment him in every way! I am dissapointed in Roland, I understand the whys, but still I was dissapointed by him. Karr was a great new addition, although the lengths that they were hunted was impressive. I could not believe all the switc ...more
Feb 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Strength of a lion, heart of a man

This book is a must have for any shifter lovers bookshelf. This is the first book I have read by this author and it certainly won’t be the last. Between the beautiful descriptions of the different places these characters go and the characters themselves this book was impossible to put down.
I really liked how communication both verbally and non verbally played a part in the relationship between Karr and Soria. They are both great characters who
Marjorie M. Liu has penned another gripping novel of extraordinary characters with a thrilling plot that will have the reader entrenched within the danger and the heart-wrenching emotions. Karr is noble, fierce and protective of all he considers his, but an old war between his kind has left him distrustful and angry. Soria is a woman left feeling unwhole and shies away from most human contact. Their battered hearts will touch the heart of the reader and forever leave their mark as these two trav ...more
Heather in FL
I enjoyed this book. I originally got it because I wanted to try out checking out ebooks from my library through Overdrive. They don't have a huge selection of paranormal ebooks, but this one looked interesting so I tried it. And I'm glad I did, because I'm not sure it's an author I would have gotten to soon.

If there's one complaint I have, it's that there wasn't enough romance scenes between Soria and Karr, but each author/series has its own level of that, so it's forgivable. :-) Bu
Dec 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ong ago, shape-shifters were plentiful, soaring through the sky as crows, racing across African veldts as cheetahs, raging furious as dragons atop the Himalayas. Like gods, they reigned supreme. But even gods have laws, and those laws, when broken, destroy.

Zoufalství. Epätoivo. Asa. Three words in three very different languages, and yet Soria understands. Like all members of Dirk & Steele, she has a gift, and hers is communication: That was why she was chosen to address the stran

Another stunning PNR from Marjorie Liu - not a heavily plot-based (although there's a fair amount of background story that develops over the course of the book)

But it's the depth of the characterization that works for me. Both Karr and Soria drew me in and kept me wanting to know what happened next. Partly it was the competence pr0n, partly it was how broken they both were, and partly it was the skillful writing in showing what they were feeling and thinking.

My one niggle
I enjoyed this one much more than the previous installment in the series, The Wild Road, mostly because of the heroine. Soria is a former agent of the Dirk and Steele detective agency, someone who can understand and speak any living language (most awesome superpower ever, y/y? She says as a medievalist who struggles with Latin), who left the agency after suffering a disabling injury.

While this book has the same flaws as Liu's other books (her prose never rises above the serviceable; some
May 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vamp-were, traded
Well... other than the distraction of the empty security sleeve, it turns out pretty good. We run into "Robert" again and, central to this particular story, find out what happens when shifters of divergent species mate. The H, as it turns out, is a chimera - the result of such a mating. Huh. I was under the impression that a chimera was the result of one fertilized egg absorbing another in the womb. This seems like it should be called a "hybrid". Guess as an identifying name, that wasn't mysteri ...more
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New York Times bestselling and award-winning writer Marjorie Liu is best known for her fiction and comic books. She teaches comic book writing at MIT, and she leads a class on Popular Fiction at the Voices of Our Nation (VONA) workshop.

Ms. Liu is a highly celebrated comic book writer. Her extensive work with Marvel includes the bestselling Dark Wolverine series, NYX: No Way Home, X-23

Other books in the series

Dirk & Steele (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Tiger Eye (Dirk & Steele,  #1)
  • Shadow Touch (Dirk & Steele,  #2)
  • The Red Heart of Jade (Dirk & Steele, #3)
  • A Dream of Stone & Shadow (Dirk & Steele, #4)
  • Dark Dreamers (Dark #6.5; Dirk & Steele #4)
  • Eye of Heaven (Dirk & Steele #5)
  • Soul Song (Dirk and Steele,  #6)
  • Where the Heart Lives (Dirk & Steele #6.5)
  • The Last Twilight (Dirk & Steele, #7)
  • The Wild Road (Dirk & Steele, #8)
“Words are reflections. What we speak comes back to us. I prefer being told the truth, so I tell the truth. Within reason.” 2 likes
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