Cait's Reviews > Fires of the Faithful

Fires of the Faithful by Naomi Kritzer
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's review
Jul 17, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: currently-unowned, yay-for-libraries, novel, queer, all-of-my-reviewed-books
Read in July, 2008

This book looked familiar at the library, but I think I might have picked it up, read a little, and stopped -- I'm not sure why I would have done that, since it's quite intriguing so far (perhaps it wasn't what I was looking for at the time?), but I definitely did remember the beginning and I definitely didn't remember the thing that happened just now at the end of part one! Hurray for finding it again, then....

And now, having finished it: I like this! And it has a sequel, which it clearly needs, so I will have to find that (I think I saw it on the shelf at the library).

It's an interesting opening to a series; things start out pretty straightforward fantasy, with a system of magic, a decadent government with a religious inquisition, and an old-time religion of which the first thing we learn is that it had rhythmic dancing music. And it is a pretty straightforward fantasy all the way through, with a war fought with magefire and energy generated by music -- but the old-time religion is a variation on Christianity (I have a feeling that if I knew more historical theology I'd recognize the doctrinal arguments going on) and the protagonist isn't an instant passionate convert. The author does seem a little confused about the place of women in this society, since both religions have female Gods and women have a lot more social and religious power, but a lot of civil leadership seems to be defaulting to men still. I was very pleased with the way the protagonist's sexuality was handled, though; I actually flipped to the back of the book to see whether it was going to be a bait-and-switch the way a lot of fantasy does, and (you may consider this a spoiler, but I think of it as a recommendation) it isn't: her crush on her roommate is not handwaved away.

An interesting start for this series!
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