Ray Lily possesses a checkered past. As an ex-felon with a dark side, it seems he presents an unlikely hero. Yet, in Child of Fire, he may be the only hero readers will get.
Working for a powerful sorcerer, Ray discovers himself immersed in a mind-blowing suicide mission. His employer, Analise Powliss, holds a high rank within the Twenty Palaces Society, a cabal of morally ambiguous sorcerers dedicated to protecting humanity from an invisible threat looming in the empty spaces.
Child Of FIre Defies Tropes
Child of Fire, by Harry Connolly, defies most of the tropes associated with the urban fantasy genre. Which is why I think you should read it. Despite the paucity of fairies and elves, this book offers an entertaining read that seems more authentic than some of the other books gracing the same shelves.
What we see in this book is a cast of misanthropic, nefarious creatures still trying to defend the world from the predation of a group far worse than them. In real life, the good guy doesn’t always win, and sometimes the ends do justify the means. While it may be somewhat unorthodox (given the nascent state of the subgenre, which is itself the result of unorthodox storytelling, this appellation seems a bit ironic), the characterization is wonderfully complex and dynamic.
Hunting Rogue Magicians
Ray Lily, the protagonist in this book by Random House, is tasked with eliminating rogue magicians. When one of Analise’s missions goes wrong, leaving her hurt and sidelined, Ray must take on a powerful sorcerer alone. His foe sacrifices innocents in pursuit of his preternatural abilities, and will not hesitate to deploy any trick to stop Ray and the Twenty Palaces.
While R-rated, the storytelling is excellent. The characterization, in terms of Ray and Analise, is great. I recommend this book based on that, essentially. We see things from the point of view of Ray, and we start out as clueless as he is. Over time, we progress with him.
If you’re in the mood for something a little new, this book offers a pleasant escape.