Child of Fire by Harry Connolly
Book 1, A Twenty Palaces Novel
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: Paperback, 368 pages
Published: September 29, 2009 by Del Rey
My copy: Won on Twitter
Ray Lilly is living on borrowed time. He’s the driver for Annalise Powliss, a high-ranking member of the Twenty Palace Society, a group of sorcerers devoted to hunting down and executing rogue magicians. But because Ray betrayed her once, Annalise is looking for an excuse to kill him–or let someone else do the job.
Unfortunately for both of them, Annalise’s next mission goes wrong, leaving her critically injured. With the little magic he controls, Ray must complete her assignment alone. Not only does he have to stop a sorcerer who’s sacrificing dozens of innocent lives in exchange for supernatural power, he must find–and destroy–the source of that inhuman magic.
When I first read about Child of Fire by Harry Connolly, I just knew I had read this book and immediately put it on my wish list. So when I won a copy of it on Twitter, I was pretty psyched about reading it. Plus, the majority of reviews I had read were raving about Child of Fire. Unfortunately, this wasn't the case for me.
Child of Fire reads like a gritty, supernatural crime novel. Ray Lilly is not a super being, just an ex-con artist trying to make amends for past mistakes. Mistakes that you find out about very slowly. One of the best attributes of this novel, is knowing Ray was against powerful magic without much help besides his own wit and a tiny bit of magic. For the most part, he just rolls with punches as they came at him because he seems to have a nose for trouble and it always seemed to be right around every corner waiting for him. Annalise, though she is one of the good guys, has a bad guy's cold-blooded demeanor about her. It's also her attitude in how she views everything and everyone around her. It gave her an air of mystery and made me want to know about what made her this way. But for the most part she remained a mystery as much as the Twenty Palace Society that she belonged to and you don't really get know much about either. Maybe more will be revealed in the next novel.
While I liked the premises of the world created by Harry Connolly and characters themselves, for the most part Child of Fire didn't keep me intrigued and kept falling flat. I felt like I was one step ahead of the story's mystery throughout most of the book so it didn't hold many surprises for me. In the end, I felt like I really didn't get know the main characters as well as I would've liked. Will I read the next novel? I'm really not sure because I feel the characters of this series deserve another shot.
Twenty Palaces Novels: