Fire Dance by Ilana C. Myer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Without getting into spoilers, I think this novel is poetry.
This may not be self-evident, but when we deal with poets and an academy of poets who may or may not grow into magicians, anything might happen.
It begins with death, from a highly-placed demise inside the academy to the deeply shaded returning character of Lin from A Song Before Night to the gruesome demise of many melted people. It's a lightly-stepped dance between light and shadow, life and death.
The writing is gentle and nuanced. Don't expect harsh plotting. Expect winding and weaving and storytelling that's more about paths and discoveries and the darkness that lays ahead, the light behind.
I said it was more like poetry than a novel. And it is.
For a fantasy, and specifically for being a sequel, it feels like a departure in tone and events. There were some things I missed and some things that were explored much better in this one, but I'm afraid that these are purely personal preferences.
In all, this is an exceptional novel of personal discovery within the academy and from without, following along with students on one hand and back with an older, wiser, and beset Lin on the other.
Settle in for a long tale that deserves a leisurely read or at the very least a careful one. Much can be missed by moving too fast, but know that it is worth it in the end.
More will come. The fire doesn't end in absolute ashes. :)
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