Thursday, May 31, 2018

ARC Review: The Memory of Fire by Callie Bates

The Memory of Fire
Author: Callie Bates
Series: The Waking Land (Book 2)
Publication: Del Rey (June 5, 2018)

Description: Callie Bates’s debut novel, The Waking Land, announced the arrival of a brilliant new talent in epic fantasy. Now, with The Memory of Fire, Bates expertly deepens her tale, spinning glittering threads of magic and intrigue into a vibrant tapestry of adventure, betrayal, and romance.

Thanks to the magic of Elanna Valtai and the Paladisan noble Jahan Korakides, the lands once controlled by the empire of Paladis have won their independence. But as Elanna exhausts her powers restoring the ravaged land, news that the emperor is readying an invasion spurs Jahan on a desperate mission to establish peace.
Going back to Paladis proves to be anything but peaceful. As magic is a crime in the empire, punishable by death, Jahan must hide his abilities. Nonetheless, the grand inquisitor’s hunters suspect him of sorcery, and mysterious, urgent messages from the witch who secretly trained Jahan only increase his danger of being exposed. Worst of all, the crown prince has turned his back on Jahan, robbing him of the royal protection he once enjoyed.
As word of Jahan’s return spreads, long-sheathed knives, sharp and deadly, are drawn again. And when Elanna, stripped of her magic, is brought to the capital in chains, Jahan must face down the traumas of his past to defeat the shadowy enemies threatening his true love’s life, and the future of the revolution itself.

My Thoughts: This is the second book in a trilogy. It follows THE WAKING LAND. Elanna and Jahan are in Caeris and Eren where Elanna is using her magic as the steward of the land to support the rule of their friend Queen Sophy. But Elanna is exhausting herself trying to fix the land and their neighbors are seeing the country as ripe for the plucking. Jahan is determined to go back to Paladis to try to forge a peace treaty with the emperor. While he is there, he would also like to rescue his two younger brothers from the influence of Madiya who has been experimenting on all of them since they were small children in order to enhance their sorcery.

However, magic is a crime in the empire and the emperor is unlikely to forge a treaty with known magicians. Jahan hopes that his charm and her personal relationship with Leontius, the heir apparent, will be enough to sway the odds in his favor. He has previously successfully hidden his magical abilities and plans to continue to do so.

Things have changed in the empire since he has been gone. The revolutionaries who want to have the law changed to allow sorcery are gaining in numbers. They also have the secret support of the emperor's second wife Firmina Triciphes and her cousin Bardas. Leontius has turned away from Jahan. And Leontius's younger brother and sister are undermining him in their quest to take the throne from him. The grand inquisitor Alcibides Doukas also has his eye on Jahan. He would love to prove that Jahan is a sorcerer and is willing to fabricate evidence if proof isn't available.

Jahan very reluctantly becomes involved in the revolution and his involvement escalates when the emperor captures Elanna and bring her to Paladis to execute her. This story is epic fantasy at its most epic with political intrigue, magic, treachery and betrayal. Of course it also has romance and daring deeds and characters who perform well above what could be reasonably expected of them.

The story was fast-paced and action-packed. I can't wait for the next book in this exciting trilogy.

Favorite Quote:
"Aren't you tired of holding on to secrets?"

I blink, No, I think. My secrets are as comfortable in me as a second skin. But that's not the way it is for Elanna, who holds up truth like a banner. She won't understand, even if I try to explain. Si I say quietly, "For you, I'll hold on to them a little longer."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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