Merrimon Book Reviews

Chimera (composed of multiple animal parts) on a Apulian plate, ca 350-340 BCE (Musée du Louvre)

Gothic Painting in Gothem kyrka ( Gotland )

From Merrimon Book Reviews
The Wild Road
The Fire King by Majorie M. Liu
by Marjorie M. Liu
Beautiful contrast between forgotten and modern worlds

Once dead, Karr awakes to another world.  Chained and caged, physically and mentally, he speaks a language no one else remembers.  Communication is impossible.  Dirk and Steele must investigate and determine whether this enraged beast poses a danger.  Soria has a gift with languages that enables her to speak any language.  Perhaps she can bridge the gap between the two worlds, a world of time and a world of species.  At once lion and also dragon, Karr's memory of the past torments him.   Anger enrages him as he awakens from the cave, a dark cave in which his murdered body was sealed in a time forgotten or unknown to current beings.  Soria's past haunts her and the scars of violence mark her body.  As she encounters the strange beast, danger threatens her at every corner, but is Karr the only danger?  She feels strangely protected by his powerful body but can she trust him?  Battling those determined to kill him, Soria must thread a careful path, protecting Karr and also protecting herself as she seeks to unlock the secrets of this strange new creature.  As she reaches down into the depths of his despair, Soria opens a door within Karr's heart.  Alone and lost in this new world, will Soria teach him a new language, the language of love?

Marjorie Liu's paranormal romance THE FIRE KING develops a new and different dimension to the Dirk and Steele series.  Building upon the legendary themes at the end of THE WILD ROAD, Marjorie Liu takes legend one step further as she brings an ancient creature into the modern world and pairs him with a feisty, intelligent woman with the power of language to bridge the gaps.  In a world overflowing with people, new cities, and technology galore, Karr's plaintive spirit strikes an emotional chord. Perhaps t
he sole remnant left of an entire race now forgotten, Karr is alone in a way modern humanity never experiences.  Likewise, Soria's missing arm and violent past separate her from others.   Language forms the core of this romance.  Beautiful passages describe the power of words and communication.  Words gain a sensuality and sex conveys the power of communication to reach to the depths and transform the hero and heroine from within.  Majorie Liu brings romance to two wounded and isolated individuals, empowering them to look into and beyond their past.

Marjorie Liu's THE FIRE KING is quite different than the previous Dirk and Steele novel, THE WILD ROAD.  Do not pick up this book expecting to find a carbon copy of the her previous works.  THE FIRE KING is an entirely different book and shows the author's ability to expand the dimensions of the series, not only with a new tale of shapeshifters, but also to reach out to new and exciting developments for paranormal readers who crave something new and mind-expanding.  Soria's past role within the agency is not quite fleshed out in this book, although her relationship with Roland definitely leaves a reader wanting more knowledge of the history of this character and her past.  Personally, the lack of those details did not phase me because their inclusion within this novel would have distracted from the intensity of the portrait of Karr and relationship to Soria, but I would love to read more novels about the earlier history of these characters and the Dirk and Steele Agency itself.  The narrative structure of the romance is somewhat edgier than previous romances I have read by the author, a quality I most appreciate because it brings a newness and sense of exploration to my reading of a series.  Every detail of the presentation of Karr's solitude creates a wonderful pathos that I have not experienced since reading the Old English poems "The Wanderer" and "The Seafarer." Kudos to Marjorie Liu for these absolutely beautiful, stunning images and for bringing this dynamic of solitude into a new, modern world so at odds with those sentiments.  Kudos to Marjorie Liu for bringing a sense of magical, legendary history into a modern, cutting edge romance!

Publisher: Love Spell (August 2009)
Series: Dirk and Steele

Reviewed by Merrimon, Merrimon Book Reviews
Merrimon Book Reviews

Custom Search

Copyright Merrimon Crawford  2009  All Rights Reserved