Thursday, December 12, 2013

Early Review: Fireblood (Fireblood #1) by Trisha Wolfe

Release Date: December 17, 2013
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Source: NetGalley
Author Links: Website | Twitter | Goodreads

To save a kingdom, Zara must choose between a prince who could be the answer and a rising rebellion that threatens to take control.
When Zara Dane is chosen to marry Prince Sebastian Hart, son of the man who ordered her father’s capture, Zara knows she must fight to save everything she loves from ruin.

Being betrothed to the prince means a life trapped behind the towering stone walls of the Camelot-forged realm. Under the watchful eye of the prince's first knight, Sir Devlan Capra, changing her future becomes difficult.

When an unlikely rebel reveals the truth about the deadly secrets that fuel King Hart’s twisted world, Zara’s path to rescue her father becomes clouded by deception. The Rebels clear her path by forcing Zara’s hand with an ultimatum: sway Prince Sebastian to join the Rebels, convincing him of his father’s evil nature, or they will take him out.

But Zara is uncertain about a future under the Rebels’ command and where the prince’s heart truly lies. She must decide who to trust, what to believe, and what she’s truly fighting for before the king destroys all of Karm, including her heart. 

Fireblood was interesting in the way it blended fantasy and dystopian together into one big pot. Fantopian?
Sorry, just thinking out loud.

At first it seemed like a retelling of the King Arthur story, because it looked like their might be some sort of Arthurian love triangle going on between the characters. And there kinda was. But not really. Besides, since the world itself was created by the king to mirror Avalon, you can't help but look for similarities.
I gotta say I thought that rebuilding a society around a medieval fairytale was the weakest part of the plot. Why would anyone think that was a good idea? The ideals of Avalon, yes. But turning your country into a Medieval Times restaurant is just silly. Or at least I thought so.

So Sebastian is the prince, and he needs a bride. Zara is the commoner who was chosen to become the lucky princess. Very Cinderella! 
Except she doesn't want to marry him.
See, the king is an evil man who keeps his subjects in line by holding public executions of all those who are even suspected of rebellion. And Zara is under the assumption that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree...even if the apple is smokin' hot.
But it's not like she really has a choice in the matter, and soon enough the guards come to collect the soon-to-be princess and her father. It's a double whammy for Zara because even though they're taking her dad to the castle, it's not like she'll ever see him again.
Well, he's showing signs of the disease that everyone in Karm eventually falls prey to. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when you will succumb to the virus. No one lives to a ripe old age anymore, and when you start showing the signs that you have it, the guards cart you off for a quick disposal. The virus is a leftover reminder of the days before King Hart erected the barrier between their kingdom and the rest of the world. Outside of this weird reenactment of Avalon, the world is broken and barren. Cannibals and mutants stalk the borders, and an invisible barrier keeps those inside safe from harm. Fear of what wanders in the wasteland keeps most of the inhabitants of Karm compliant, and the King's guards swiftly and brutally take care of those who might not be as grateful or complacent as the rest.
Once she's hauled inside, Zara is effectively a prisoner in the castle while she waits for her impending wedding to the prince to take place. Her first instinct is to run away, but she's not exactly sure how to go about doing that without getting killed. Besides, the prince has assigned his (once upon a time) best friend to be her personal guard. And with Devlan as her constant shadow, there doesn't seem to be any way for her to escape.
Pssst. Devlan isn't exactly hard on the eyes...

But is Prince Sebastian really his father's son? Zara thinks she sees chinks in his armor, but can't be sure.
But when she stumbles onto a conversation she wasn't supposed to hear, it suddenly becomes even more important for Zara to quickly find out what really lies in Sebastian's heart. The future of Karm, the rebel resistance, and Sebastian's life are all hanging in the balance...
*cue dramatic music*

There's some other stuff that I thought was cool, like the fact that they (sort of) had television and other modern conveniences in a medieval setting. Plus, there's a zombieish twist toward the end that kept things interesting. So, even though I couldn't totally buy into the Knights of the Round Table theme, I think a lot of people are going to love this one!


Alexa said...

Hm this one sounds like it has its ups and its downs. I'm not completely sure I will read it but I'm interested.

Thanks for the great review!

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