When we last saw Firethorn, she had resolved to follow Sire Galan to war rather than retreat to the country house he had provided her. As Wildfire opens, she does just that. But the gods aren’t finished with Firethorn yet. Before she reaches the city of Lanx, where she will be reunited with Galan, Firethorn is struck by lightning.
She survives, but not unscathed. Firethorn comes away from the incident with several ailments, most notably aphasia. She often says one word when she means another. What I found most interesting about her speech disorder is that it sometimes reveals uncomfortable truths, such as when she accidentally refers to the bloodthirsty Queen Mother, whose name is Caelum, as “Callous.”
Firethorn does reunite with Galan, but their time together is short. She falls into the custody of Prince Corvus, who is fleeing into exile in the neighboring country of Lambanein. He finds Firethorn’s prophetic dreams useful and takes her along. In the treacherous mountains that separate the two kingdoms, and later in Lambanein as a servant, she faces new dangers and the continued meddling of the gods.
If Firethorn was the story of Firethorn and Sire Galan, Wildfire is Firethorn’s story alone. Throughout the novel, her quest is to discover what the gods want with her, and what sort of person she should strive to become. We follow her as she tries to help others, bargains with gods, and sometimes loses her way.
Like Firethorn, Wildfire is not for the faint of heart. It’s gritty, often gruesome. There’s one scene in particular, right at the end, that I hope fades from my memory soon! However, I found Wildfire rewarding. I enjoyed the beautiful writing and the heroine’s personal journey. As the novel ends, Firethorn has a renewed sense of purpose, but I know there will be more twists and turns ahead for her in the third book. I’m looking forward to reading it, and hoping there’s some peace or contentment at the end of Firethorn’s road.
Firethorn — (2004-2008) Publisher: A sumptuous love story set in a world as real as history and as marvellous as legend. A foundling child, Luck — named for the colour of her god-favoured copper hair, is fortunate to be taken in by one of the Blood. She remembers little of her past, her parents a vague and teasing memory, but service in the Dame’s household is better than that of most mud folk. She is beaten rarely and is fed well, and, under the Dame’s watchful eye, Luck is even permitted to learn herb lore. But her comfortable world is turned upside when the old Dame dies, and her nephew arrives to claim his inheritance. Choosing to remain with her friends rather than claim her freedom and strike out alone, Luck’s life is calm until her new exotic looks attract the attentions of her new master!