Fireblood is the first in a fantasy trilogy, Whispers from Mirrowen.
Every generation, a plague devastates the land leaving abandoned homesteads and fewer people. Tyrus of Kenatos has spent most of his adult life trying to find the cause of the plague, and hopefully, a cure.
The book begins with a sort of prologue that covers Tyrus and a coterie of specially chosen members that enter the Scourgelands in an attempt to discover the source of the plague. Disaster. Only Tyrus and a Druidech survive, and she has sacrificed her sanity to save them.
The book then moves to the present and begins introducing a host of characters who will move the plot forward. This portion is rather slow, but the characters and their backgrounds are revealed and the essential world-building takes place. Not only the characters, but the diverse races, customs, and political situations are woven around the details of the various characters. A great deal of information is still lacking, but gradually more and more background is divulged and connections begin to form.
The book does not exactly flow; it has a definite episodic feel. The writing is not particularly noteworthy and often feels choppy, but occasionally rises above that. The characters are established, but only slowly begin to really develop.
That said, I did enjoy this adventure and followed up with Dryad-Born, the next in the series since it was also available through NetGalley. Dryad-Born allows most of the characters to gain some depth and introduces a few more. The relationships also evolve in the sequel.
Jeff Wheeler is also the author of The Legend of Muirwood trilogy.
Fantasy. 2013. Print length: 440 pages.