Wildfire by Sarah Micklem Micklem’s first book, Firethorn, came out when I was pregnant with L.B. Her characters, stubbornly themselves, in love but unable to truly break free of the society that refuses to treat them as equal, have stuck with me ever since. At least once a year, I would look to see if the next book in the planned trilogy was out yet. Finally (and once again as I’m pregnant), the next book comes out, and it does not disappoint. At the end of the last book, Firethorn’s blade, Sire Galan, had gone across the sea to war, ordering her to stay behind. But Firethorn has never been an obedient sheath; feeling bound by the gods to Galan, she follows him anyway. On the way, a lightening strike during a storm at sea leaves her touched by yet another god, Ardor Wildfire. Half-blind in one eye and only slowly regaining speech, Firethorn is now treated as a seer, even as she struggles to remember her healing skills. Her quest to reunite with Sire Galan, to regain her speech and to discover what the gods want of her take Firethorn through strange lands and multiple roles. Firethorn herself is a compelling character; the settings and cultures are believably detailed without being overwhelming. While the plot doesn’t exactly wind up by the end, neither does the action stop. Meanwhile, Firethorn’s tumble through multiple levels of multiple societies will likely keep my brain busy for another five years – though I sincerely hope that book three will be out sooner.
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