Review: Flakes of Fire by Yoann Re

Rating: 6.5/10

Synopsis

A young sorcerer embarks on a dragonslaying journey to prove himself to his father.

A solitary woodsman undertakes a hunt of his own to protect his village from the dragon, armed only with a bow and deep rooted cynicism.

A slave escapes with the world’s most dangerous weapon: a firestone.

The death of a god threatens to sink the world into chaotic darkness.

Freedom and glory are within reach, but at what cost?

Review

Flakes of Fire is an adventure fantasy featuring various storylines told from different perspectives. There are many interesting aspects of the book, and reading it felt like a decent start to something that could be more grand.

When I say it is “a decent start to something that could be more grand” I do not mean the story itself should continue, as the book wraps up at the end, but what I do mean by that is there could have been more to each of the narratives. The strength of this book, in my opinion, is the fact that there are several perspectives which the reader gets to experience. That, to me, was the driving force that kept this story moving along, and I found myself wanting it to go a little deeper: stretch the characters, extend the narrative, make the characters earn it a little more. There was enough intrigue here that author Re could have expanded things and continued to keep the readers’ interest.

Speaking of the characters, they were a relatively well-done aspect of the book. They all have distinct personalities and origins which lead them on varying paths. Each one completes a journey that brings something to the table, which kept the story interesting. I thought the world building was decent, as well. It was not heavy and expansive, more of a cross section, but it did not need to be for a story like this. The glimpse of this world the reader does get exposed to is well thought-out and engaging.

The biggest drawback for me was that I did not feel the tension in the story. Without much buildup, the narrative felt flat for the most part. When I read adventure fantasy like this I live for the build up, because that is what makes the payoff so great. That emotional climb was not present in most of the storylines, excepting for the narrative of the woman with the firestone – I think that was the one that held my interest the most. Without that tightness there is no climax, and without a climax it just does not feel satisfying. With a book like this that has magic, dragons, and a story with several perspectives I am looking for a big payoff. In the end, it just never got there.

And so that is what I meant by a “decent start to something that could be more grand”. There are several good aspects of this book (distinct characters, good world building, and interesting storylines), and I think Re is a good writer. I just want more emotion and tension in this story. Flakes of Fire does not get a broad recommendation from me, but it is worth a read if you are looking for an adventure fantasy that includes a little magic and a dragon.

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