Her parents died as heroes. When their murderous enemy returns for revenge, she must learn to handle the truth before she can save her world.
Betharad’s devotion to her family’s legacy will never fade. The newly elected leader of her town is determined to do her best for her community and orphaned siblings. But their lives quickly plunge into chaos with the return of her parents’ nemesis.
As the ruthless sorcerer seeks vengeance and nightmarish creatures threaten her beloved home, Betharad despairs her lack of magical powers to protect her people. When her siblings are taken hostage, she faces shocking secrets from the past that threaten to claim a fatal price.
This is a story of siblings; a set of twins and their older sister. They’re caught up in impossible events that are well beyond their control, and as the book progresses, they learn that much of what they’ve been taught all their lives has been nothing but lies.
I have a soft spot for sibling stories, and this was a good one. Betharad is the eldest; at the beginning of the book, she is preparing to celebrate her achievement of being elected steward of Naerun. She’s determined and wants to do what’s right for her city, while still looking after the welfare of her twin siblings, Jessa and Sarnd. Jessa is hot-headed and impulsive, which sometimes lands her in trouble. Sarnd is quiet and bookish, but has his moments of rash decision-making (often when Jessa is involved.) I liked that each sibling was markedly different than the others, yet they still cared for one another—particularly at the end after so much of their history has been revealed.
The first half of the book focuses on an investigation into the “sorcerer” mentioned in the synopsis. At first there is some speculation as to whether he’s even present, since it was long thought he was dead. Even after it’s revealed that yes, he is really there, and he is planning to make trouble, there is a lot of discussion about what the town should do in response. With Betharad’s role as steward, she is inevitably caught up in the politics, while her siblings attempt to carry on with their lives. While I enjoyed the buildup phase of this story and saw the necessity in it, I think some readers may feel the beginning half is a bit on the slow side. But stick with it, because the end is worth it.
So much happens in the last half of this book. There is the hostage situation mentioned in the synopsis, and it played out in unexpected ways. There were a number of surprise twists, some big revelations, dangerous magic and supernatural beings… And at the heart of it all, the siblings. I would love to go into more details, but I don’t want to give anything away.
The Hungry Fire was a great story, one I’d recommend to anyone who enjoys epic fantasy.