In Darren Boeck’s Gifts of Fire and Ice, Serg had been ill as long as he could remember, fighting an ever-present enemy which forbid him a normal life. Orphaned at a young age, his sister, Val, cared for him, using her gifting skills to keep them fed and warm. It wasn’t until the empire sought out a powerful gifter that their lives forever changed. Tasked with gifting a special bracelet, Val soon comes to learn she is not only a talented gifter, but a powerful one, and a person others would seek for their own gains, at the risk of her life. The change of scenery seemed like it would be a small price to pay for safety, but life in Windfall would change the very foundation of everything they thought they knew. Enemies hide in the woodwork, and increasingly bold attempts on the princess’ life cause great unrest. Something is happening, war is coming, and Val and Serg are right in the middle.
Gifts of Fire and Ice is the first book in Darren Boeck’s Firenight Prophecies series. This epic fantasy mainly follows the lives of small-town siblings Val and Serg as they stumble their way through life and the new responsibilities found upon their shoulders. I really enjoyed watching the evolution of these two characters, and how their lives took them on different paths. This separation allows the reader to gain a larger understanding of the magnificent world of magic and politics built by Darren Boeck. Great effort has been put into crafting a believable world and plot with great characters. Action, adventure, magic, mysteries, politics and scheming are but some of the threads in this intricate tapestry, and watching things escalate was a thrill.
(advance copy – review published after release)