Wednesday 31 March 2010

A Remarkable Fantasy Novel: A Review of Goddess Fire

It's time for the last review of March, and I've saved the best for last.

My Review of  Goddess Fire by Meg Westley: 

How do you describe the book Goddess Fire by Meg Westley?   Intricate, superb, well crafted, satisfying, and fabulous are the first words that spring to my mind.  From the opening pages in the dark, chilling corners of an underground prison, to the final, gratifying conclusion the book simply sings.

“Gelfan felt his way along the pitch-black tunnel, his fingers brushing the packed dirt walls. Small sounds surrounded him: moans, sighs, airless whispers.  It had been a long time since he’d heard laughter. In this dark prison beneath the city, few had the energy even to speak.”

Goddess Fire tells the story of the imprisoned Sylvani, their enemies, The Vleth, and those allied to the Sylvani:  Joran, Nys and their fellow dissenters; their picture is illustrated against the background of warring Gods, with the fate of a people and a city at stake.  The plot seamlessly switches the story to highlight characters and situations, and has cleverly scattered chapter introductions full of back-story throughout the book in the forms of writings of the prisoners.

“They removed all the holy relics, the ancient gifts from Leil to the Sylvani.  Most of the priests simply stood and watched in tears, for Leil abhors violence and the priests had sworn to be peaceful, always. But a younger priest, enraged, seized the Shard of Seela and used its ray to immobilize a Dame. The other Dames hacked him to death with their axes.”

The author has executed a stellar effort to shape her world, breathing a vibrant life into the settings and the characters, and lures the reader inevitably within the exceptionally woven prose.   The book has a magnificent depth, wonderfully contrasting the underlying evil of the antagonists against the spirited, and sometimes desperate, struggle of the dissenters and their allies.  The author truly creates fully realised characters, be they villain or hero, with hopes, flaws and vivacity.

This is a must-read for lovers of fantasy fiction.

Goddess Fire is available at

1 comment:

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I've read Goddess Fire, and your review is spot-on. It's an excellent story. The writing is superb, and yes, I'd recommend it to anyone. Great review, Anita. Great job of writing, Meg.

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