Sunday, May 6, 2018

"Flamewalker" by D.W. Vogel

Two neighboring countries; In one, orphaned girls who have come of age participate in Immolation Day. By walking through a magical wall of flame, some are chosen by the goddess to wield one of 3 powers and thus becoming seers, healers, or firemaidens. Kahlira, however seems to have been chosen to wield all 3 powers as well as a mysterious 4th power that is not identified nor ever been seen before. These girls are honored and trained to use their powers to help others. Their lives, while not easy are generally pleasant and happy. The one thing they must give up before the goddess gives them these powers is the ability to ever have children.

In their neighboring country, all young girls are forced to go through the Immolation Day flames. Those considered unfortunate enough to be gifted with such powers are now considered property of the king. They and all their family members are branded so that all know who and what they are. All are removed from their homes and taken to a prison town. The girls’ families are used to convince the girls that they must not ever disobey their orders, no matter what they are ordered to do. To do so means their families will be harshly punished. For any girls who somehow manage to avoid the Immolation Day flames, any who later seek the chance to secretly find their own Immolation Day flames and gain a power on their own are considered traitors. If caught, they are brought home in chains and their families are forced to watch them be burned alive to convince others not to try the same.

These two countries treat these gifted women so differently, though they are so close geographically in location. But what happens when the father of one girl who was burned alive seeks revenge on those he considers responsible. Having been forced to watch his daughter’s death, he stumbles upon a long forgotten secret that allows a man to steal these powers the goddess has given only to women. However doing so exacts a horrible price on the grieving father, for these gifts are only safely wielded by women.

I greatly enjoyed reading this book. The story captivated me from the beginning and I am very glad that I picked up a copy of the book up after seeing it at a book festival. Give this one a try if you get the chance. I don’t think you’ll regret it. I loved it.

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