"Taming Fire" is the first book in a fantasy trilogy by author Aaron Pogue. This is both a Kindle e-book (503 Kb) and paperback (361 pages) and is priced at $0.99 and $12.81 respectively.
SPOILERS (general theme...no specifics revealed)
Our hero, Daven Carrickson, is a young shepherd with some skills at swordplay. A wizard by the name of Claighan arrives and tells him of a dark scourge that is soon about to invade the land. He further eludes to the fact that Daven has special skills (that he was unaware of) that are essential to thwarting this evil tide...skills that must be developed and honed before they can be used effectively. Intially he refuses to believe this seemingly impossible tale, but after some lenghty discussion with Claighan, he reluctantly and somewhat skeptically agrees to accompany the wizard to see the King and to further his learning. And so the adventure begins.
1.) an intriguing story full of some new ideas and promise.
2.) I thought the writing quality of the first halve of the book was above average...it maintained my interest and had me looking forward to continue reading more of this book.
3.) beautiful (if somewhat dark) cover art...very appealing
1.) a hero whose development seemed to progress at a snails pace. It just seemed to take forever for Daven to develop his 'talent'. I can understand that a young character may need extra time and training, but this was so sluggish in moving along, I nearly lost patience with this story.
2.) other than with his school peers (at the beginning of the book), every confrontation Daven had, saw him on his backside, scrambling to survive...a scenario that simply became repetitious and from a reader perspective, started to get stale and even a little frustrating in its frequency.
3.) because of a combo of 1.) and 2.) the latter halve of the story seemed to bog down with repetitious topics, slowing the story telling down to a crawl.
4.) *spoiler*...towards the end Daven is left with two choices...siding with either the King or the main villain, Lareth and his rebel band. The problem, from a reader perspective was that both choices were equally unappealing...the King was such an self-centered, stupid character who surrounded himself with people who were mean and cruel. Lareth the evil mastermind, seemed an unlikely choice as well because he was...er, well...the bad guy, but when compared to the alternative (the King), he almost appeared a more reasonable choice in many regards.
5.) *spoiler*...we end up with a final confrontations that uses a 'save-the-day-at-the-last-gasp' writing technique. Daven and his ally, the black dragon, are taking a beating...it appears all is about to be lost. BUT our hero uses his newly found conjuring skills (yes, finally some usable 'skill') to make a special magical sword out of the earth at his feet (yes, from the earth no less), to finally dispatch the main villain at the last second. Totally unexpected, totally unbelievable! Totally a Young Adult genre ploy.
6.) there were some noticeable writing concerns e.g. repetitious wording...
for instance...the word 'growl' (or some derivative of it) was used 30 times throughout this work.
Likewise, the word 'scream' (or a derivative) was used 54 times in the book and 13 times! in the last chapter alone. These are the kind of occurrences that make me wonder what the editor was doing. Did no one (author, friends, proof readers) not notice this?
7.) no map. A tale with a lot of traveling and locales that were geographically diverse enough to merit one.
A book that had such promise...it started out so well. But it lost its momentum and faltered in the latter half.
A 'superhero' ending to save the final battle...unfortunately this cast a tainted shadow on all the good things that went on before.
Early on I was looking forward to the second book...not so sure now.
As it is...2 1/2 to 3 Stars.