Southern Fire

Juliet E. McKenna
Southern Fire Cover

Southern Fire


SOUTHERN FIRE, by Juliet E. McKenna, is a fantasy set in a vast archipelago with hundreds of islands ruled by many different warlords. It's the first book in her Aldabreshin Compass series.

The story starts with an invasion of the southernmost islands, the Chazen Domain, by previously unknown savages with magical powers. Chazen Saril, warlord of the Chazen Domain, comes to Daish Kheda seeking help. As a people who fear magic, Kheda is not sure he can assist. He eventually decides, after watching for portents from the stars, the sky, the water (just about anything really), that he may be able to help by devising an elaborate secret plan to rid the south of the invaders. I felt that so much faith in omens made the people seem a bit ignorant. They absolutely wouldn't make a decision without finding a sign from something.

One might not agree with the plan Kheda pursues, but it does open up the story for more adventures with more characters. He comes across a few people with interesting backgrounds.

The book held my interest throughout by including some intrigue between the domains. Major characters are well-defined. Clothing is described, which is something I find to be helpful in seeing the characters in my mind's eye.

The magic used is powerful and the results are remarkable. For example, mages can change into all manner of horrid beasts to battle one another.

I do hope that more of the responsible party or parties for certain events, and the reasons behind them, are revealed in the next book. SOUTHERN FIRE is a fascinating world to enter. A surprise at the end of the book leaves one wondering what lies ahead for Daish Kheda! I plan on reading the next book shortly!