SPFBO 2018 entry Whispers of Flame by Lois Emery
Firstly, my SPFBO reviews are not intended to be discouraging feedback for the author. This is only one reviewer’s opinion and should be taken in the context of the contest which is that reviewers on Booknest were assigned books by our EIC and not chosen based on any particular tastes of the reviewer in question. I think to have written a book is a monumental achievement and I hope that all SPFBO authors continue to work on their craft and share their stories.
Whispers of Flame is a multi 3rd person POV fantasy adventure that is primarily concerned with the story of an older soldier and a young girl. While I found the execution of some of the world building to be lacking I did enjoy the econmony of words used to describe action though on occasion that caused some confusion as I didn’t get a full picture of what was occurring.
I found the two central character perspectives to be quite believable and felt empathy for Ethlin, the young girl plagued with visions, and Ser Malcom. We’re dealing with two characters that are important to the world and its events even in their somewhat relatively powerless positions as young girl and soldier. So there is a thread of being the underdog and fighting and overcoming that is satisfying.
Apart from my confusion with the world building and some of the action being muddied, is the issue of the abrupt ending which doesn’t feel entirely earned and also feels a bit of a set up for the next entry.
Overall, I enjoyed Whispers of Flame for its POV characters and its ecomical yet exciting action. Yet I wish there were more pages to flesh out certain aspects of the world and the events surrounding the ending.