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staceyoneale

Stacey O'Neale

We review fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction books in both young adult and adult. Our website also features contests, giveaways, author interviews, guest posts, and more! http://www.fantasybookaddict.com

Sword of Fire and Sea

Sword of Fire and Sea - Erin Hoffman This review was completed by Michael Cummings, staff reviewer with the YA Fantasy GuideAs readers of epic fantasy, we are spoiled. We've come to expect that anything labeled epic must be epic in all regards. It must require epic feats of strength to carry it; it must be epic in length and effort to read it; it must have an epic length cast. Reading Erin Hoffman's debut novel, "Sword of Fire and Sea," will be a shock to the system for most epic fantasy readers who haven't experienced fantasy from the recent batch of new to the scene fantasy authors. Hoffman employs an economy of words that is near terse - there are no wasted descriptions, no wasted scenes. As the blurb from Pyr goes, three generations ago Captain Vidarian Rulorat's great-grandfather gave up an imperial commission to marry a fire priestess. For love, he unwittingly obligated his descendants toan allegiance with the High Temple of Kara'zul, domain of the firepriestesses. Now Vidarian, the last surviving member of the Rulorat family, struggles to uphold his family's legacy. All of this, of course, is background, and this is about as much as is revealed in the novel itself. You can easily disregard the rest of the back flap's description of the book, because the book quickly changes course more than once as you weave through the story. Hoffman does a great job of keeping you turning those pages, though, so that it isn't until the novel is done and you glance at the back of the cover that you remember to ask yourself, whatever happened with that plot point? For a time of the year when the northern hemisphere fantasy readers are looking for "beach books," preferably something shorter than the tomes the likes of Rothfuss and Sanderson are putting out (which aregreat, but ruin your tan by blocking out the sun as you struggle to hold a thousand page monstrosity up and turn the page), Hoffman's debut will be a fun delight. My only complaint about the novel, and I'm phrasing this so it isn't a spoiler, is - really? "Correctamundo?" "See you later, alligator?" You've got a lot of explaining to do, Ms. Hoffman :)