Next in this series of hot authors from New Jersey is Terri Brisbin whose blend of magical and historical elements in her new book, RISING FIRE, kept me turning pages.
Brienne of Yester, an innocent village girl adopted by a blacksmith, finds herself the sudden center of attention when her cruel lord and father, Hugh de Gifford, reclaims her. He says he wants to train her in her ability to cast fire, but in reality, he’s planning on sacrificing her to the goddess of flame and chaos–setting the goddess free from her prison.
William de Brus, loyal servant to the king and fierce warrior, is sent on a mission to investigate Hugh de Gifford and the powers he is rumored to possesses. When William meets Brienne, he is transfixed by this beautiful girl with a molten aura. Brienne has little experience with men outside of her village, but is equally drawn to William, daring to meet him in the forest where he threatens to teach her why she should never go to a man alone.
Soon, Brienne and William find it is more than just chemistry that’s drawn them together. William has also been blessed by the gods, possessing a warrior’s power. He cannot resist the urge to protect her, but Brienne is allied with Hugh. Will she prove William’s greatest weakness…or his greatest strength?
Brisbin is such a strong historical author–I appreciated the research she did to make her story world that much closer to reality. As in many contemporary fantasies or paranormals, most characters are resistant to the idea that magic exists. Even William doubts the existence of these rumored fire powers and worries for the king’s mental health. There is a big payoff when the principal character’s powers are revealed. 🙂
The antagonist, Hugh, is a sadistic monster you will love to hate. Brisbin did a great job building background so we can understand how he got to be that way, adding dimension too his character that is much appreciated in a genre where antagonists are often flat.
I really liked both William and Brienne whose chemistry is fueled on multiple levels. They meet as village girl and lord–a couple for which marriage would be next to impossible. The closer Hugh draws Brienne beneath his wing, the more she becomes an enemy to William’s cause. William needs to be very careful around her, but his power and need to possess her make it difficult to control himself (absolutely love this!).
Here’s a link to Terri Brisbin’s website: http://www.terribrisbin.com/index.php
I hope you enjoy this gorgeous fantasy–first in Brisbin’s new Stone Circles Series!
Michelle Joyce Bond