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Going to the praire [Story] Advance the road [Story] The arrogance of the Giant King [Story] True Intention [Story] Face the Imaginal Mind [Story] Far Away Destination [Story] Recommend for Gastronomy [Story] Lily Fly in Formation [Story] The Road of Anxiety [Story] Giant King Again [Story] Threatening Submerged Trap [Story] Merman the Surfer [Story] Sophisticated Ceiling Painting [Story] Left Hand for Solution [Story] Food for Devil [Story] Lady of Mask [Story] Bewildering [Story] Viscous Undead Lizard [Story] The Perplexed Pair [Story] A Violently Fluctuating Climate [Story] Great Black Wolf Pack [Story] A wounded heart [Story] EX Make sure each other bonds 85 Venison [Story] Mountain path of the eagle [Story] Jade eagle [Story] Departure from the forest [Story] Unexpected Visitor [Story] EX Loyalty bulldog [Story] Fighting with real swords [Story] Foreign visitor Judging corrosion [Story] Emergency in the Labyrinth city [Story] Black apostle demon warriors story [Story] Princess and Knight again [Story] Arrive at the Arena [Story] Hustle and bustle of the bone forest [Story] Interrupted unexpected bone Army [Story] Jet-black corpse tsunami [Story] Desire full of tea [Story] Confusing Ki Demihuman [Story] The Kingdom Festival starts!

Relentless believers [Story] Encounter from the enemy [Story] Enter to the Old Labyrinth [Story] Revealing its true face Dark bindings [Story] Relentless believers [Limited] Struggle with material vases in a dark room Beginner Intermediate Senior Large claws of the cat [Story] Jet-black corpse tsunami Stalactite stone of the cinderhead cave [Story] Thirst for blood shoot Sunshine Meat of the Avenger [Story] Thirst for blood shoot Sunshine Thunderous revenge [Story] I appeared in four elephant hero Faithless heart [Story] I appeared in four elephant hero Passage of teachings [Story] Battle of true swords Knight spear pike [Story] Hoffman focuses quite squarely on the here and now for Vidarian and Ariadel, giving us just enough to understand their situation s and motivations.

There is a definite 'quest' feel to each of their adventures as Hoffman tosses surprises at them and character relationships are built quickly and predicated on past association or some bonding element. Surprisingly much of what is outlined in the blurb is not helpful until closer to the end of the book. Though much of it has ramifications such as the rare genetic disease the characters don't confront the issues until later on.

Though this is the start of a larger series, its self-contained enough that readers shouldn't feel stunted or unfulfilled. Truthfully speaking a reader could read this and be satisfied with the ending. For the moment I don't know what the second book is about, or who it features or what adventures they'll have, but the questions brought forth in this book were answered and fleshed out.

Apr 27, Michael Cummings rated it really liked it. As readers of epic fantasy, we are spoiled. Hoffman employs an economy of w As readers of epic fantasy, we are spoiled. For love, he unwittingly obligated his descendants to an allegiance with the High Temple of Kara'zul, domain of the fire priestesses. 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 are great, 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.

Jul 06, Jon Sprunk rated it really liked it. Erin Hoffman's debut shows a remarkable deftness in storytelling and beautiful language. Some of her descriptions are so good they actually made me stop and read them again just to appreciate the lilt of the prose. This is an adventure story with heart. Oct 24, Justin rated it it was ok Shelves: pyr , fantasy , debut , read , release. I have a sneaking suspicion that Sword of Fire and Sea is going to be one of the more polarizing novels of as a perfect example of form over substance.

Erin Hoffman's debut from Pyr has a beautiful voice, and a fully realized, textured world. It has gryphons, pegasus, and elemental magic all of which evoke whimsy and a general sense of romance. Vidarian must fulfill his family's obligation by transporting a young fire priestess named Ariadel to a water temple far to the south, through dangerous pirate-controlled territory.

Fire & Blood

A perilous journey in the best of conditions, Vidarian and Ariadel find themselves at the intersection of the world's most volatile elements and an ancient, alien power between them. Unlike most genre novels, Sword didn't keep me up late into the night despite an frenetic plot. Hoffman's style is more geared toward reading a chapter at a time to absorb her lyrical imagery, letting it breathe like a fine wine. I found myself pausing from time to time to really relish over a nice turn of phrase or particularly well put together sentence. Escher painting, the longer I stared at it the more I saw.

All of this makes for a rich and textured reading experience. Paragraphs alone to do not a good novel make though, and often Hoffman fails to connect her reader to her characters or her plot.


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Functionally a travelogue, Sword bounces Vidarian all over the map, first with Ariadel by his side, and then to rescue her, and then to their ultimate goal. That's me being flip, but the truth is the pace and suddenness of the travel rarely gave me the opportunity to be comfortable with the story. Instead, I was left scrambling to understand what was happening and more importantly why.

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Equally as frustrating were the occasional terms, or factions that Hoffman assumes the reader to have knowledge. I don't mind the slow world building, dropping new ideas from time to time, and explaining them later God's War being a great example of this , but never explaining them just leads to confusion. One in particular that comes to mind was the use of the term, Quenched, in reference to a fire priestess's power. Early in the novel I presumed this meant one thing, only to find out it meant something else, only to learn it didn't mean that either.

With the novel over, I still don't really know it means. While I might hazard a guess, it was frustrating that at every point in the novel I thought it meant something different, leaving me scratching my head when characters did things I thought they could no longer do. In a year I've been spoiled by brilliant debuts this one just doesn't stand out. In terms of substance and style there's absolutely no similarity. Like Hoffman, Sykes was a new author trying to find his way. While he had some stumbles, mostly related to plot and pacing, he has an incredibly strong voice that's his own.

I can absolutely say the same about Erin Hoffman. There is something uniquely her in the prose and that's special. While I may not have enjoyed Sword of Fire and Sea as a narrative, I very much look forward to the author's future growth as a writer.

Thankfully, it looks like Pyr is going to give me that chance as they recently announced the purchase of two more novels in The Chaos Knight series. I'll be sure to check them out. First I'm gonna start by saying I could not finish this book. The writing wasn't really good enough to make me "feel" for the characters. The writing style was more of a story telling then dialogue driven, and for me that's the best way for an author to endear their characters to me, through good dialogue.

On the other hand the author did a very good job discribing the settings and scenery, and I imagine that had I finished the book it would have shown good world building. One aspect I didn't lik First I'm gonna start by saying I could not finish this book. One aspect I didn't like at all, and ultimately made me put it down. During the beginning of the book the author is setting the story, it's about a captain who is hired to escort a fire priestess to another country. During the beginning of the voyage the captain and the priestess have one or two meaningful conversations, but other then that don't really interact much.

Then all of a sudden when they are at port the captain accidentally knocks on the preistess' door, she invites him and in short order they start making out! I mean common, no real relationship building, no trust building, nothing! And then two seconds later she's being captured buy the bad guys right out of his grasp. So now he is going to throw caution to the wind to rescue her, as if he's had this deep meaningful love with. I just can't buy into that.

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I know it's my personal presence but what I believe makes a good book are the relationships of the characters and their growth. Whether its two lovers, a father and son, or just two really good friends that is what makes a book good.

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High-seas adventure, elemental magic and world-changing events. And gryphons! Did I mention the gryphons? This book wasn't great.

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The plot was entirely predictable and bounced along, hitting major scenes without much buildup. I couldn't bring myself to care for the characters at all. The book's summary does half of the introduction: Vidarian Rulorat's ancestor married a fire priestess; Vidarian is now hired to escort another fire priestess to the Water Temple. We only find out what the rare genetic disease is in the later chapters: in this universe, everyone carries an elemental affiliation to air, This book wasn't great.


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We only find out what the rare genetic disease is in the later chapters: in this universe, everyone carries an elemental affiliation to air, water, earth, or fire ; when genetic lineages are mixed, the person's competing elements doom them to the blood plague, or death. I really did not care for this book; the worldbuilding felt that it could have been interesting, but it was just badly handled. Jul 05, Sarah Gonzalez rated it really liked it. Sword of Fire and Sea by Erin Hoffman was an incredibly exciting and compelling read. Hoffman covers a lot of ground in this debut and the direction changes quite a few times.

Yet somehow she manages to keep the story flowing and the reader engaged. I felt like the book set a challenge and solved and moved on to something new a number of times. Does that make sense to you? The plotline just kept progressing and progressing; therefore the goals of the characters changed throughout the story as well. That being said, I never once felt like things dragged.

Yes, the author uses the eloquent, lush and lavish writing style that fantasy readers are used to, but she always stays focused on the topic. The characters were all intriguing and unique in their own way. There is the main character, Vidarian, who fits well in the role of reluctant hero. Then we have the fire priestess Ariadel, who develops a rather defiant rebellious streak. You never really know what to expect from them and they certainly keep things interesting.

I will say that the relationship between Ariadel and Vidarian threw me a bit. Maybe I just gotten to used to paranormal romances, but I felt the story was really lacking build up. Then, suddenly they are a couple.