Dark Fire: Krisalys Chronicles of Feyree: Scroll 2
Outskirts Press (2009)
Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views (05/10)
Claudia Newcorn’s “Dark Fire” is the second book in the Krisálys Chronicles trilogy. Having missed the first one, it took me a few pages to get into the swing of things, an effort which was greatly helped by the glossary and list of main characters conveniently located at the very end of the book. There was enough information contained in this second “scroll” for me to quickly grasp the previous storyline relating to the first one, although I do have to admit that I definitely want to go back and read the first one as well. Ms. Newcorn’s fantasy world proved to be immensely intricate and extremely addictive. Once I started, I was pulled in very quickly and I kept turning the pages, immersed in the many-layered intrigues and quandaries which the colorful characters in the finely detailed words of féyree, fire daemiani, dwarves, elves and other beings were being caught in.
While “Dark Fire” is definitely a fantasy book, it is also very strongly a book about growing up and learning important lessons about life as a grown-up. The young sprytes, having earned their wings and having transformed into full féyree, are being faced with many difficult situations and tough choices. Having lost friends and having faced betrayal, they will have to forge new alliances if they want to be successful in saving their world.
Former best friends Danai and Pook are not friends any longer. Pook became the Firelord, Tvashtar Tizón, and he is ruling Nonetre, the not so very appealing fire realm. When he proposes an alliance to the féyree, some of his former friends, particularly Danai, are suspicious of his motives and try to warn their elders, unfortunately to no avail. Can Danai and other young féyree save Lampion? Who could be trusted? Who will betray them? How can they discern the truth when the two prophesies, of the two dimensions, are such opposites, yet the inhabitants of both dimensions believe so strongly in each of them?
One of the biggest strengths of “Dark Fire” proved to be also one of the biggest challenges to me, namely the immensely rich and inventive language used by the author. The book abounds with numerous words from the languages of féyree, dwarves and aels. While most of them are explained in the glossary and quite a few of them can be deducted from the context, I found myself checking the glossary a bit more often than I would have liked. On the other hand, I have to admit I loved the inventive words such as mornmeal, manylegs, sevenday and many more; as well as charmingly archaic cadence of words in many parts of the book. Language is a powerful weapon, and Ms. Newcorn uses it masterfully. Her dialogue is always sharp and scintillating, her characters are well rounded and her many storylines woven into a complex tapestry of an utterly enchanting and riveting tale. I found “Dark Fire” to be one of the most complex and gripping books in the fantasy genre that I’ve ever read, and I firmly believe that any lover of this genre would fall under its spell just as quickly as I did.