A very rich story, going for a high/epic fantasy theme Kokoschke got it right from the start.
Halius is a Plainsward, a simple man tasked with a grave responsibility. Leaving his home behind in search of a cure to a disease that threatens to destroy his village, he soon learns that saving his people will be even harder than he feared. Zebala, a skilled Firemage, takes Halius under her wing - giving him no say in the matter. Through her he learns that his people have been plagued, not by disease, but by Gyanos Yostavro, a half-Demon warrior of such limitless power and savagery that he has subdued his entire homeland merely by existing in it. Yostavro is a far-off problem, as Halius and Zebala are thrust into a world intent on destroying them before they ever confront the self-proclaimed Lord of Fire. Facing dangers that the Plainsward had never dreamed existed, it is up to the pair to save the Plainswards - and the world - from burning destruction.
From the get go Wade Kakoschke managed to create a immaculate fantasy world that just leaves you craving for more. This world is only bettered by his writing style, which flows naturally, leading to a very quick read. Kakoschke managed to hit the right spark to set this story on fire.
In the starting chapters you’re introduced to Halius. He is a Plainsward and one of the hunters for his town on the Golden Plain. When he returns from his hunt his village is haunted by a plague, which he is going to find a cure for. In this endeavour he soon meets up with Zebala who explains certain details to him and suddenly he finds himself in a much bigger scene than he originally thought. Both Zebala and Halius make a up a big part of the story and this reflected well in their characters, they were well designed. I perceived Halius in the beginning as a typical fighter, more muscle than brain, and although you see this backed up more or less throughout the story you also see him grow and really get to feel with him. But overall he is a guardian, a Mr. Do-good. Zebala is more stubborn, cocky, has certain degree of hate and can be quite dominating. In the beginning, when only Halius and Zebala were on their journey I sometimes felt that the dialogue fell short. But there came a turn around and well.. that was such a treat. With the introduction of Lyka. Every time he featured in dialogue everything just seemed to lighten up, making the whole scene somehow funny. His expressions towards Halius, calling him Giant, Hal, Hallie, Enormo and calling Zelaba, Zeb, Zebbie and the likes was just great and I loved his witty and joyful remarks.
Halius, Zelaba and Lyka make only one part of the storyline. I was first not quite sure what the reason was behind the imprisonment of the brother of Halius, Valus. But half way in I could guess where the story would go to. Valus’ story for me was just a thrilling as the main storyline. Valus meets up with the son of Gyanos, Blunder or how he calls him Elath, and they have their own adventures in the tower of Gyanos. I was particularly impressed in how Elath was shown. He does not known many outsiders and showed a certain innocence, finding his first friend in Valus and then, when Valus get talking to others Elath feels betrayed and shows a littlie jealousy. Elath was really a character which I found relatable. And he proves much more in the end than what I would have expected from him. What I noticed in the end was that actually each character underwent a transformation when comparing them with the beginning of the book and the end. Of some it was directly noticeable, for some a bit later but proved that the characters were very interesting.
Not only were the characters great. I enjoyed also the walk through the vast continents that featured in Temptress of the Flame. There are actually two continents, the magical and the non-magical (on which our story starts). Once the transition is made off to the magical continent the story grows much in greatness. Many new - for Halius - races are introduced. But instead of dropping all this information on us, Wade Kakoschke does this in a delicate way. Notifying that the races are there, naming them and some of their powers, but there is no rush in using them all. Until…
There were more than enough encounters which were told in detail. One of which was where a resistance force was confronting Gyanos. This resistance was made up of several of the races from the magical continent, and although there were many new powers being showed off in this climactic battle it was just great reading material. There was a certain spark of hope for the resistance, but this was completely blown out once Gyanos truly showed what he was made off. And I was wondering on how can Halius and Zebala ever face him?
That leaves only the ending... And well this was quite the unexpected build that I thought it would be. Finally the two storylines are woven into one to make quite the final stand-off, there were many tries but finally one persevered.. in a very original and unique way. I am more than pleased with this ending.
In Temptress of the Flame Wade Kakoschke has managed to create a very rich story. Going for a High/Epic fantasy theme he got it right from the start. There is a nice quest, he introduces a very magical world and even more magical races. This makes Temptress of the Flame more that worth the time reading.
Review by Jasper de Joode
8.3/10 from 1 reviews
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