Book Review: The Fires of Vengeance (The Burning, #2) by Evan Winter

The Fires of Vengeance is an epic follow up to The Rage of Dragons.

This review has spoilers for Book 1, The Rage of Dragons… So if you haven’t read The Rage of Dragons, and don’t want it completely and utterly spoiled, know that The Fires of Vengence was delightful, and you should read Book 1 and 2.

Carrying on. Fires of Vengeance picks up right where The Rage of Dragons left off. Tau’s love and life have been destroyed, along with most of his scale, and he has no choice but to follow Queen Tisoria, as her Champion, in order to get the revenge he sought in book 1.

Here’s the Goodreads summary:

Desperate to delay an impending attack by the indigenous people of Xidda, Tau and his queen craft a dangerous plan. If Tau succeeds, the queen will have the time she needs to assemble her forces and launch an all-out assault on her own capital city, where her sister is being propped up as the ‘true’ Queen of the Omehi.

If the city can be taken, if Tsiora can reclaim her throne and reunite her people, then the Omehi might have a chance to survive the coming onslaught.

What I love about The Fires of Vengeance:

Women’s Strength: This is a Matriarchy after all, and it is the women who run sh*t and the men trail along behind them as their swords and shields. There may be one woman in particular who got on my last dang nerve, but it’s all good though. And yes, some men may try to manipulate women for power, but let’s be honest, it’s the women who are the best and brightest here.

Relationship Building: I’m a sucker for how the characters get on with each other. I know, I know, this book is all about bada** fighting, magic, military strategy, and such, but I like to know how my characters all get along or don’t get along in many cases. Pure rage and fighting and death have no meaning without the feelings—the motivations—behind it. And this book, compared to Rage of Dragons anyway, delved deeper into the characters’ desires.

View into the upper echelons of the Omehi society: No matter how much I try, I can’t help but see how this world reflects upon our own: How much those in power want to keep their power; and what they will do, and who they will use to perpetuate the systems to keep their power. I’m always looking at the modern social context of things, and I love it when I can tie together themes of a book with themes from the real world.

The Violence: If you know me at all…I stay far away from bloody and gory things… mostly (if you excuse all the vampire stuff I watched/read)… However—given that this book is all about war and vengeance and killing, in very violent ways—this book was a pleasure to read. The pure ability of the characters to get things done. To fight. To devise plans. To cope when those plans are foiled. It’s great stuff.

This book reads like a great anime. With an entirely Black cast. I know that’s an odd thing to say, but it really does.

4.5/5 stars

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