The highly anticipated second book in Sarah Micklem’s literary fantasy trilogy that began with the critically acclaimed debut, Firethorn.
Sarah Micklem brings her lush prose and rich imagina- tion to the second installment of this epic trilogy, set in an imaginary world as real as history and as marvelous as legend.
Sire Galan has forbidden his servant and lover Firethorn to follow him to war, but she disobeys, and sets sail with the army of Corymb to the land of Incus. During the crossing, Firethorn is struck by lightning. She regains consciousness to find her speech garbled and her memory in tatters. Despite her injuries, others see her as blessed, for she has survived the touch of a god, Wildfire. Priests and soldiers search her nonsensical utterances for hidden prophecies.
In the aftermath of battle, Firethorn is captured by the defeated king of Incus. He takes refuge in the kingdom where Firethorn was born, a place she remembered only in dreams. There, a world away from Galan, she discovers not only the land and language she was born to, but a life of unexpected luxury and power. But this privilege has a high cost, one which Firethorn may not be able to bear.
The harsh realities of ancient war and a woman's struggle to break free of male dominance blend brilliantly in this dream-drenched sequel to Micklem's 2004 debut, Firethorn. Exquisite prose ("I had no edges between inside and out") enhances this glowing tapestry narrated by Firethorn, a healer, precognitive dreamer and slave struck by lightning while on a voyage to join her master. Believing she has been branded by the god Ardor Wildfire, she suffers a painful recovery that leaves her with a lopsided face, strange garbled speech and the ability to see shades. Sire Galan still desires her, but her rebellious acts strain their relationship. Then Galan's adversary, King Arkhyios Corvus, takes Firethorn captive, and her further travails lead her to truly understand the gift of "inward fire." Micklem has penned a rich and memorable tribute to endurance and self-enlightenment.