The Whisper of Fire is the second book in the “Beyond Horizon” series by Ben McQueeney. As a reviewer, I received an ebook copy of this book and this is my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor any review.
In The Whisper of Fire, we are reunited with Fulco Garumson, a Hume, who lives among the Elphen in Tellusm, in the town of Phenii. In this book, he returns to his Elphen family after spending three weeks in prison. He tries out for the popular Portare team. He also trains to improve his Sapience power and is invited to join a girl named Nina on a quest.
The first thing I would like to address is the actual writing of this novel. I found this book frustrating to read because it has not been well edited. There are a lot of grammatical errors, missing punctuation, missing words, and additional or incorrect words. There is a famous rule in the writing world—writers have been told for years, “show, don’t tell”. Unfortunately, The Whisper of Fire is “told” more than it is “shown”.
Now, let’s talk about the story and characters. I found the first half of the book more difficult to read than the second half. The first half lacked in action. It seemed to be the build up for the second half of the book. However, because I love the character of Fulco, I continued reading and was much happier with the second half of the book.
There was also one section in the book that, seemed to me, to explain racism in Tellusm in a way that seemed to make it acceptable. This may or may not have been the author’s intention. It may have been a lack of proper editing, but I found it disturbing. However, it was a brief section, but there was a sort of “racism” throughout the story between the different types of characters.
Despite the technical issues in the writing, the second half of the book drew me in because of the action and the characters, especially Fulco. Terrible things happen to Fulco and his friends and family in the second half of the book. Two of the biggest and most terrible things that happen are unexpected and shocking. However, Fulco does not give up. Even in his darkest hour, he finds a reason to go on, and he decides he must go on the quest.
Another thing I liked about The Whisper of Fire is the way that Ben McQueeney includes his spirit world and gods in chapters he calls “Interludes”. These chapters are a glimpse into the lives of the gods and bring them more into the story than they were in the first book, The Spirit of Things.
Also, a word of caution: the book is listed as Adult Fantasy and does include some mild language, as well as some graphic violence.
If you like fantasy novels and you liked The Spirit of Things, you will most likely like The Whisper of Fire, especially if you are a Fulco fan, as I am.
Despite the problems I found with this novel, I know I will read the next book in the series, The Fear of Gods, when it becomes available, because I want to go on Fulco’s quest with him. I am invested in Fulco’s life and the lives of his friends and family. I only hope Mr. McQueeney will be sure the technical issues are well edited before its release.
Also, despite the problems with this novel, the second half definitely redeemed the book for me. Therefore, I give The Whisper of Fire by Ben McQueeney 4 stars.