I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into when I picked up Keri Arthur’s BURN. Arthur is the author of many books, but this is the first that I’ve had the pleasure to read, and it is Book Three of her Kingdom of Earth and Air series.
At the beginning we find that the protagonist has lost her memory. Because she doesn’t know anything the world that she’s in and learns about it as she goes, it doesn’t matter if the reader is unfamiliar with the world either. We soon learn that Nara, the protagonist, fought on the back of a drakkon against the Mareritt, the ancient enemy of the Arleeon. But when her memories start coming back, Nara is astonished to find that the Mareritt have won dominion over the Arleeon people.
Nara begins the story a prisoner of the Mareritt. She soon learns that the man she is chained with, Kai, is a member of the Arleeon resistance. Together they work together to escape their captors. From the beginning their is distrust, doubt and uncertainty between Kai and Nara, and over the course of the book – as they work together to escape the clutches of the Mareritt – they become friends, they learn to trust each other and depend on each other.
The world-building throughout the book is exceptional, featuring a great combination of technology and magic, and you learn a lot about the history of the world and the war between Arleeon and Mareritt. I especially enjouyed the drakkons and the kin. Drakkons are, well, fire-breathing dragons, and ancient allies of the Arleeon people. The kin are folk of a particular bloodline who can bond with drakkons, communicate with them telepathically, and fly them into battle. Not only that, but they have the power of flame, and can wield it as a weapon themselves.
While I really enjoyed the story and got caught up in the events, in the characters lives, when I think about the book in hindsight, I’m not exactly sure who it’s for. The protagonist appears to be too old for YA, and has had her fair share of lovers on the past, so perhaps it’s New Adult? Yet some of the dialogue feels more at home in a YA story. I guess it doesn’t matter much, as readers probably sixteen or seventeen and above would enjoy it. It’s certainly a world that I’m looking forward to returning to!
To learn more about the Kingdom of Earth and Air series, visit Keri Arthur’s website, where you can no doubt purchase your copy of BURN and many of her other books!
- Originally published August 2019