My Review of Goddess Fire by Meg Westley:
“Gelfan felt his way along the pitch-black tunnel, his fingers brushing the packed dirt walls. Small sounds surrounded him: moans, sighs, airless whispers. It had been a long time since he’d heard laughter. In this dark prison beneath the city, few had the energy even to speak.”
Goddess Fire tells the story of the imprisoned Sylvani, their enemies, The Vleth, and those allied to the Sylvani: Joran, Nys and their fellow dissenters; their picture is illustrated against the background of warring Gods, with the fate of a people and a city at stake. The plot seamlessly switches the story to highlight characters and situations, and has cleverly scattered chapter introductions full of back-story throughout the book in the forms of writings of the prisoners.
“They removed all the holy relics, the ancient gifts from Leil to the Sylvani. Most of the priests simply stood and watched in tears, for Leil abhors violence and the priests had sworn to be peaceful, always. But a younger priest, enraged, seized the Shard of Seela and used its ray to immobilize a Dame. The other Dames hacked him to death with their axes.”
The author has executed a stellar effort to shape her world, breathing a vibrant life into the settings and the characters, and lures the reader inevitably within the exceptionally woven prose. The book has a magnificent depth, wonderfully contrasting the underlying evil of the antagonists against the spirited, and sometimes desperate, struggle of the dissenters and their allies. The author truly creates fully realised characters, be they villain or hero, with hopes, flaws and vivacity.
This is a must-read for lovers of fantasy fiction.
Goddess Fire is available at