The Fire Song
By K Bannerman
Quick hit – "The Fire Song" is a great read.
If that’s all you need to know, then my recommendation is to go buy, rent or borrow a copy and enjoy. If you’re looking for a little more, read on.
First, a confession. I’m not your standard fantasy reader. I write crime fiction and like any writer, I read extensively in my genre. So elves and fairies and goblins and gods are not so much in my repertoire these days. But I grew up reading Tolkien and Lewis and Piers Anthony. I think when you read at that age, those stories get hard wired into a person. So I came pretty easily to The Fire Song.
When her antique instrument that she calls Pike is lost in a fire, Maja first mourns for the loss, then begins to wonder if it were lost at all. Much as Roger Zelazny eased his readers into the concept of Amber in Nine Princes in Amber, Bannerman takes us by the hand and gently walks us from the world we know into a world where the ancient gods exist side by side with the men and women of today. Myth and legend are really just another part of history, she would have us believe. And you know what? She tells this story seamlessly enough that I was willing to believe her, at least for a time.
Maja is compelling from page one. She’s a musician and I think we all know what free spirits musicians can be. She also seems to accept the infidelity of her doctor husband, which is a fairly unique mindset. She tolerates and adores her grandmother, who is her doorway to the old ways. She seems curious but at peace with her mother’s long ago departure. Maja is at once a modern woman and an old soul. All of this is apparent from the first few pages of the novel. I found myself really liking Maja. A lot. Okay, I loved her from jump city. Not the ‘put a poster of her on the wall’ or ‘stalk her on the Internet’ sort of love. More like the ‘she’s my favorite cousin and I love hanging out with her’ sort. Maja is the kind of person who makes you feel comfortable being you because she accepts who you are and likes you as-is. How do I know this? Her personality is constantly on display in how she treats others and interacts with them.
At times quirky and at other times tense, The Fire Song takes the reader on a journey through family, love, legend and a coming battle of epic proportions. Bannerman writes in a very clean style of prose most of the time, but every so often she’ll turn a phrase so striking that is almost poetry. The book is a quick read, both in style and word count, and well worth the time you’ll spend with Maja in British Columbia, in Stennish history and…well, read it and you’ll see where else.
Written on 11th July 2011 by Frank Zafiro.