HIGH FLIGHT AND FLAMES by KATE COE
PB, 132 pages, Kristell Ink
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Please be aware that this review may contain spoilers for previous books in the series.
This is the third in Kate Coe’s sequence of Quorl novellas, and if you haven’t read the previous two books, Green Sky and Sparks, and Grey Stone and Steel then do me a favour. Stop reading this review now, go and get them, read them (it won’t take long,) and then come back. I would hate for you to spoilerise yourself.
High Flight and Flames picks up the action where the previous book finished. Healer-Mage S’ian is recovering from her injuries sustained in the dramatic glider crash that came at the climax of Grey Stone and Steel, and she’s still trapped in Aleric as the city is besieged by the Ziricon. All the while her reluctant soul-partner Toru Idalin, back in Meton, is frantically working out a strategy that will hopefully turn the tide of the war. The bond between them is creating magical ability which has previously been unknown in Quorl, and it’s not clear where the boundaries of that power lay. S’ian also has to deal with a nascent relationship with a fellow-mage, conscious all the while of how her inadvertent soul-bonding with Toru was the very thing that forced his previous lover away.
The action in this third volume focusses very much on the Quorl battle strategy; as the war machines of Ziricon crawl towards Meton, Toru is forced to turn the city’s emerging technology into a weapon that the Ziricon are desperate to get their hands on. There are parallels there with the unknown power that is created between Toru and S’ian, and the unknown qualities of the power of spark that the Metons are using in self-defence.
To my mind, the Ziricon go down a little too easily in this volume, but we still have seven books to go and I’m pretty sure they’ll be back. It may look for the moment as if Toru and S’ian have everything they want, but the consequences of harnessing this fearsome new technology in the way they have will, I’m sure, come back to haunt them in future books… I can’t wait to see where this series goes next.
And if, like me, you want to know what happens next then Volume Four, Salt Winds and Wandering, is available to pre-order now and is released on October 15th 2016.