Catherine Asaro, The Fire Opal Reviews

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“The Fire Opal ”

Written on: 02/05/2007 by Harriet Klausner (18637 reviews written)

The Fire Opal
Catherine Asaro
Luna, July 2007, $14.95
ISBN 0373802773

As a priestess in the Dragon-Sun temple, Ginger-Sun serves the villagers of nearby Sky Flames. She provides them with comfort and leads them in prayer and ceremonies honoring the Sun that lights up the sky and the world. However, Ginger-Sun also conceals from her parishioners and her peers a dark secret. She possesses a fire opal given to her by her grandfather when she was five years old that enables her to perform spells of heat and light during nighttime; no one else as far as she knows can perform this heresy that she thinks might be a form of worship to some night God.

Villager Harjan and several miners from the ore flats arrive at the temple upset. They disturb the evening rest of the Priestess because someone stabbed a man whom they carried to her so she can perform the Sunset Rites so his spirit can move on. Sending the men away, instead of the rite of passage Ginger-Sun uses her fire opal to heal the soldier Darz Goldstone. By performing "witchcraft", Ginger-Sun knows she must burn at the stake. Darz rescues her and Ginger-Sun leaves behind all she treasured to begin anew with her beloved Darz at her side while the Dragon-Sun mentors her to use her magic to save the land of Taka Mal from the darkness that threatens to turn off the Sun.

Returning to the realm where THE MISTED CLIFFS and THE CHARMED SPHERE takes place, Catherine Asaro provides the audience with a character driven beguiling and enchanting romantic fantasy starring a courageous Priestess who knows the cost of using forbidden magic, but does so to save a stranger's life. The gripping story line is fast-paced as Ginger-Sun saves Darz, which makes his assassins her enemy and hopefully prevents the darkening of Taka Mal. Sub-genre fans already know that Ms. Asaro is one of the top RF wizards, but THE FIRE OPAL is her best work to date.

Harriet Klausner

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