Title: Fire Arrow
Author: Edith Pattou
Series: The Songs of Eirren #2
Brie is settling in with Collun in his father’s old dun by the sea. But amid the peaceful labor planting the land, she’s still bothered by her promise to herself to avenge her father’s murder. Then she gets an unexpected nudge that leads her to a fire arrow that is her birthright, and a country that holds as many questions as answers. Power stirs in the arrow, and somehow in Brie when she holds it, power that may have a different sort of destiny set out for her . . .
I like this less than the first book, but it’s still an interesting read. Brie left some unfinished business with her vow for revenge, and she never got a lot of backstory in Hero’s Song. Here, the story is mostly about her journey, with Collun on the sidelines.
Like the first book, the story retains a strong base in realism. Although it’s a different kingdom, it shows a lot of the life of ordinary people, from sheepherders to farmers to fishers, and even the magic that sparks in some of those people has a rather ordinary feel to it. Even when its effects can range from calling up lightning to dispelling evil, it feels grounded. A part of the way things are.
I also liked Brie’s lack of self-awareness in regards to the romance. It’s about the only way she could have left Collun, and later become such good friends with Lom, without me getting irritated. Because she’s not trying to play with their emotions. She’s just honestly never thought about love, or that other people might be in love with her, which is refreshing even though the her physical reactions betray that some kind of romance is going to come anyway.
I didn’t like the lack of a clear focus. It isn’t just that Brie wavers on her goal—she’s nowhere near as motivated as Collun in looking for his sister. This is more of a meandering journey that happens to end in a much bigger climax than killing a single Wyrme. It was interesting to see how both Collun and Brie changed their minds about revenge. Collun finds a greater darkness than he suspected in his own heart, and although he prevails, he’s left wiser about how one might fall to it. And Brie finds Collun was more right than she wanted him to be, but she finds a way to go on, to come back from the place where she thought her life was ended.
All in all this is an interesting cap to the duology. There’s the seeds of more stories, but nothing that ever came of them. I rate this book Recommended.