The mystical land of Draecus-a land closed off from all others for generations. In Mikaelia, it is remembered only in bedtime stories passed down through the ages. With the war for the lands of Mikaelia now over, the human female Jarnell fights her family’s wishes of marriage to unite two noble houses and strengthen the family holdings. Running away, she seeks out her elven friend, Dekion, and gains a startling traveling companion in the form of a half-orscha warrior, Sahri-tah. Coming together after the devastating wars between the races of their land, the three of them battle against their own distrusts of each other’s races to search for Dekion’s father, who was lost during wars. Following their only lead, given to them by a crazed man in the streets of Sel Lorst, they find themselves in the lost, magical land of Draecus where a war between humans and orscha has just begun. While they wait, the companions become caught up in the war that crosses the once peaceful Draecus. They must fight to stay alive long enough for the portals to open again and allow them passage back to their own land. At the same time, Jarnell, a follower of the Goddess of passion, fights the desire to stay in the arms of Daedic, the only man to ever bring to life the flames of passion in her body, mind, and soul.
Ms. Chase has written a novel that intricately weaves several storylines together skillfully into one cohesive story, spanning over several years, that while it stands alone, leaves the reader begging to know more. This is good, since there are rumors of another book along the same historical time line as this one from Ms. Chase.
With fanciful but believable characters, races such as the elves, orscha, and a race of people known as the Aishtoullar, which are similar to characters we have seen in other fantasy novels, but with a new twist that is unlike anything a reader might find in any other fantasy novel – the characters of Keeper of the Flame will not fail to delight and keep you drawn into the story, and they are not the same tired fantasy fiction races you might be used to reading in recent fantasy books.
The story begins with the birth of Jarnell, our unlikely heroine, who came into this world and into her station in a rather chaotic way, to fulfill a destiny, unknown to her, her family, or her companions – a destiny known only to that Goddess she serves, but to whom she has never committed herself or her sword completely – a destiny that Jarnell is not too sure she can fulfill.
From there, we are introduced to a variety of characters, all linked to Jarnell in some way, and we watch their adventures as they travel on their quest, a quest that, should they fail, would ultimately mean the destruction of two worlds. On this quest, we are taken through a series of events that show us war and destruction but also love and friendship, and the bonds of blood, family, not to mention a great romance thrown in the middle of all the other chaos. It’s a good balance, and a believable plot with which any reader can relate.
Keeper of the Flame is a story about passion… passion for life, passion for love, passion for following one’s destiny, in spite of all the obstacles.
The writing style of this book is almost poetic in nature, but it is very easy to read. The imagery is beautiful, the lands created drawn as pictures through words. The editing is superb. The formatting of the book is neat, attractive and clean. The binding is strong, with a full color paperback high gloss cover, with bold colors.
I highly recommend this novel and look forward to more of Ms. Chase’s creations.
Keeper of the Flame,
by Catherine Chase
* Paperback: 296 pages
* Publisher: Oculus Media Group, LLC (July 3, 2007)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 1934677019