In the middle of the year I had the pleasure of being part of a book tour for Aussie indie author Kate Schumacher’s gorgeous adult fantasy novel Shadow of Fire. This was the first book in Schumacher’s The Fires of Aileryan duology, and I’ve been looking forward to book two ever since. Heart of Flame was released this week and excited to share my thoughts on it with you today!
What is Kate Schumacher’s Heart of Flame about?
With the Queen of Merawuld confined to her bed and the city of Tyllcarric in the iron grasp of the High Mage, war is closing in on all horizons for Ash and Senan. Hellbent on eliminating any threats to the fae throne, Kiarda of Veshlir has raised an army to claim her prize — and she will not be stopped.
Meanwhile, across the border, change is afoot in Estilleon.
Thalion’s men are ready for rebellion, but when the first rush of power ends, he finds himself forced to toe the line between strength and brutality. By his side, Laeli is a stranger in the human world — caught between love and loyalty in a land that stifles her voice.
As conflict escalates across the land of Aileryan, those with power clash amidst a sea of ideals, dreams and greed, forcing the most battle-scarred to overcome their demons and prove they are a force to be reckoned with.
For that which has been dormant for so long is about to burst forth, and when the winter solstice arrives, all will be at the mercy of the Gods…
My review of Heart of Flame by Kate Schumacher
In Heart of Flame Schumacher has served us up an action-packed finale to her Fires of Aileryan series, providing an exciting and satisfying ending to the series. The cast is quite big in this series and reading the first book I was impressed with the way Schumacher made all her characters feel real, and also relevant to the overall story – the connections between characters worked really well, and I felt like we really got to know each character. Heart of Flame picks right back up in the same way – it only took a few chapters to get my head back around who everyone was and to be invested in each of their stories again. I really like the way that Schumacher uses her cast to convey the action from different perspectives, and in this book particularly enjoyed the couple of chapters where we got to spend time with the Gods watching over the unfolding events.
As in the previous book, the setting felt really solid, both in terms of being able to picture the landscape but also the societal structure and cultures of the places we visit. While this is the second book in the duology and I found the ending completely satisfying, I’d love to read more stories set here!
I definitely recommend The Fires of Aileryan duology to fans of adult fantasy packed with magic, politics, and fierce battles. I can’t wait to see what Schumacher has in store for us next (actually, I’ve had a sneak peek at her next book – due out in 2023 – and I think you’ll love that one too!)
Heart of Flame by Kate Schumacher
Book 2 in The Flames of Aileryan duology
Source: I received a free ecopy from the author for review (thank you!)
Category: Aussie adult magical fantasy
You can keep up with the latest from Kate on her website or Instagram page.
Heart of Flame on Goodreads
Check out my Q&A with Kate about her books and writing here.