Review: Knight of Fire (Terra #2) by S.J. Frost

Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

Once in the kingdom of Ocassus, humans and dragons shared the lands as allies. That time has passed into legend. But

there’s one who wants to see it return.

Knight of Fire coverHumans have forgotten the fact that it was dragons that agreed to share their lands with humans and not the other way around.  Over  the centuries, mankind has lost their knowledge and respect of the dragons that used to be their allies.  Now in a kingdom where dragons are feared and Dragon slayers are welcome, only a few humans remain that have the ability to talk to dragons, every type of dragon.  One such man is Torran.  Torran is a Dragon Speaker,  gifted with the rare ability to understand dragons.   He has made it his life’s work to rescue and keep safe every dragon that needs him.  And in all that time, he has never met another like him.

Sir Karrick Brenton is a Knight of the Crown, On a mission to unseat a cruel Duke, Sir Karrick met the motley crew of Forest’s End, already at the duchy in the middle of a battle.  Once the evil duke and dark mage are slain, Sir Karrick remains behind with Torran, Garrett Evergard, Bryson Summers,and the rest of the group.  Karrick has never met someone like Torran before.  Both men are instantly attracted to each other but their lives are so very different.  Karrick not only lives in the city of Dragon’s Landing but has secrets that he has been keeping as well. Torran lives in Forest’s End and is constantly traveling.

Torran is requested to come to the capital city of Dragon’s Landing when the King needs an interpreter to speak with the Ancient One, a dragon of immense power whose appearance is needed to crown the king’s successor.  Bryson too is needed when the King’s Gatekeeper goes missing. Once more the group of  friends sets forth on a mission, only this time it includes a Knight of the Crown, Karrick Brenton.  But unknown dangers await them all, and it will take all of their combined powers to defeat a common enemy and uncover the mystery of the missing Gatekeeper.

Knight of Fire picks up shortly after the events of To The Other Side and the destruction of the dark mage and corrupt duke.  The group of friends, Bryson the Gatekeeper and mage, Garrett his lover, Torran the Dragon Speaker, Lark the minstrel, Zain the assassin and the elf, Aleric, are still cleaning up after the last battle with help from the newly introduced Sir Karrick Brenton, Knight of the Crown.  After dispatching the Nightmare back to Hell (a great creation by S.J Frost), the men receive a missive from the King where he requests (demands) the presence of Torran in Dragon’s Landing, the main city of the kingdom.  Normally the group would use the gate to transport to Dragon’s Landing but unfortunately, the King’s Gatekeeper is missing and the Gate is locked.  Only another Gatekeeper can access the abandoned gate and that means that Bryson and crew are coming too.

S.J. Frost keeps a lively pace as her narrative flows from the end of the first novel to the events that spark the next adventure for this ragtag group and the Knight of the Crown send by King Orrin to investigate the corrupt Duke Bartell and the dark mage in his employ. Even from the few scenes Torran and Karrick had together in To The Other Side, it was clear they were made for each other.  Now in a traumatic opening chapter, Torran and Karrick are thrown back together when Karrick saves the Dragon Speaker’s life.  Frost’s ability to create characters that connect immediately with each other as well as the reader shines here with Torran and Karrick.  Torran is instantly lovable with his ability to speak to all sorts of dragons. Torran is subtly handsome and his small dragon companion, Rose, just adds to the picture of a man in tune with his gifts and the creatures he is meant to help.  When Frost introduces Torran to Karrick,a knight at his most heroic,  its clear that these men have much in common, not the least of which is their attraction to each other.   Even though their friendship is newly established, we believe in them and the romance that is almost guaranteed to come.

To access the other Gate, the ragtag little group must travel on the Earth side to the missing Gatekeeper’s cottage, and it is here that Frost’s story takes a humorous turn.  Modern plumbing and hot water are savored by all and the scene with Garrett and Bryson’s companion dragon Wynn in the Earth bookstore is hilarious.  I think that segments like this, where the characters return to the Earth side of a Gate , helps to reinforce the fantasy aspect and otherworldliness to be found on Terra.  One short journey later and the gang reenter’s Terra at the abandoned Gatekeeper’s cottage.  Frost returns to the darker story at hand with a poignancy that will resonate with all readers.  Cara, the missing Gatekeeper functioned almost as a mother to Karrick, and the descriptions of his emotions and memories as they survey the empty rooms are as powerful as they are intimate.

The puzzle of the missing Gatekeeper is just one of the mysteries this group must solve.  Frost introduces us to the Ancient One, a dragon of immense size and power who refuses to speak to the King.  The reasons behind that refusal and the implications for the health of the kingdom will involve all the characters in a plot as full of deceit and treachery as it is of romance and love.  For every lusty, sexy interlude there is sure to follow one full of magic and action.  Frost knows how to whip up a battle filled with fighting knights and a slew of archers, fire breathing dragons of all sizes as well.  There is a hatchling sure to capture your heart and a young scion in need of support and love.  This is a fictional cauldron full of wonderful characters, action packed scenes and couples on the path to romance and their HEA. Truly there is something here for everyone to love.

S.J. Frost continues to build her vision of Terra and its history with each new story in the series.  Knight of Fire adds new layers to its human/Dragon history and mythology as well as expanding on the characterizations of the people we have met and fallen in love with.  With a world full of unicorns, elves, brownies, mages, and more, for me, the real stars here are the dragons.  Tiny floral dragons that act like hummingbirds, white dragons that read bodice rippers, small ruby red dragons with feathers and a lady like sense of decorum, and immense dragons with the wisdom of the ages and everything in between.  They are all here and talking to us.  These dragons have the ability to fascinate even as they grab onto our sense of compassion for their plight.  Dragons and dragon lore will always be popular and here with her Terra series, S.J. Frost has added a wonderful new chapter all her own.

I love this series.  Knight of Fire is charming, fanciful, and a great romantic continuation of the story that started in To The Other Side.  I think both books should be on your TBR list.  If you are new to the series, start with To The Other Side to see where it all began.  For those of you familiar to this great group of misfits and miraculous creatures, than you will be happy to see where the next adventure takes them in Knight of Fire.  Grab them up and start your reading now!

Cover Design by Kris Jacen.   I love the knight on the horse.  What a perfect image for Karrick.

Buy Links  MLR   Amazon  ARe

Book Details:

290 pages
Published April 11th 2014 by MLR Press
original titleKnight of Fire
edition languageEnglish
seriesTerra #2

Books in the Terra series to date in the order they were written and should be read are:

To The Other Side (Terra #1)
Knight of Fire (Terra #2)

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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