At the beginning—no—at the end—she appears, full of fury and bound by chains of prophecy.
Setting off on an unexplained quest from which she is compelled to complete, and facing unnatural challenges in a land that doesn’t seem to exist, she will discover the secrets of herself, or die trying. But along the way, the obstacles will grow to a seemingly insurmountable point, and the final choice will be the biggest sacrifice yet.
I’m a huge fan of Marie Brennan’s The Memoirs of Lady Trent series and was excited to see what else she can do. Cold-Forged Flame did not disappoint and if it had been a full length novel, I might have liked it even more than her Lady Trent books.
With short fiction I always fear that the synopsis might already give away too much, but not so with Cold-Forged Flame. You will go into this book and have absolutely no clue what is going on, where the story is heading and what this world might have in store. And that’s exactly why I loved Cold-Forged Flame.
I’m a big fan of unreliable narrators and the main character in this one in a sense is one. She herself doesn’t know anything about herself, her world, where she comes from. She doesn’t have any memories at all, doesn’t even know her own name. I’ve seen memory loss used before as a cheap way to hide information from the reader but Cold-Forged Flame is doing anything but that. It does not only tackle the question of who we are without our memories but also what our memories are worth to us. It’s a story of self discovery.
Starting with this unique setup, it only gets better from there. The main character is a unique and interesting heroin I definitely wanted to get to know better (lots of excitement when I found out this is going to be a series), and the plot is fast-paced and comes with the right amount of action for such a short story.
I enjoyed Cold-Forged Flame a lot and can’t wait to find out more about our heroine and her world.