Book Review - FLAMES OF MIRA by Clay Harmon

(Title: Flames of Mira / Author: Clay Harmon / Publisher: Rebellion Publishing / Publication Date: July 5, 2022 / Total Pages: 448)

Back Cover Blurb
Among the valcanoes beneath Mira's frozen lands, people like Ig are forced to undergo life-threatening trials that bind chemical elements to the human body. One of Mira's most powerful elementals, Ig works in secret as an enforcer for the corrup Magnate Sorrelo Adriann, but is cursed with flesh binding magic - magic that will kill him at the first sign of disobedience. His days are spent hunting down anyone who would oppose the magnate, a shell of his old self who clings to old memories and his budding friendship with the magnate's son and daughter.

When Sorrelo is overthrown in a coup and the country is thrown into chaos, Ig quickly learns he can do far worse than what Sorrelo has asked from him so far. If he can't rediscover the person he was and escape the flesh binding in time, he will have to kill countless innocents as Sorrelo and his allies seek to reclaim the throne, or sacrifice himself trying.

As soon as I saw the cover of this book I was immediately attracted to it and wanted to find out more. After reading the synopsis, I was totally hooked and couldn't wait to snag an early copy. Rebellion was kind enough to provide one and with that, I eagerly jumped into this fascinating story. Part of what made this such a great read for me was the tight world-building and the uniquely cool magic system. A magic system that includes dipping your entire arm in molten lava (in the case of Ig) to smite your enemies. The results are pretty devastating and quite a firestorm to say the least. But that's just one of the super original and dazzling forms of magic that permeate throughout this book. 

Getting back to the world-building, Clay Harmon has created one of the more interesting settings for FLAMES OF MIRA and it is almost a character unto itself. It's always rewarding when an author imagines a world with such depth that it becomes an integral part to the story. Those are some of my favorite stories in fact. A subterranean volcanic world that exists underneath a frozen wasteland above is about as good as it gets for me, and there were many moments that I found myself getting lost in this setting as much as I was sucked into the characters' lives and backstory.

Luckily the characters are in no way overshadowed by the off the charts world-building and magic as the intrigue and treachery are hot and heavy in this one, making for tons of tension and action. I mean, this is a book with so much going for it and the pages turn so quickly and easily. I found the pace to be pretty breakneck, this is not a novel where there are many lulls or dead spaces. In that respect it reminded me a lot of say a Jeremy Szal or Mike Shackle book, plenty of in your face fights and assassins looking to take out their targets at the easiest opportunity. 

I would just like to wrap up by saying just how glad I was to be able to get a chance to read FLAMES OF MIRA. It ticked off so many boxes of things that I love in a satisfying read. The dark tone, expansive world-building, sensational magic, and characters who are defintely of the morally gray variety, this is a book and series that I feel will make some big waves. If you haven't read this one yet, I highly recommend that you do so at the first opportunity. It was so much fun (in a grimdarky kind of way). Clay Harmon is a new author on the scene, but has already given us so much in FLAMES OF MIRA. I supect he still has much much more up his sleeve and I honestly can't wait to see how this story evolves and where he takes The Rift Walker series from here. 



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