Blog Tour - THE FIRE WITHIN THEM by Matthew Ward

Out of This World SFF is delighted today to be taking part in fantasy author Matthew Ward's THE FIRE WITHIN THEM blog tour! There are an amazing group of blogs and fantasy sites participating in this tour to celebrate the upcoming June 11th release of this second book in The Soulfire Saga. Be sure to check all of the stops out because each will have their own unique post with special content relating to the book. 

For my part I will be hosting a special Twitter (I just can't call it X) Paperback Giveaway, sharing a brief synopsis of the book followed by my official review, plus some additional info with regard to author Matthew Ward and his outstanding work.

So let's get started shall we?!

Back Cover Blurb
For the first time in millennia, the kingdom of Khalad is divided. The Battle of Athenoch has fanned the spark of Bashar Vallant's rebellion to a raging flame. Tyzanta jewel of the east, has declared for his cause, and other cities have followed. Vallant, the people's hero, may soon be powerful enough to challenge Caradan Diar, Khalad's immortal king.

But such power demands great personal sacrifice.

Afflicted with omen rot after channeling the Deadwinds to save Athenoch from the koilos army, Kat searches for a means to stop the disease killing her as it did her mother. Her journey will uncover secrets long since buried - secrets concerning her past, her family, and the kingdom itself.

Eventually she'll learn that the past never stays buried in Khalad - and that the truth can cut deeper than any blade.

There are always a couple of things that you always know you are going to get with a Matthew Ward book. The first is a thoroughly detailed world with a rich history and often a cool magic system that is associated with it. The second is characters who are so vividly drawn that they act and react in ways that make them utterly unpredictable and complex in the best way possible. His books are also slow burns that often unfold in a gradual yet intriguing way so that by the time the real action hits, the reader has a full depth of knowledge as to the ultimate stakes and ramifications. I would go so far as to say that Ward writes epic fantasy in the same manner that Tad Williams and Robin Hobb write high fantasy. This isn't instant-gratification, rather it requires a certain amount of investment. But that's also what makes it that much more rewarding in the end. This especially holds true in his latest series The Soulfire Saga, of which this book THE FIRE WITHIN THEM is the second installment.

This entertaining sequel really expands the story considerably and even gives us the additional viewpoint character of Tanith. I think this added to my enjoyment this time around because I felt like I was getting another view of the events that took place in the previous book, The Darkness Before Them. It's always good to change things up in my opinion and not following the same old characters through an entire series is certainly a crafty decision by Ward that really pays off. The good news for those who loved the characters from the first book is that many do return in this one and seeing how things have changed after the events that culminated book one was interesting to say the least. As I said earlier, Matthew Ward does have a special gift when it comes to the development of his characters.

I want to avoid spoilers as much as possible as this is the second book in a series so I will mainly focus on the things that I really connected with in the story and my feelings and emotional reaction while reading it. I will say that THE FIRE WITHIN THEM is a brilliant setup book for the ultimate conclusion, but that's not to say that it is a placeholder book by any means. Quite a lot happens, the bad guys do bad things, those who we are rooting for strategize and make plans to try to turn the tide in their direction, and along the way we are treated to some cool magic and a few intense action scenes that will leave you breathless and craving that final book once all is said and done.

If you appreciate thoughtful epic fantasy that is teeming with political strategy, warring factions, tyrannical leaders who desire absolute power, and worldbuilding that is deep and intricately constructed, then you will find much to love with this series. Ward has definitely created a great deal of suspense and intensity in THE FIRE WITHIN THEM which bodes really well for a potential crazy thriller of a finish. I personally cannot wait to see how this all ends and look forward to devouring the next book as soon as I get my hands on it. Do yourself a favor and read this series, and while you are waiting for the final book to be published, pick up Matthew Ward's previous series, the Legacy Trilogy. It's another brilliant epic fantasy series by him that will totally knock your socks off.

You can preorder THE FIRE WITHIN THEM right now on Amazon.

Here's what people are saying about this series!

"A thoughtful examination of the limits of duty and loyalty...a promising series launch." - Publisher's Weekly

"Full of action, heart, betrayal, and set in a dark, engaging world, this book continues Ward's ability to deliver doorstopper dark fantasy that you just can't put down." - Grimdark Magazine

"Brims with magic, monsters and intrigue, and the depth of the world is wonderfully, enthrallingly complex...a delight." - Fantasy author Ben Galley

About the Author
Cat-servant and owner of more musical instruments than he can actually play (and considerably more than he can play well), Matthew Ward is also the author of the Legacy Trilogy, The Soulfire Saga, architect of Coldharbour, and a roaming Creative Consultant and Voice Director in video game land, including Warhammer: Vermintide 2, Warhammer 40,000: Darktide and Aliens: Dark Descent.

He's afflicted with an obsession for old places - castles, historic cities and the London Underground chief amongst them - and should probably cultivate more interests to help expand out his author biography.

You can connect with Matthew and his books online via his Website, Twitter (X), Facebook, and Goodreads.

Please do be sure to also check out Matthew's previous series the Legacy Trilogy. It is one of my favorite epic fantasy stories and you can read my reviews for each book (should you wish to) by clicking the links below:

My review of Book 1: Legacy of Ash
My review of Book 2: Legacy of Steel
My review of Book 3: Legacy of Light

And that concludes my stop on Matthew Ward's THE FIRE WITHIN THEM blog tour! My sincerest thanks to Matthew for giving me the opportunity to take part in this awesome event. I would like to just reiterate that everyone should go check out the other stops on the tour as well. There are some excellent book people involved in this and you don't want to miss their posts. I hope that you enjoyed my contribution and be sure to check Twitter at the end of the tour for my announcement on the paperback giveaway winners!

Thanks as always for the continued support and Happy Reading!!!


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