Today I have another guest review to bring to you all. It’s a review of From Unseen Fire a book I received from the publisher but has been on my list for months now – especially as it fits into the Sirens Reading Challenge!
The Dictator is dead; long live the Republic.
But whose Republic will it be? Senators, generals, and elemental mages vie for the power to shape the future of the city of Aven. Latona of the Vitelliae, a mage of Spirit and Fire, has suppressed her phenomenal talents for fear they would draw unwanted attention from unscrupulous men. Now that the Dictator who threatened her family is gone, she may have an opportunity to seize a greater destiny as a protector of the people — if only she can find the courage to try.
Her siblings—a widow who conceals a canny political mind in the guise of a frivolous socialite, a young prophetess learning to navigate a treacherous world, and a military tribune leading a dangerous expedition in the province of Iberia—will be her allies as she builds a place for herself in this new world, against the objections of their father, her husband, and the strictures of Aventan society.
Latona’s path intersects with that of Sempronius Tarren, an ambitious senator harboring a dangerous secret. Sacred law dictates that no mage may hold high office, but Sempronius, a Shadow mage who has kept his abilities a life-long secret, intends to do just that. As rebellion brews in the provinces, Sempronius must outwit the ruthless leader of the opposing Senate faction to claim the political and military power he needs to secure a glorious future for Aven and his own place in history.
As politics draw them together and romance blossoms between them, Latona and Sempronius will use wit, charm, and magic to shape Aven’s fate. But when their foes resort to brutal violence and foul sorcery, will their efforts be enough to save the Republic they love?
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
How would you categorize a book which follows the lives of people in ancient Rome? And what if that same book also focuses on the intricacies of campaigning for political office in a democracy? Cass Morris takes it even further in From Unseen Fire and even adds magical aspects to create a truly amazingly unique story.
The main focus lies on the two main story characters, Sempronius Tarren and Latona Vitelliae, whose lives could not be any more different.
As a man, Sempronius is awarded the freedom to pursue political office, but he must hide his hidden magical talents to do so. Latonia, on the other hand, can openly proclaim her gifts, but she may not strive to be more than a devoted wife to her husband.
From Unseen Fire perfectly captures the struggles of men and women living in an ancient civilization with the intriguing twist of magical elements. It appeals to fans of historic and fantasy fiction alike and is definitely worth a read.