Earth - Air - Water - Fire
These elements have sustained the peaceful people of Shaftal for generations, with their subtle powers of healing, truth, joy, and intuition. But now, Shaftal is dying. The earth witch who ruled Shaftal is dead, leaving no heir. Shaftal's ruling house has been scattered by the invading Sainnites. The Shaftali have mobilized a guerrilla army against these marauders, but every year the cost of resistance grows, leaving Shaftal's fate in the hands of three people: Emil, scholar and reluctant warrior; Zanja, the sole survivor of a slaughtered tribe; and Karis the metalsmith, a half-blood giant whose earth powers can heal, but only when she can muster the strength to hold off her addiction to a deadly drug. Separately, all they can do is watch as Shaftal falls from prosperity into lawlessness and famine. But if they can find a way to work together, they just may change the course of history.
"A deftly painted story of both cultures and magics in conflict." (Robin Hobb)
"Marks is an absolute master of fantasy in this book." (Booklist, starred review)
"A work that is filled with an intelligence that zings off the page." (Publishers Weekly)
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I love Laurie J. Marks!
Fire Logic and the entire Elemental Logic series have been some of my favorite books. I was very happy to see an audio version of Fire Logic. Rereading this book took me right back into the lives of some of the most wonderful characters I have ever encountered.
Karis or Zanja it is a toss up and together they break my heart. Emil is also a wonderful character. I love the descriptions and the landscape that Laurie J. Marks paints. It is so vivid at times I can almost feel the frosty morning in Shaftal amongst the misty fields.
Her performance was pretty good over all
It is hard for me to pick one moment in this book. There are a few I can think of that pull on my heart strings. I don't want to give away any spoilers here.
Laurie J. Marks has a particularly wonderful way of blurring the lines of gender and sexuality that we see in our own society. Within her worlds she normalizes sexual preference and takes what would be considered gendered specific characteristics and allows her men to be healers, and care takers and her women to be warriors. It is seamless and beautifully done. Creating a world with much more freedom for expression than our own society allows. I would love to see the other books from this series in audio format. As well as Laurie's other books. She is a fantastic writer and I very much enjoy the worlds she weaves.
I had high hopes, but it's not working
I love elements as a major component in fantasy, so I really wanted to love this, but I don't know if I can finish it. As others have said, the performance is mostly monotone, with most characters sounding close to identical. When they do have differences, it's through a voice with more or less croakiness, but still delivered in the same monotone. I don't think this is entirely the performance, though: the words spoken often sound wooden or even a bit wordy, like more is being said, and more often, than actually adds to the story. Other times, the dialogue feels like a transparent vehicle just for chugging the plot along, especially when minor characters speak.The characters haven't developed distinct personalities (such as quirks or lovable flaws) that I can discern so far, but I am only five chapters into the book. I do feel that I should have a distinct sense of different character personalities by five chapters in -- sooner would be better. Mostly, I get that the characters suffer, and for different reasons, but there is nothing about their reactions to their misfortunes that makes them feel distinct to me. I read somewhere that this book starts slow, so normally I would soldier on, but I'm finding it unusually difficult to keep my attention on this one. I end up replaying some sections two or three times.
I love the subject matter, and I regret that I just can't focus on this story.
- Kimberly W.