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Publisher's Summary

The Eternal Flame branded its mark upon Davon Carver's palms, and now the sabercat he carved has come to life. Creating living carvings is an odd and troublesome gift for a humble clerk trying to uncover a plot against his beloved nation, Bittermarch. But like the hidden conspirators he's trying to expose, Davon guards a secret - he wasn't always a clerk. Once a nobleman and a Baron, Davon faked his own death to escape his cruel marriage.

Davon wants a quiet life, but the Queen orders her new clerk to delve into the affairs of the lovely Lady Hightower to uncover the truth about the mysterious plot. He discovers that powerful and prestigious conspirators don't like meddlesome clerks, and Davon must dodge bullets and increasing scrutiny, fearing the exposure of his past life. As the clues fall into place, Davon finds that the fate of Bittermarch and the Eternal Flame itself are in his flame-branded hands.

©2016 Brian K. Fuller (P)2017 Podium Publishing

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Ten out of ten

Definitely a hidden gem, the plot was incredibly intricate and the book shows way more promise then I expected. I'm not sure if the book felt like it ended to fast because I loved it so much I wanted more or because it did and I liked it so much I'm over looking that

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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sleep-deprived

This book wouldn't let me go - wouldn't let me get up and eat!! or do my work! Perhaps Fuller will give me time to recoup for the next. It's that great! On second thought, hurry!!!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Flametouched

Great fun! Well worked out magic system provides for some clever twists and turns to the story. Fully developed characters keep the reader immersed and rooting for the heroes. I really enjoyed this! I'll try Mr. Fuller's other stories soon.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Ryan
  • Pittsburg,KS
  • 11-06-17

Absolutely Enchanting!

This is one of the finest books I've listened to over the last couple of years. It's a very original concept but the story doesn't rely on overly exaggerated powers. Instead I became fully invested in the characters. I really hope that Mr. Fuller decides to continue to spin more tales from the world he's created. Simon Vance is one of the better narrators in the business and does another bang up job with this book. I definitely recommend this one!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fuller does it again!

Fuller does it again with another wonderful book. I read around 80+ books a year, so I see a lot of the same story lines. What I like about Brian K. Fuller is that I may have a general sense of where we are going, the path he takes is always a surprise. From the very beginning of this story I was hooked. Davon is a very complex character and Fuller does a brilliant job telling his story. This is a universe I would like to see explored some more. Great stuff! If you have enjoyed his other works as I have, then this book is certainly for you. If you are new to Fuller then you are in for some great reading (check out the Trysmoon Saga too). Simon Vane narrates the audio version (I read the book then also listened to the audio version when it came out), making it equally as superb.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Fun stand-alone fantastical adventure (plus 💞)

This author wrote the grim Trysmoon series. This one is lighter, quicker, and quite different -- a regency style fantastical romance-adventure set in an interesting world, with ballgowns and butlers, woolly mammoths and sabertooth cats, plus magical god-like primal fire, primal air, primal water, and primal earth.

This book vaguely calls to mind Trysmoon. It's got some similar elements (gods of a sort, using humans to wage jealous war against each other, of a sort) but is quite unique.

The mythos /world building is questionable in spots. Human knowledge of the primal elements was weak -- so are these beings new to the planet? Plus, Bittermarch is only 200 years old, but some statements and descriptions do not jive with a young nation.

But I enjoyed the characters. There is the main character Baron Davon Carver -- likable, if at times absurdly charitable. I resonated more with the women: Elaine, Arianna, Queen Fillipa, Oriana and Missa, Ta and Ki.

And the carvings were fun, and their eventual purpose was not too predictable.

I think there might be a sequel, but this book stands alone.


Spoilery quibbles:

Spoilery:

I enjoyed the story but also felt a little frustrated at times, when things didn't quite add up. Some solutions felt wrong, including the home-development task assigned to treacherous Emile at the end of the book (who knows what havoc she will create?). Also, the leadership role Davon must take up at the end did not feel well-suited to him, or wise in general. Nearly unlimited power is never good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fun story for 14 hrs - well worth the credit

I enjoyed this book very much --- as I did the author's previous series The Trysmoon Saga. Many of the characters act like the characters from The Trysmoon Saga, so if you don't enjoy those you will likely dislike this. The magic system is interesting and I haven't seen anything quite like it in other fantasy novels. The notion of faking ones death to escape a cold marriage is funny. I didn't like the way the shrew-wife was portrayed. She came out more like a mustache twirling villain than an effective manipulator.

The biggest gripe that I have is that the pacing towards the end of the novel becomes bizarre. Tension reaches a climax around 13.5 hrs into the novel and it is great. Resolution happens --- all the bad guys are unmasked and are in custody. Instead of finishing up the last big plot point, the author turns the protagonists into idiots, twice. Here is a Star Wars analogy to help illustrate without any spoilers. It is as if the rebel alliance captured Grand Moff Tarkin and decided to imprison him in the Death Star directly in front of the fire button. After pushing the button and making his escape, Tarkin is later captured and reimprisoned in the Death Star. This audiobook should come with strict instructions to look at a Captain Picard face palm meme at about 14.5 hrs and again around 15.5 hrs.

It might sound like I didn't like the book after all that griping but the book is good and I am happy to have taken the time to listen to it. Simon Vance did a great job narrating.

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so much better than I expedited !

I've read a lot of books of Mediocre quality recently and this book was a real pick me up. it has everything you could want characters you can get invested in enemies you can freely hate and the world and Magic system that is endlessly intriguing.

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A genuinely refreshing story

Many of the fantasy novels that I've been finding lately, leave me annoyed and disheartened. Too many protagonists that I can't respect or care about. It seems that many authors try to give all of there MC's fatal flaws to make them more relatable. But, they usually overcompensate and make their characters extremely unlikable or unbelievable. That is not the case with Brian K Fuller's writing. Although, the story can sometimes dip into wish fulfilment territory, it never distracts from the plot and happens organically. Amidst a genre that is oversaturated with protagonists that are either a cynical untrusting dickhead or an incompetent awkward sap, I find Fuller's particular flavour of Principaled and Capable Hero a refreshing and rare commodity.

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  • Dave
  • ORR, MINNESOTA, United States
  • 04-06-18

Great start

Went down hill from there, guy starts collecting super powers like they are odd but easy to get cards