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Reviewed by Nicholus Schroeder for Readers' Favorite
Child of Fear and Fire by G. R. Thomas is a book in the horror genre. The protagonist is a sixteen-year-old girl called Eliza. She is a servant in the Norlane household. She was rescued from a possible life of prostitution by Mrs Embrey, the Norlane’s cook. Eliza’s past six years as a servant of Norlane Hall, however, have been nothing short of a waking nightmare. She is tormented, tortured and humiliated each day by the three daughters called Margaret, Sybilla and Annabelle. Each day has a new form of torture or humiliation in store for poor Eliza. Her only friends at Norlane Hall are a cat named Agnes and Mrs Embrey. That is until she saw “it,” a shadow that terrified and consoled her all at once. Ever since the shadow’s first visit, Eliza is plagued by constant whispers in her mind, and these voices seem to rejoice when she has violent thoughts or, more accurately, revenge on her mind. Eliza’s employers have turned a blind eye to her despair, God has forsaken her, and so she seeks comfort in her new friend, but is this mysterious being a guardian angel or a demon?
It’s not every day that I read such a great book and, to savor it, I intentionally read it in intervals. I could’ve read Child of Fear and Fire in a single day, but because I loved the first five pages so much, I knew immediately that this book should be read over a period of three days. Every aspect of the book is just perfect! The plot, characters, themes and everything else is all woven together brilliantly. The plot is a simple one at the beginning, but as I read on I was intrigued and captivated. Each chapter builds upon the last. The sorrow, pain, and hope are all increased with each subsequent chapter, and just when I truly believed that Eliza was out of the woods, and that things were going to get better, I would read the next page and my heart would sink. The plot is just so unpredictable and heartbreaking whilst hopeful at the same time that I couldn’t help but fall in love with it. Eliza was also a great character, along with the other characters, of course, but I’ve never felt so connected to a character before. Her hardships tugged at my heartstrings and I was overjoyed when things would occasionally work out for her. The atmosphere in this book was also really great. The eerieness of exploring a forest and other creepy things was communicated to me efficiently and accurately thanks to G. R. Thomas’s descriptive style of writing. In conclusion, this was a beautifully written story and one that I would definitely recommend to readers that love books in the horror genre.