Gifts of Fire and Ice

Book One: The FireNight Prophecies

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
541 Pages
Reviewed on 03/03/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Darren Boeck was born in St. Paul, MN. He grew up reading both science fiction and fantasy, often limited to whatever the library had to offer. Gifts of Fire and Ice is his first novel. He lives with his wife, three of their four daughters, and two dogs.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Gifts of Fire and Ice: Book One: The FireNight Prophecies is a work of sword and sorcery style fantasy fiction that was penned for young adult audiences by author Darren Boeck. In the opening novel to a brand new series, we are introduced to the conceptual world in which the action takes place by Valinet and Serg, a brother and sister within the Fire Empire. Valinet is a powerful gifter who can perform fire magic, but the true extent of her gifts is unknown even to her. When she and Serg have their lives turned upside down by threats to the empire, they become separated and each faces their own struggles to survive.

Author Darren Boeck has crafted an excellent storyline with compelling action and adventure in this new magical fantasy realm. Valinet and Serg make for heroes that all YA readers can get behind, exploring their powers and individual skills as they grow and learn to find their place in a powerfully altered world to what they once knew. This is a book that will appeal to boys just as much as girls, encompassing a multi-genre approach to action, fantasy, relationships, drama and so much more within its well-woven layers of narrative. The world-building is also conceptually strong from the start, allowing readers to immerse themselves in an atmospheric society which also makes logical sense and sets up the future of the series nicely. Overall, Gifts of Fire and Ice: Book One: The FireNight Prophecies is a must-read for fantasy fans looking for a new fix.

Lit Amri

“The gift of fire to save us, the gift of fire to awaken us.” Valinet Granwells is a talented gifter living with her sickly brother, Serg, in the small farming town of Crowfoot Falls. When a group led by two nobles pays them a visit, little does she know that their lives will drastically change. An attempted kidnapping of Val by her former customer convinces the siblings that they will be safer under the protection of the emperor in the city of Windfall. With her well-known reputation as a gifter, the noble bloodlines waste no time in offering Val a position in their family in exchange for her services. Meanwhile, Serg finds himself at odds with certain people in his new home. The siblings are on different paths that will determine their fates, while the bloodlines are embroiled in their own zealous ambitions. Gifts of Fire and Ice is the first book of The FireNight Prophecies by Darren Boeck.

The story premise is definitely interesting and the scene-setting and descriptions are vivid in Gifts of Fire and Ice. The plot pace is moderate, balanced between action scenes and character development. It gives ample time for readers to familiarize themselves with the considerably vast and intricate world-building, particularly about the bloodlines and their abilities. Even though I preferred a concise and faster development in certain parts of the story, straightforward prose does help with the pace. I gravitated easily to Val, Serg, Princess Nola, and Blur. There are several twists in the plot that make me wonder how the story will continue in the next installment. With its political intrigues and conflicts between the 'gifted', Darren Boeck's The FireNight Prophecies is a good start.

K.J. Simmill

In Darren Boeck's Gifts of Fire and Ice, Serg had been ill for as long as he could remember, fighting an ever-present enemy which prevented a normal life. Orphaned at a young age, his sister, Val, cared for him, using her gifting skills to keep them fed and warm. It wasn't until the empire sought out a powerful gifter that their lives changed. Tasked with gifting a special bracelet, Val soon came to learn she is not only a talented gifter, but a powerful one, and a person others would seek for their own gains. The change of scenery seemed like a small price to pay for safety, but life in Windfall would change the very foundation of everything they thought they knew. Enemies hide in the woodwork, and increasingly bold attempts on the princess's life cause great unrest. Something is happening, war is coming, and Val and Serg are right in the middle.

Gifts of Fire and Ice is the first book in Darren Boeck's FireNight Prophecies series. This epic fantasy mainly follows the lives of small-town siblings Val and Serg as they stumble their way through life and the new responsibilities found upon their shoulders. I really enjoyed watching the evolution of these two characters, and how their lives took them on different paths. This separation allows the reader to gain a larger understanding of the magnificent world of magic and politics built by Darren Boeck and gives a great insight into the inner workings of all things. Great effort has been put into crafting a believable world and plot with memorable characters. Action, adventure, magic, mysteries, politics, and scheming are but some of the threads in this intricate tapestry, and watching things escalate was a thrill. While this is the first book in the series, the ending is satisfying and simply hints at a tale yet to be told.