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“Tears spring to my eyes, despite my best efforts to keep them down. Hidden.”

Dreams of Fire

Dreams of Fire by Shauna Lawless is a prequel novella that takes place almost a century before the events of her main Gael Song trilogy. Lawless proves once again why she is the Emerald Empress of Grimdark, weaving strands of Irish history, mythology, and fantasy into a heart-wrenching tale of love and loss.

Dreams of Fire is set in medieval Ireland in the early tenth century as two races of immortal beings—the Descendants of the Tuatha Dé Danann and their ancient enemies, the Fomorians—renew their age-old battle for supremacy in the Emerald Isle. While the first and last slices of Dreams of Fire are told from a Fomorian perspective, the main part of the novella is narrated from a single point-of-view character, the Descendant Rónnat.

Rónnat and her sister, Fódla, wish only to live a long and peaceful life with their beloved father. But the waning magic of the Descendants threatens to bring an end to these once immortal beings:

“Don’t be unhappy, daughter. Three hundred and fifty years have been long enough, and when I die, I will join with your mother in the otherworld. There is no sadness there, only joy.”

Meanwhile, Rónnat is haunted by strange voices and visions that foretell a future battle against the Fomorians and their blazing fire-magic. Could this be a prophecy of the inevitable? Or will Rónnat have the freedom to choose her own path forward?

Shauna Lawless expertly explores themes of kinship, freedom, and finding peace with one’s own mortality. The author brings an understated lyricism to her writing that captures feelings of both mysticism and lamentation.

The novella format of Dreams of Fire provides just the right-sized canvas for Shauna Lawless to paint this intimate portrait of Rónnat, who has become one of my favorite characters in the Gael Song series.

Altogether, Dreams of Fire is an expertly crafted novella and a must-read for fans of Shauna Lawless, who will love the opportunity to spend this quality time with Rónnat and Fódla. At the same time, Dreams of Fire may be the perfect starting point for readers new to the Gael Song series.

5/5

Dreams of Fire

Dreams of Fire

Dreams of Fire

Dreams of Fire

Dreams of Fire

Dreams of Fire

Dreams of Fire

Dreams of Fire

John Mauro

John Mauro lives in a world of glass amongst the hills of central Pennsylvania. When not indulging in his passion for literature or enjoying time with family, John is training the next generation of materials scientists at Penn State University, where he teaches glass science and materials kinetics. John also loves cooking international cuisine and kayaking the beautiful Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.

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