Book Review: Bursts of Fire by Susan Forest

September 3, 2019


Bursts of Fire by Susan Forest is a fantasy novel, the first part of the Addicted to Heaven series. This is Ms. Forest’s first book.

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The story starts very quickly as the author starts to build her world. Full of war, magic, brutality, and three young women who have to grow up quickly. After the fast paced, and a bit choppy, start, Bursts of Fire by Susan Forest settles into itself with a story that incorporates elements of fantasy, old religions, love and hate.

The three sisters, Meg, Janat, and Rennika, find themselves in a harsh and brutal world which they are not prepared for. They keep missing their old lives, which they slowly realize they’ll never have again. It takes over half the book for each sister to find her place in the world, and come into her type. It’s a revelation to them that they can be defined by who they are, as oppose to what they are.

The author did a good job world building, the imageries are concise, yet descriptive. It was not difficult to figure out what she was talking about, or how she imagined the world to be.

I really enjoy books about magic (Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennet), but I felt magic in this book was more in the background than it was a prominent aspect of the story. Ms. Forest built up the magic slowly as her characters discover it for themselves, but sadly there simply isn’t enough detail in this aspect for the reader to understand what’s going on. The author kept talking about the religion and “Heaven”, where magicians can talk to their God using the magic stone. Frankly I still have no idea what that’s about.

The strengths of this book is the world building and the coming of age story of the three young ladies – I just wish they weren’t princesses, a bit too cliché for my taste and the world building.  Even though the main characters didn’t work for me, I did enjoy much of the novel regardless of a few glaring plot holes and pacing.


The Falkyn sisters find themselves out of their castle when their kingdom has been invaded. The princesses are heirs to the imperial magiel of the Kingdom of Orumon, or as they know her – Mom.

The role of the imperial magiel is to protect the kingdom’s people from the afterlife by using a precious Prayer Stone to call upon the Gods.  The invaders want to destroy all the Prayer Stones, except one.

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Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got this book for free.
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