Review: Goldenfire by AFE Smith

Goldenfire_AFE-SmithGoldenfire by AFE Smith

TL;DR – as good as the first one! (You can find my review of Darkhaven here). If you haven’t read Darkhaven yet, please go and get it, and then read Goldenfire.

Now, the long version…

I wasn’t quite up to 3am again but I did bury myself in this! I could not stop reading; I had to keep turning the (metaphorical) page. There’s plots, assassins, love, loss, drama, learning…the pace of the plot was excellent and kept me gripped; I didn’t guess the twist either! I seem to be nicely in the dark with twists on the last few books I’ve read. Goldenfire is a book that tugs at your heartstrings and fires you up – and then brings everything nicely together, with a faint hope that there will be another book to continue the story…

There’s a nice mix of old and new characters; some are familiar faces and some are complete newbies, but Smith does a wonderful job of making them all grow and develop – even the bit-parts feel well-rounded. Caraway is a wonderful, conflicted and interesting character; Ayla is slightly relegated, but I found I didn’t mind this as she was very much the focus of the first book. It’s adorable to see Bryn and Miles’ relationship, and the new recruits are all sketched with such well-done strokes that we see their personalities despite the relatively small amount of information we have on some. Naeve and Elisse come back, and I loved Elisse’s development – she’s a character who is always slightly on the sidelines but continues to change despite that, and I love it.

In terms of writing style, it’s as beautiful as Darkhaven; and overall, it’s just a pleasurable, exciting and easy read…well, I shouldn’t really say easy. You’ll need to block out enough time to read it as you won’t want to put it down!