Duel of Fire by Jordan Rivet
Genre – Fantasy
About the Book – Dueling, Dueling, and more Dueling
“Dara Ruminor is a competitive duelist about to take the kingdom of Vertigon by storm. In a world where swords are used for sport and athletes live like kings as long as the crowds love them, all she needs is a wealthy patron to help her achieve dueling glory.
Instead, she gets Prince Siv, the heir to the throne.
She’s supposed to train with him, but it isn’t as easy as it seems. Handsome, charming, and utterly infuriating, he refuses to take the sport—or her—seriously.
But Prince Siv might not be learning the sword just for fun. As threats emerge from the shadows, with the careless prince as their target, Dara will have to raise her sword to protect him—but even her skill might not be enough to keep them both alive.” – Publisher’s Blurb
The Review – Duel of Fire Blazes Bright
We were hesitant when we picked up Duel by Fire. We love books with strong female leads, but the emphasis on dueling made us nervous. Our worries were quickly assuaged. The sport aspect of the book grounds it in a way we had not anticipated. It is handled well, thoroughly explained, and gives the reader something to hold on to. It reminds us of some of the works of Piers Anthony, which is always a favorable comparison in our mind. Despite the mysticism and magic, the world is grounded in not just things we can understand, but things we can appreciate separately from the novel. Miss Rivet connects her world to us in concrete ways, but then builds upon it all, making something magical and unique, something that many can appreciate, should the know what to expect.
Here is the rub: if you don’t like sports, or the description of sports, then Duel of Fire may not be for you. We’re not saying that it consumes the narrative, but to say that the sport is not prominently displayed would be a lie. That being said, Duel of Fire is so much more, the elegant world in which it takes place adds wonder, the characters breathe life into the pages giving us hope. The winds of change are in Vertigon, Dara and Siv are caught in the middle of it all. It has all of the makings of a great YA fantasy without being over the top on teen angst.
Best World-Building We’ve Seen In A While
Miss Rivet has done something that few others can, she has created a world of her own. We often describe good world building as vibrant, or fantastic, but if we can be honest, Miss Rivet has pushed past much of that and created something with which we have fallen in love. The world of Steel & Fire is so full of life, and we get so many diverse views, that it is likely one of the most complete fantasy worlds we have ever encountered. We get both the broad strokes as well as the minutiae, leaving few details unattended. What we are left with is a world in which we can imagine many stories, we hope Miss Rivet doesn’t put her world down any time soon!
The Rating – Solid A
Could it have been anything else? This nearly perfect excursion into Vertigon will give even the most hardcore fantasy fans something to love. The characters are solid, believable, but it is not they who take center stage. Miss Rivet’s attention to detail, her intentional world building, and a near obsession with dueling give Duel of Fire its spark and turn it into something more than the sum of its parts. We leave the world of Steel & Fire with our imaginations whirling. We can’t wait to read the next installment in the series. Fortunately for us, we don’t have to wait!
To learn more about Miss Rivet, check out jordanrivet.com