Title: Shield of Fire
Author: Boone Brux
Release Date: December 6th, 2011
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Protecting humans is the Bringers’ duty. Sending demons to the Shadow World is their pleasure.
In one night, Ravyn’s life plunges from barely tolerable to deadly. Forced to flee the only home she’s known, she stumbles headlong into the clutches of Icarus, a powerful demon intent on stealing her powers. Unfortunately for him, she has no intention of cooperating.
When Rhys realizes the woman he’s rescued from the Bane Demon is no mere human, his obligation as a Bringer dictates he protect and train her in the ways of his people. But he’s unprepared for the intense desire he feels for the fiery Ravyn. To surrender to his need may mean her death.
As the Demon King’s desire for ultimate power escalates, fathers are slated against sons, and foes are made allies. The Bane threat upon them, Rhys and Ravyn must quest to unite the last of the Bringers—and explore a passion too powerful to ignore.
Summary from Goodreads.com
My Review: Shield of Fire by Boone Brux is a fantasy, but it also has some romantic elements sprinkled throughout the novel. I would actually put this book into multiple categories fantasy, romance and a coming of age story. The main protagonist, Ravyn, is only 23 years old, raised in a small parish her entire life and never ventured out of those walls. Now, a 23 year old in modern times would have experienced much that life had to offer, but not Ravyn. The time period for this book is not revealed, but often times in fantasy it isn’t. You are given context clues such as no indoor plumbing, women all in dresses, no cars only horses, you get the general gist. It happened a long time ago and because of this Ravyn is very innocent. So innocent in fact, she has never even kissed a guy, or even considered kissing a guy. Her naivety leaves the obstacles she has to endure very difficult and the romance slow building.
As for the plot in true fantasy fashion there is constant description of the surrounding environment and the story sends the characters on a quest that consumes most of their waking hours. Ravyn is not alone on this journey though, she has Rhys with her as her guide and protector. Rhys knows there is something special about Ravyn but he cannot pinpoint it. All he knows is he cannot let her go until he decodes her mysterious past. Something that is unknown to both him and Ravyn. As the two delve further into their journey they become close and start to form feelings for each other. The romance is always there between them brewing under the surface, trying to spill out. But because Ravyn does not really know what to do in a relationship and Rhys hesitates because he is meant to guard her not fall in love with her, they try to put their feelings on the back burner. When they do give into their emotions, it is a sweet and tender romance. Seeing someone fall in love for the first time through Ravyn’s eyes was enchanting. Rhys moves slowly with her, but you cannot help hold out hope that they will put duty aside and just be happy with each other.
I will admit it did take me a good fifty pages to really get into the book. You are placed right down in the middle of the action and I needed a little while to catch up with all the events unfolding around me. I also had to shift into fantasy mode and out out of paranormal mode. The language in fantasy worlds is completely different from paranormal world. When you read paranormal you are in modern times and there is little description of the world around you, which is the opposite of what transpires in a fantasy novel. This is not a negative for the novel; it is just something I had to keep in mind while reading and why it also probably took me a little while to adjust to the book.
Overall, I enjoyed this world that Boone has created for us. It is a mythology that I have never seen explored before that completely demanded my attention. This book gave me enough resolution at the end to walk away happy for now, but since it is the first in the series I know we have not seen the end of Ravyn and Rhys. I am not sure if the rest of the books will follow Ravyn and Rhys or switch viewpoints, but either way I will be excited to visit this world again and see what else Boone has in store for us.
FTC: I relieved this ARC from the publisher. Thank You!