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Firebird - [A Halverstadt Book Review]

[This book review is presented here on FlyingFaith in proud partnership with H. Halverstadt Books {}]

This book is 1st in a series.

Lady Firebird Angelo wants to live, and hates herself for it. Her culture has strict inheritance laws that require the death of surplus noble heirs, and Firebird, though born to the queen of Netaia, is expected to end her own life in a blaze of glory now that her older sister has delivered two healthy daughters. Firebird firmly believes in her culture’s teachings. She’s convinced suicide is her only way to spiritual redemption. However, when she is taken prisoner and prevented from fulfilling her “destiny”, the horrors of war force her to reconsider everything she has ever believed.

At the same time, Federate Colonel Brennan Caldwell of Thyrica leads a life of separated excellence. As one of the most powerful of the Sentinels (a telekinetic religious minority), he is respected by most but is close to no one. He’s a worshiper of the Eternal Speaker and holds deep convictions to only marry within his faith. His ongoing prayers to the Holy One for a woman capable of telepathically bonding with him had been met with silence so far. However, as soon as the woman he waited for finally does appear, she doesn’t believe in the Speaker and wants to die. Is this a test?

One if the most interesting things about this novel is the world building. The small, dictatorial and ambitious Netaia proves a worthy match to the larger and powerful democratic congress of Federate worlds. There is an interesting galactic history component, and most interesting of all…this is an alternate universe, making it science fantasy rather than science fiction. I have seen plenty of fantastical Christian allegories, but very few in the science fiction or science fantasy realm.

One of the things that surprised me was that even though I generally dislike romance in my science fiction (and make no mistake, romance is a major, if not the major plot thread in this book), I still found this book very enjoyable. There was possibly a little too much world building discussion. There were also some other small complaints I had, but I can’t tell you what they are because they would be spoilers.

My Recommendation:

If you like Christian fiction, and you liked Bujold’s Shards of Honor, I think you will love Kathy Tyers’s Firebird. There are compelling characters, an interesting plot, and a new subculture to explore!

Content Ratings:

Heat: There are two brief, enthusiastic kisses. Romance is a prominent part of the book, and the characters are often thinking of each other. The author is careful to focus these thoughts on mutual respect and non-physical admiration, though. Much of the plot revolves around how events affect the main characters’ perceptions of each other.

Profanity: None. The author uses creative ways to avoid profanity.

Violence: There are some scenes of space ships blowing up and killing named characters in the book. Plus, there’s the possible annihilation of countless people. However, there are no gratuitous blood or gore scenes.

Genre: Clean Christian Space Opera Romance

Age recommendation: 16 and up, due to the romantic content.

Disclaimer: I met this author at a conference and paid her to edit 10 pages of my novel.

Firebird is available at Enclave Publishing and several other retailer

About Heather Halverstadt: H. Halverstadt is a Christian science fiction writer. Her site, H. Halverstadt Books, has reviews of clean and clean Christian books for the whole family. The site leans toward action and adventure books, so men and boys will be sure to find something they like. Her first novel, Gemini's Key, will be debuting next year.

{Link to H. Halverstadt Books:}

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