by Marjorie M. Liu

August 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8439-5940-6
Reviewer Graphic Button Leisure Books
Mass Market Paperback

After a year of rehabilitation and seclusion, Soria has finally emerged from her self-imposed prison. As if losing her arm wasn't bad enough, knowing that the one person she counted on had abandoned her stung the most. She was still learning how to use her remaining limb, how to endure the looks she received from other people, and how to combat the ghost arm that tormented her psyche.

On her way to the United Nations for a job interview, Soria is intercepted and brought face to face with a wondrous sight. Not exactly a shapeshifter, she is hard-pressed to know what the prisoner is, only that they need her gift in order to speak to him. She is compelled by his story, his resurrection and imprisonment. Is he a danger to Dirk and Steele or anyone else? There is only one way to find out free him.

Karr does not know why he is alive. He remembers choosing death over a life of insanity. He remembers the slide of the blade as it entered his flesh, the entombment. He has no idea that centuries have passed since his people fought against the shapeshifters. He has no knowledge of the world as it now is. All his attention is focused on a small human who knows his language. How can that be? Has she spent time among his people?

Soria and Karr are not sent on a mission for the paranormal agency but their lives become entangled in the very act of survival. Someone is after Karr, and their intent is deadly. Team members will be forced to question their loyalties and their duty. Soria is remarkable in her bravery from the onset, and while she feels damaged, she never seems to act as though she is disabled. Karr is bigger than life in both size and scope, dangerous but not a danger to Soria.

Readers have come to expect the unexpected in the Dirk and Steele series. Author Marjorie Liu always seems to find a new species or a new twist to the plot. The Fire King may be one of her most creative.

Reviewed in July 2009 by Paula.

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