by Tina St. John

March 2005
ISBN: 0-345-45995-4
Reviewer Graphic Button Ivy Books
Mass Market Paperback

Kenrick of Clairmont was too late. The artifact he had given to his trusted ally, Randwulf of Greycliff, was lost. Death and destruction had been visited on Greycliff and his friend and family were dead. All because of him. Because of the Dragon Chalice and its power. Power that tempted the faithful and was an irresistible prize for the corrupt.

She had to keep moving. Though in great pain, she had to keep running, running away from the keep and the death that shrouded it. Her mind was a jumble of images, too scattered to form into a picture. She only knew that she had to flee before they could find her. Her strength was flagging fast. She had to keep moving.....

When Kenrick finds the injured woman not far from Greycliff Castle, he is compelled to offer her protection. She may be able to tell him what happened, who had done this horrible deed, although he was certain of the answer. Once safely back at Clairmont Castle, his sister would be able to tend her wounds and help her heal.

Kenrick’s quest to locate the four seals that make up the Dragon Chalice has put his family in danger before. Now it has cost the lives of his friend and family. Offering aid to Haven, an innocent visitor to the castle, seems a fair trade. Why does she have such a strange effect on him? Why does he feel like she is not what she seems, that there is something she knows?

What began with Heart of the Hunter continues in Tina St. John’s second book, Heart of the Flame. She pulls the reader willingly along on the quest for the fabled chalice and the age-old fight between good and evil. Kenrick is no simple knight searching for a legend. He is a man of education and faith, whose knowledge has placed him at the forefront of this battle. Haven is a woman of layers and secrets, whose past will rise up to compel her to make difficult choices.

Heart of the Flame adds more layers to the quest, more answers and more questions. Ms. St. John is a skillful storyteller. She gives some information, she allows the reader to discover more, yet she keeps some in reserve for the rest of the series. Readers who like a strong medieval setting, plenty of action, and intriguing characters will appreciate this ongoing series. While it is possible to enjoy Heart of the Flame as a single title, much more would be gained from first reading the initial book. Once you have, you will be waiting for the next book, just like me.

Reviewed in February 2005 by Paula.

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