Bloom the weed of temptation and expire the great garden of life. Bloom the flower of sacrifice and sustain the great garden in strife.
The boy who follows death meets the girl who could cause the apocalypse.
Krishani thinks he's doomed until he meets Kaliel, the one girl on the island of Avristar who isn't afraid of him. She's unlike the other girls, she swims with merfolk, talks to trees and blooms flowers with her touch. What he doesn't know is that she's a flame, one of nine individually hand crafted weapons, hidden in the body of a seemingly harmless girl.
Nobody has fallen in love with a flame until now. She becomes Krishani's refuge from the dreams of death and the weather abilities he can't control. Striking down thousand-year-old trees with lightning isn't something he tries to do, it just happens. When the Ferryman dies, Krishani knows he's the next and a lifetime of following death is his destiny.
And Kaliel can't come with him. The Valtanyana are hunting the flames, the safest place for her is Avristar. Krishani can't bear to leave her, and one innocent mistake grants the Valtanyana access to their mystical island. They're coming for Kaliel, and they won't stop until every last living creature on Avristar is dead. She has to choose--hide, face them, or awaken the flame and potentially destroy herself.
When I first saw what Flame of Surrender was about, I was both excited and hesitant. Hesitant because I was worried that the novel would delve too deep into the fantasy characters and make them cliché and excited because it sounded freaking awesome (well that and because author Rhiannon Paille is a fellow Winnipegger *fist pump* represent!). For those of you who are unaware, the novel is set in the fantasy world of Avristar where the main characters Kaliel and Krishani live. Let me just say that Avristar was so unique; it’s a land ruled by feorns, fairies, elves and merfolk and reminded me of the world that Thor was set in (yay for comic book references).
The novel started off with a prologue (well actually a chapter zero, but same deal) that was both mysterious and captivating. From there, we end up finding the moment where the two elves/main characters, Krishani and Kaliel first meet and it was both humorous and awkward, after that point the novel precedes a year and a half further into the future where both of the characters have been unable to stop thinking about each other in romantic tenses (awww). Paille leads us to believe that the two star-crossed lovers will never meet again, but wait! What is this? Fate (and a dark prediction from the Great Oak) bring the two together and unfolds in an adorable romance… and yes it was the romance that had me sold on the novel.
While Krishani wasn’t exactly my “type” (*la pretzel face*) I was developing a small crush on him, mainly because he is always so intent on proving to Kaliel that he really does feel something for her (since apparently elves aren’t supposed to feel love *gasp*). What I love, love, loved most about Krishani were his dreams, not only because they were dark and full of death (which made them thrilling), but also because they introduced us to the Ferryman, which is a mantle that Krishani will be forced to take up. Which doesn’t sound so bad right? Except that it will separate him from Kaliel and force him into the Lands of Men (which is our world. Sounds a lot cooler than Earth doesn’t it?).The Flame concept of the novel was absolutely intriguing (which is a word that could describe the whole novel) and I did love the idea that a girl as defenseless, curious and naïve as Kaliel held something inside of her that could potentially cause the apocalypse and that the Valtanyana would stop at nothing to take the Flame from Kaliel.
Personally, I think that Flame of Surrender had all the elements of a successful fairy-tale; it was romantic, magical and at times terrifying. And I feel like I should bring up the dialogue (and don’t worry, dear reader, this is a thumbs up). The way that Rhiannon Paille wrote the dialogue between characters was interesting; it sounded medieval and came off modern at the same time. From the fast pace start to the unexpected finish I have one word to say: Awesome-sauce (it’s hyphenated it’s one word).
I would recommend this to somebody interested in falling deep into a fantasy world where you won’t want to stop reading, or fans of the YA romance genre. Good morrow (…erm…yeah I said that!).