Every time I read a book by Marjorie Liu, I don't know where the story will
take me. The Fire King
is no different, keeping me guessing the whole time. The author has a real skill with words, painting an interesting story with characters who are flawed but sympathetic.
In this story, our heroine, Soria, is gradually revealed to us. We discover fairly early on that she has been living on her own and no longer works for Dirk & Steele, the Agency staffed by shapeshifters and other unusual people. We also
learn that she has an amazing facility with languages and is able to speak any language on earth. She is also disabled
- she has only one arm; the other was lost in some unspecified way just over a year before the story begins.
Soria's talent for language is needed when Dirk & Steele learn of a strange shapeshifter whose language no one can understand. When Soria is sent to talk to this person, Karr, she finds herself embroiled in an ancient feud that is still playing out today. She and Karr flee for their safety through Mongolia, but they may never be safe from those who seek to destroy Karr. As we learn about Soria's past and as she and Karr learn to trust each other, a significant history in the world of the shapeshifters is uncovered.
I enjoyed The Fire King very much, never knowing what was going to happen next and finding the exotic setting and the variety of different people
to be quite interesting. There's a love story, of course, although in some ways that part of the book doesn't feel complete.
There are some loose ends at the close of the book which I imagine may be picked up in a future book. Marjorie Liu's work occasionally misses the mark for me, but this
is a good read and enjoyable in its novelty.