The Fire Queen
Though the tyrant rajah she was forced to marry is dead, Kalinda’s troubles are far from over. A warlord has invaded the imperial city, and now she’s in exile. But she isn’t alone. Kalinda has the allegiance of Captain Deven Naik, her guard and beloved, imprisoned for treason and stripped of command. With the empire at war, their best hope is to find Prince Ashwin, the rajah’s son, who has promised Deven’s freedom on one condition: that Kalinda will fight and defeat three formidable opponents.
But as Kalinda’s tournament strengths are once again challenged, so too is her relationship with Deven. While Deven fears her powers, Ashwin reveres them—as well as the courageous woman who wields them. Kalinda comes to regard Ashwin as the only man who can repair a warring world and finds herself torn between her allegiance to Deven and a newly found respect for the young prince.
With both the responsibility to protect her people and the fate of those she loves weighing heavily upon her, Kalinda is forced again to compete. She must test the limits of her fire powers and her hard-won wisdom. But will that be enough to unite the empire without sacrificing all she holds dear?
Kali must compete once again. This time to keep her throne as the first wife of Raja Tarek’s son, Ashwin. It is the only way she can save her people, and Deven, from the atrocity of Kuval’s refugee camps and the chaos tearing their country apart.
Kalinda comes into her own in this book as she embraces her burner abilities as well as her role in the future of her people. Faced with the difficult choice between duty and her heart’s desire, Kalinda must decide between Prince Ashwin and Deven, all while keeping the sacred Zhaleh safe from those who would use it to release the Voider into the world.
I enjoyed seeing Kalinda test the boundaries of her burner powers. This time she is a warrior and a queen, better equipped to face the arena and win her place as Ashwin’s first rani. She faces fire, poison and a mysterious force within that she doesn’t yet understand.
The growth of both Kali and Natesa is a joy to see. Once enemies, the two women have overcome their differences and become loyal friends—a wonderful example of strong female characters for King’s young audience.
Readers will likely miss Deven’s presence in this book as he and Kalinda are torn apart upon their arrival at the sultan’s court, but I have high hopes of his return in the next book, The Rogue Queen.
The Fire Queen picks up right where book one left off, throwing the reader straight into the heart of another fast paced journey for Kalinda and those closest to her.