“a well-told fantasy story that will intrigue adult and young adult readers alike” – review of Cold Fire on Risingshadow

Earlier this week Seregil of Rhiminee reviewed Cold Fire, the latest book from Peter R. Ellis (I would have mentioned it sooner but I’ve been laid up with flu for a few days). The book is the first of a series of standalone novels recounting the continuing adventures of September Weekes, the heroine of Peter’s Evil Above the Stars series.

Artwork: Alison Buck
Artwork: Alison Buck

Seregil starts by saying that it was a pleasure to read about September Weekes again because she’s an interesting and fascinating protagonist. He says that it is “just as good and interesting” as the Evil Above the Stars series, and points out that it is perfectly possible to read Cold Fire without having read the original series, adding that it is a suitable “entry point to the world of September Weekes” and although it has much “in common with the previous novels, it’s a whole new adventure and newcomers will be able to enjoy it”. He describes Cold Fire as “a well-told fantasy story that will intrigue adult and young adults readers alike” in which readers will find themselves immersed in the story as it unfolds.

Seregil compliments Peter’s good characterisation, and fluent writing. The “characters are resourceful and remind me a bit of the characters found in Enid Blyton’s novels” he says. He admits that even September’s nemesis, the Malevolence, has fascinated him since the beginning of the original trilogy – Peter has “created an ultimate evil entity, because it consumes everything it comes in contact with and leaves destruction in its wake”.

Seregil says that Cold Fire “combines elements of fantasy and science fiction in an entertaining way”, with Peter writing “intriguingly” about the alternative version of our world with creatures such as mermaids, unicorns and dragons (although they avoid men). Peter’s writing about the impact of human population growth on these other creatures and their ultimate fate has a “bittersweetness” says Seregil, revealing hidden wisdom beneath the story on the themes of extinction, indifference and fear of the unknown.

Seregil also enjoyed the descriptions of alchemy and how phosphorus and its qualities fascinated scientists. Peter manages to “convey the enthusiasm involved in the experiments to his readers in a splendid way”, which he thinks is a result of Peter’s background as a teacher “because you get a feeling that he knows what he is writing about”.

Summarising, Seregil says that what he likes most about Cold Fire and the previous trilogy is that they are intriguing and different. He is glad that the “Welsh elements – history, mythology, names etc – that readers have come to love in the previous novels can also be found in this novel. They’re an important part of the fascination and originality of the story, because they make this novel stand out among other fantasy novels.”

Seregil concludes by saying that Cold Fire is a “charming and delightfully old-fashioned yet intriguingly modern fantasy novel” that “combines the charm of classic fantasy books with modern storytelling in a successful way”.

You can read Seregil’s full review here.

 

Cold Fire – Peter R. Ellis at Leominster Library

Artwork: Alison Buck
Artwork: Alison Buck

On Thursday 19th October 2017, Peter R. Ellis will be spending the afternoon in Leominster library to promote his latest book Cold Fire, a September Weekes novel that follows on from the Evil Above the Stars series. If you’re near Leominster, come along and say hello, check out the book and find out more about September Weekes and the cold fire of the title.

Peter R. Ellis

Leominster Library, Thursday 19 October 2017, 2pm-6:30pm, 8 Buttercross, Leominster HR6 8BN

REVEALED: Cover of Cold Fire, the new September Weekes novel

In the Evil Above the Stars series by Peter R. Ellis, we were introduced to heroine September Weekes. In that trilogy, September discovered who she is and was called upon to save the land of Gwlad from the evil Malevolence (in case you haven’t yet read them yet – why not? – I won’t introduce spoilers by saying any more!) Now Peter has delivered the first September Weekes novel, Cold Fire. September is still at school and is still the Cludydd o Maengolauseren, but this time she finds herself closer to home, at least in space if not time. As far as she can tell, her appearance hasn’t changed, she’s even wearing her school uniform. But in a London of 1680, others see her as a lady of considerable social standing. She has been brought here to stop something happening that would give the Malevolence an opportunity to enter the universe. But she doesn’t know what. Her first stop is a tavern, to meet Robert Hooke, and then off to see Sir Robert Boyle demonstrate to the Royal Society the results of his investigations of the phosphorus and its cold fire. Far away at the edge of Wales an alchemist has learnt of Boyle’s discovery and, helped by his young assistant, is attempting in his own way to form the mysterious material, little suspecting that his work threatens to open the universe to the evil power of the Malevolence. September starts to understand what is happening but feels powerless to stop it. Then she encounters some fantastic beasts who may be able to help her, if she can work out how to save them from the Cold Fire.

The cover design by Alison Buck shows us September meeting one of those fantastic beasts, the dragon Obsidian.

Artwork: Alison Buck
Artwork: Alison Buck

Cold Fire will be available as an eBook at the beginning of August and in paperback in October.