Title: Flame of Surrender
Author: Rhiannon Paille
Publisher: It’s Coscom Entertainment
Release Date: November 1st, 2011

Rhiannon Paille’s Flame of Surrender is the first book in a new series, The Ferryman and the Flame, and it is a stunning premiere novel filled with passion and mysticism. Sixteen-year-old Krishani, referred to as “the boy who follows death,” is a member of the Brotherhood of Amersil, a group of elders that are feared by most of the residents of their world, Avristar. Kaliel is a 14 year old Elven girl who doesn’t seem to fear much, especially Krishani. They first meet when Kaliel is swimming in a river known to be full of dangerous merfolk, and Krishani can’t take his eyes off of her. He pursues a friendship with her that blossoms into something much deeper as the years pass in the story. Although they are separated for a time, they reunite and forge an even deeper bond. The main problem is, the two were never meant to fall in love. They are both nature beings, and are supposed to devote themselves to the land, not each other.

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Kaliel is a Flame, basically a handcrafted deadly weapon to be unleashed when the time is right, or when she discovers her true nature and feels the time is right, although she certainly doesn’t seem deadly. She’s almost naive in her ways, but at the same time wise beyond her years. She keeps Krishani balanced when he is trying to deal with some very frightening dreams and powers that he hasn’t yet mastered. But Kaliel is flawed, and in one solitary act, she brings danger and destruction her way.

Like most fantasy novels, Paille’s creation takes a little getting used to, but she does a great job of keeping the reader moving forward and incorporating the rules and language of the world into the story without side-stepping out of the plot for long-winded asides (like where it seems like the world has suddenly stopped spinning so the writer can clue you in on what the heck she’s talking about). Avristar is described in gorgeous and vivid detail, bringing it to life in the readers’ mind. While the relationship between Kaliel and Krishani is sweet in a way, this is not a light-hearted romantic fantasy. Bad things happen, and worse things are probably going to happen as the series continues. Think about it, a girl crafted as a deadly weapon and a boy who follows death- does that sound like it’s going to be all roses and waterfalls for the couple? Not to mention the fact that their relationship could destroy their entire world.

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Flame of Surrender is definitely well-written and enjoyable, and it even has talking trees! I love anthropomorphism, although I wonder if you can call it that when it’s technically a living thing, albeit usually an inanimate living thing. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy. The plot, world and characters are vastly different from any book I’ve read, and that’s always a good thing! I also recommend checking out Rhiannon Paille’s blog, if for no other reason than the fact that it has one of the prettiest headers out there (although there are numerous other reasons to check it out, she’s pretty darn cool).