Review: The Firebird

The Firebird

The Firebird by Nerine Dorman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


When it comes to worldbuilding original fantasy, it often takes a sprawling narrative covering a few hundred pages and usually multiple volumes for the world to come alive. The Firebird is able to convey a fully realized fantasy world in the span of a novella. Much of that is owed to the author’s tightly controlled prose and heavy reliance on grounding the reader in the setting. The use of first person narration helps with this, as Lada, the narrator, shares her experiences and feelings within the setting in a way that feels organic and natural, and not at all contrived or bordering on monotonous telling. The setting provides a perfect stage for character and theme to shine. Good, evil, betrayal, and forgiveness are at the center of this story, and the emotions are immediate and raw. The plot is deceptively simple, because the complexity of character and emotion are truly the focus of this book.

This was a quick read, but not at all disappointing–the precision storytelling makes this not only a study in the craft, but also packs a powerful punch.



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