My rating: <a href="http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/689702228">4 of 5 stars
The Smoke and the Flame by Shirley Ponthieu McCoy is a self published fantasy/paranormal novel released in February, 2013. I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. The Jinn rule the mountains of Kaf and man rules the earth. Darius is the rule of Jinn ( genie). With loss of his wife and child, Darius is in search of peace. Leaving his brother, Stewart, in charge, Darius sets out to walk the earth. One day while riding on the border of a kingdom called Brenmere, Darius hears a blog curdling scream. As he seeks out the source of such agony, she come upon a woman in childbirth. The woman has a midwife, but there is something wrong. Darius offers to help the woman and Colleen, the midwife. After helping to deliver the child, Darius and Colleen get to know each other a little and she invites him to her home. As it turns out, Colleen is the only child of the King and Queen of Brenmere. As Colleen and Darius begin to fall in love, they face the uncertainty of her parents reaction to Darius being a Jinn. Although concerned ,they wish their daughter happiness, and give their blessing for them to marry. The only sad thing will be that Colleen must go back to Jinn with Darius to live. Thus begins our story. Colleen and Darius rule Jinn together. They have a son, Ian. While things are not always peachy, they work things out in the end and life is good. But, their is evil lurking in future, and soon the very kingdom of Jinn is in peril as well as the king and queen and their son. A man seeking power above all else has set his sights on a magic ring that is in the land of Jinn. He is a very powerful sorcerer and very, very dangerous. He will stop at nothing to obtain the power he has longed for his entire life. The story is told almost like a fairytale. It maybe should have started off with "Once Upon a Time"... The author gives rich details of surroundings, feelings and emotions. The story is also adventurous and suspenseful. There are epic love stories and heartbreak, as well as fear, danger, and frustration. The story does end of a little bit of a cliffhanger. But, of course we all know things will work out in the end, but probably not before their are more battles with their staunch enemy. This novel has elements of epic fantasy and paranormal romance. Just for your information, their are some homosexual characters, but there is nothing overly explicit as far as SC. The steam level is pretty tame actually, as well as language and graphic violence. The author wisely chose to stick with character development, which is really important in a first book in a series. This story has great potential to become a solid fantasy series that could appeal to lovers of epic fantasy, romance, with some paranormal elements. Overall this is a good solid B+.
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