Fields Of Fire by Hannah West (The Nissera Chronicles #1.5)
Publisher: Holiday House Books
Release Date: September 18, 2018
Summary: In the war to save the magical realm of Nissera, every battle counts—including those fought on the smallest fronts.
Across the land, the powerful sorceresses Bristal and Tamarice are marshalling their armies, readying for a climactic battle to decide the fate of their world. But in a hay-filled barn far off in the countryside, a small group of spies led by a courageous young warrior named Drell is about to launch an offensive in order to root out the identity of a shadowy alchemist. If Drell’s team is successful, one of Tamarice’s most dangerous accomplices will be destroyed. If they fail, the sorceress will come into possession of a weapon that could turn the tide of the war against them. Drell knows everything must play out perfectly for their mission to be successful, but even she cannot fathom the depths of the alchemist’s cruelty—or the sacrifices her own spies are willing to make to stop him…
My Rating: ★★★★☆
My Thoughts: Readers return to the land of Nissera in West’s novella that runs parallel to the events in Kingdom Of Ash And Briars! Following a group of spies, they attempt to uncover the identity of alchemist and his plan for a dangerous weapon, which could turn the tide of war in their favor! This short, but character-driven novella easily immerses readers looking forward to more from The Nissera Chronicles!
I was really looking forward to this short story because its been practically 2 years since I read West’s debut, Kingdom Of Ash And Briars! So, I was really looking forward to diving back into the magical world of Nissera before starting my ARC of the companion/sequel: Realm Of Ruins!
This short story follows Drell, who is a spy helping the main character from KOAAB, Bristal, to turn the tides of a looming war in which the villain is attempting to take over the country (who I won’t spoil if you haven’t read Kingdom yet!).
There’s Drell, Reed, Gannan, & Skye! These 4 are close friends and are working together as spies to find as much intel as they can to shift the tide of an upcoming war!
It turns out there’s an alchemist whose used dark magic from in far island kingdom of Galgeth’s Caverns to retrieve black granules which he’s been experimenting with to create what’s called: Shadowfire.
This novella essentially follows the team scoping out a local inn where Skye has been doing recon. for a while & they are convinced they’ll be to find all the information they can on the Alchemist, Cecil and his work, to destroy it and prevent this dark force from potentially wiping out cities!
This short story is so immersive and even if you aren’t familiar with the world, West makes it so incredibly easy to follow and allow you to feel like your a part of this mission with Drell & her crew!
For an incredibly short novella, the characters are all really well-developed and you really understand them through such few pages!
One of my favorite dynamics was Drell & Gannan as they go undercover as a couple at the inn to keep an eye on Skye as she tries to get more intel! Though its very brief, I liked that there was backstories on each of these characters!
I loved the friendship between Drell & Skye! Its also hinted that Gannan & Skye may like each other, so it was interesting seeing their dynamic become somewhat of a conflict as Drell tries to keep Gannan focused on the mission.
There’s also a few plot twists I really didn’t see coming and because this novel focuses on an upcoming war, there is a good amount of tension and stakes throughout the story!
There’s intrigue, mystery, & a lot of action!
I also really loved the quick references to Kingdom Of Ash And Briars, Bristal and what she’s up to which runs parallel to this novella!
My only issue that had me drop a star, was that I honestly forgot a lot about the world of KOAAB than I thought, so it did take me a bit to really connect with the characters mostly.
And from what I read up before getting into this novella, is that Drell is originally from KOAAB, but again its just been so long that I forgot.
There was also a couple of really minor/side characters that I wish had a little more development.
However, West’s writing style and use of 1st person POV really brings you into the story right away which I really loved!
Similar to West’s debut, she builds such an immersive atmosphere which pulls you right into the story!
This novella brought me back into a fun and fascinating fantasy world I’ve missed a lot & has me so excited to start Realm Of Ruins!
Fields Of Fire is a short story filled with intrigue and builds a little more into the fascinating world of Kingdom Of Ash And Briars! The Nissera Chronicles continue in this tale that highlights another side of a looming battle that was introduced in Kingdom Of Ash And Briars!