THE FIRE CHILDREN by Lauren M. Roy
(Rebellion, $9.99, pub date June 30, 2015)
This quest-type YA pulled me in from the start with the unusual setting of a society that must retreat underground to historical tunnels beneath their homes every “eclipse,” which appears to happen at random years.
The Fire Children are to come at that time, walking the earth and burning up the furniture, the food, everything left above for them. Who these Fire Children are is unclear at first: are they really made of fire? Where do they come from? How are they associated with what’s called an Eclipse?
We then find our heroine, Yulla, must go aboveground during the Eclipse, risking running into the Fire Children — and she does. One in particular, who joins her in a fight against evil witches to save their world from having Mother Sun destroyed.
The world created here is well rounded, even though much of this is fantasy elements that occur in so many other stories of this ilk. The same can be said of a quest story. But Yulla and Ember and their particular story, and the details of how Mother Sun, Sister Moon, Father Sea, and the Wind are more than archetypes is fascinating to me, and works very well for this novel.
I’m going to be carrying this in my bookstore and hand-selling it – it has everything both female and male YAs look for in a good fantasy novel.