Of Plains and Fire by Ella Walker Henderson
Of Plains and Fire
Ella Walker Henderson
Pub Date: 6th Sept. 2022
An ancient map in a land of fire. Only the chosen ones can find
the mountains and the plains, Mirandar is a land of fire. Its
legendaries are the flamestrong, warriors whose flesh cannot be burned.
Trapped in the dungeons of Alethia’s castle, Selah must find her way to this new land, but she can’t do it alone. If she’s to find the Qinnowr’s map and its keys, she and William must pursue it together.
The powerful Mirandan emperor and his Heir are not the only ones in her way. Selah must navigate past her oldest enemy. His influence reaches far through the empire of Mirandar.
Of Plains and Fire is the second book in the Selah series by Ella Walker Henderson. It continues the story of Selah and picks up immediately where book one ended.
At the End of Book one, Selah found herself chucked in a Alethian gaol cell along with Sir Gavin, and Of Plains and Fire starts immediately with Selah in the prison cell. Don't worry though, she doesn't spend much time at his majesty's pleasure and gets let loose. However, there are caveats. She can't travel freely around the castle without one of the eleven being with her, and neither can she go near the practice fields, even though she is one of the most proficient sword arms in the country of Alethia at that point.
William meanwhile, in a misguided attempt to diminish the harm caused by his involvement with Selah in the discriminatory society of Alethia where women are nothing but pretty baubles made of glass, has decided that the best thing he can do is to keep his distance.
With the whispers of court alienating bot Selah and William, this gives us chance to see Selah grow a lot more. We get to see a more feminine side to her as she forms a relationship with the crown Princess, whilst William is off replacing the members of the Eleven that was lost in the first book.
The story is effectively split into two parts. The first set in court in Alethia, and the second in Mirandor as Selah & William attempt to a) rescue the King's brother from the evil clutches of wife and b) find out about the Qinnowr and c) repair their relationship.
In the first part of Selah's story, Of Wind and Lightning, the story is primarily plot focussed as Selah and William escape for their pursuers to get to Alethia. However, in this book the focus shifts more to focus on character, especially the first half of the story. We get to see a lot more development in this book, both in the characters and in the world as the setting moves from Alethia to Mirandor. We learn more about the Legendaries and also who is moving the players about the board, although not entirely their motivations.
Now, I quite liked this installment of Selah's story and was quite impressed with Ella Walker Henderson's contemporary storytelling within the fantasy setting. Now, let me explain what I mean. In essence, if we took the fantasy setting away, the story could actually be interjected into any setting and it would work well. For instance, if we put this story in a modern high school it could work equally as well. I liked this aspect of the story as it gives the epic fantasy premise a modern edge and gives the story a sense of originality.
Now, as you know I am not a romance junkie by any stretch of the imagination and Ella Walker Henderson adds some understated romantic elements that work well without destroying the credibility of character and story development.
I'll be interested to see how this series develops.