by R.L. Copple
ISBN-13: 978-1927154243 (Trade Paperback)
Pub Date: June 2012
Publisher: Splashdown Books
The third in a trilogy about a medieval world where the supernatural and magic meet the natural as a matter of course, and miracles wrought by God are as common as evil perpetrated by demons. Where believers may enter “steam houses” to hopefully receive a revelation, and possibly a “gift” from God. There are magic rings, bracelets, swords, and flying carpets. A boy can turn into a flying horse, and wizards can pull cottage-sized tents from their pockets. A tale of miraculous healings, devilish deceptions, dangerous and supernatural adventures, and young love. Such is R.L. Copple’s Reality’s Fire.
In a non-technological world, the youngsters Kaylee and Nathan are on a quest to rescue Nathan’s would-be girlfriend, Crystal, who has been enslaved by the demon Beltrid, and who is being carried by various couriers toward the evil fate which awaits her in the pits of hell. Kaylee has a ring, inherited from her now dead father, through which God’s power can flow to heal those to whom she is directed. She also has a bracelet which can turn her brother Nathan into a winged horse, providing the pair transportation. She is a fair hand with a sword, though she loses it during an encounter with locals at one of the towns as they seek information concerning the whereabouts of Crystal. In another town they meet up with Cole, a priest of the religion of Morganstern, who becomes a love interest for Kaylee. Cole is not, however, what he seems. What follows is a journey by the three who, aided by the siblings’ mother, face dangerous challenges and impending disasters as they race to save Crystal, and themselves, from death – or worse.
Reality’s Fire is a good read, with lots of action, some suspense, and much soul searching on the part of the characters. Each must grapple with their inner feelings if they wish to succeed. Copple effectively gets across the idea that with God anything is possible, even if man messes up. Forgiveness, repentance, and the importance of following His will for our lives are key points as well. To me it reads as if it is aimed at young adult readers, with a slightly juvenile feel, though those of us who are young at heart and enjoyed, say, the Redwall series might enjoy this as well. I believe my only concern is that I didn’t read the two predecessors first! That would have aided the understanding of much of the content. It is not really a stand-alone volume, but like Star Wars you gotta have Episodes 4 and 5 to make good sense of 6! — Dave Reynolds