The Devil's Fire - Sara Bell Kings. Oh, my LORD, there were a lot of kings in this book! And that underlines my big beef with The Devil's Fire - not enough time and effort spent on the world-building. This could have been a fantastic read, especially for a fantasy aficionado, but all the fantastic elements were either glossed-over or even totally ignored. What's the deal with these powers, for instance. The book IS titled The Devil's Fire and I expected more about the actual fire power that the whole plot hinged upon. Maybe drawing some parallels between the power and the relationship between Alric and Gareth? I would have liked a little more time spent on how their relationship changed from its initial antagonism to one of love. I would have liked the few female characters to be more diverse, something more than sisters, queens, nannies. I would have liked more fleshing out of the villain as well, more backstory, more actual information as to why both Alric and Gareth hated and indeed, feared him. I would have appreciated more insight into Alric and Gareth as well. I felt as if their portrayals were rather superficial, that there was a lot of interesting stuff coming together to make them the men they are, but we weren't getting to see it. I found Alric to be a little um... femified? There were times when he read like 'the woman in the relationship' and I hated that. Yes, he was younger, more sensitive, more introspective, but a man can be all that and not lose his mannishness. This happened mostly in the parts where Gareth was so totally intent on protecting him for anything and everything. (Dude, he can call fire, he's pretty powerful in his own right!) This could have been a really good book, an epic even, but it reads like a first novel where the author hasn't really developed a mastery of her craft yet. A decent read, but dammit, I wanted more MEAT to it. :) And there were just FAR too many kings running around. All in all, I think a professional editor could have helped a lot, because Sara Bell has some wonderful ideas, they just need... substance. :)