The Fire's Stone (MP3 CD)
Unavailable for purchase.
For fans of TJ Klune, Heartstopper, Mercedes Lackey, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, X-Files, LGBT+ fantasy fiction etc...Tanya Huff is a talented Canadian author who has been everything from a bookstore clerk to a member of the Canadian Naval Reserve and holds a degree in Radio and Television Arts. She has written many fantasy novels, a brilliant science fiction series, and a bunch of urban fantasy touched with paranormal romance. Her work consistently features LGBTQ+ characters and themes. A resident of downtown Toronto for many years, she now lives in rural Ontario with her wife, fellow fantasy author Fiona Patton and all of their cats.
Aaron was once the heir to his clan until his father had his beloved slain. He ran away and never looked back. Today he is a thief and a master at it. He dances across rooftops and slips through shadows as though he existed as a shadow himself. Now he's come to Ischia, the city of the volcano, to run his luck and skill against their death penalty for stealing. His goal? The palace and the royal jewels. Aaron did not expect to meet Darvish, the handsome foppish prince, a spare heir who spends his time drinking and wooing every lovely lady or handsome man he meets. He also did not expect the feelings this prince stirred in him, feelings he thought he could never have again. If he were being honest, he might admit that he sought the solace of death. An end to all of his rage and sadness.
Darvish was the charming wastrel of the court, Too far from the throne to matter, he was also too popular to let him succeed and threaten his older brother's future leadership. His excesses were encouraged to the point he was no longer seen as a possible heir to the throne. Darvish did NOT want the politically arranged marriage his father was forcing him into to a girl practically a child. He didn't really know what he wanted, other than to be useful and have a purpose. Since he still didn't have that, he looked for solace in the bottom of every bottle he came across, as well as in the beds of everyone willing he could find while drinking to excess or practicing as a soldier with no war to fight other than his own hangover.
Finding a thief in the palace one night while hammered should have worried Darvish, but this lithe young intruder intrigued him instead. Even as his drunken skills at combat prevented the attacker from harming him, he found it a rather fun dance, especially when they fell together onto a soft surface and suddenly fighting became the furthest thing from his mind. After his advances were scorned, he passed out. In the morning he assumed it had all been a bizarre dream until he found out a thief had been captured in the palace the night before. He remembered seeing a loneliness to match his own mirrored in the young man's eyes and he wondered if they could be friends.
Chandra was born a royal, but chose to become a Wizard of the Nine, the rarest and most difficult, allowing her access to all forms of sorcery. Loving someone would lessen her skills and abilities to access magic, loving them physically would lessen it even more, so she takes a desperate trip to Ischia unbeknownst to her father to beg Darvish not to marry her. She hoped he would be reasonable. What she didn't expect when she arrived was to find that the Fire's Stone, the magical object that held back the volcano from erupting and destroying the city, had been stolen. As a Wizard of the Nine, one of the few able to tap into the stone, she feels personally responsible for its safe return.
This unlikely trio find themselves on a quest to recover the stone and save the city. Darvish hopes this will finally earn him his father's respect. Chandra prays that helping to save the city will give her leverage to get out of her pending marriage to Darvish. Aaron just wants to be left alone to die in peace and does not want to care about Chandra or anything else. He ESPECIALLY does not want to keep feeling things for Darvish!
Three deeply flawed characters learn from each other, support each other, help each other to grow, earn each other's respect and love while just possibly saving the day. In some ways this book is like typical fantasy fare with intrigues, magic, adventures, travels, an evil wizard of high skill, and most of your favorite fantasy tropes from hurt/comfort to chemical dependency recovery and M/M romance, but the diversity of characters and their individuality makes it feel fresh and interesting.— Jason
A wizard, a drunkard, and a thief - three strangers who must learn to work together or Ischia is lost beneath a sea of lava. But Aaron, the thief, is hiding more than stolen jewels. Chandra, the wizard, is running from a political marriage. And Darvish, the prince Chandra is intended to marry and the man Aaron has hidden the most from, well, Darvish really needs a drink. Before they can hope to save Ischia, they must save themselves.