Review: The Flame and the Arrow (The Annika Brisby Series by Emigh Cannaday)

After devouring this exciting read I thought I had to write a review on it for all those fans of fantasy literature to get hooked (I know how hard it is to find good fantasy fiction nowadays aside from George R R Martin) but the first installment of this series ticks all the boxes. It has everything a fan of fantasy or romance literature desires: magic, love, fantastical creatures and a difficult quest. The characters grow on you very quickly including those who are introduced later in the book which is a touching difference to other novels in which minor characters often become quite forgettable.

The party draw you in to the extent that you feel a part of their journey and must follow them eagerly to unravel their misadventures and discover their journey’s end. The story perpetuates aspects of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and L J Smith’s The Vampire Diaries intertwining the paranormal and fairy tale fantasy beautifully, adding to the books originality. This is reflected in the relationship between the main protagonists in the novel which reminisces that of L J Smith’s Damon and Elena. There is also the fact that although the elves first appear to us as the angelic like creatures of Tolkien’s middle earth, they are soon revealed to possess human imperfections, making you resonate and empathize more with their troubles. This is a refreshing touch as it makes you feel closer to their world and ponder the fact that even immortal beings are far from perfect. 
 The book is extremely versatile in that it will make you laugh, cry, say awww and shock you in places. As well as being ideal for fans of fantasy/paranormal fiction, the love story will also entice those who enjoy romantic fiction as it is beautifully touching and passionate without turning cheesy and tiresome. The fate of the lovers itself is enough to urge you to continue the series if the intrigue of the magical quest is not enough to satisfy you. 
 My only criticism, though it hurts to say it, is that the ending felt a little disappointing. There was a lot of build up to the final moments but they seemed to occur very suddenly without giving you enough time to take in the events. I felt that the ending could have benefited from a little more explanation as to who the Pazachi were and their motives behind their actions. I also feel that a possible showdown between the leaders of the clan and characters from the main party could have occurred in further detail to add to the excitement and tension felt in the moments preceding the event. Aside from this however, the book is an enchanting read with beautiful descriptions of the landscape, lovable characters and a gripping story line which will hold you in its grasp until it’s distressing and bittersweet finale.