Review: Flames over Frosthelm (Inquisitors’ Guild #1)

Neil Sharma
3 min readMay 24, 2022

Rating: 9/10

Book Information:

Flames Over Frosthelm by Dave Dobson
Inquisitors’ Guild
Epic Fantasy
Intended Age Group:
Adult (13+)
Pages: 383
Dave Dobson Books (Self Published)


Content/Trigger Warnings:

Shown on page:

  • Occasional gore
  • Sword fighting
  • Injury
  • Two scenes where captives are caused pain by captors

Book Blurb:

Sometimes, your case takes a left turn. Or three or four. Marten Mingenstern and Boog Eggstrom are provisional inspectors, fresh out of Inquisitor’s Guild training and eager to prove themselves. Assigned the mundane task of tracking down stolen jewels, they instead uncover a mysterious cult set on destroying the city. After a thief explodes, they earn the enmity of a vicious noble, the Chief Inquisitor gets bought off and goes rogue, they are seized by barbarians, and they are sentenced to death at least a couple of times. In a final, frantic race with prophecy, they face ruthless fanatics, a city turned against them, and terrible forces long buried.

Flames Over Frosthelm is the first novel about the Inquisitor’s Guild, the investigative arm of the government of Frosthelm, a medieval city-state where criminals thrive, nobles scheme, and dark secrets lurk. Expect intrigue, mystery, swordplay, adventure, politics, romance, and the strong bonds of friendship. And a little magic along the way. Described as Princess Bride meets CSI, this new novel is a tale of classic adventure with a healthy dose of humor.


Flames Over Frosthelm is a dark novel with gritty crime and a bustling underworld. Now from this description, you’d think it’s Cyberpunk or Sci-fi? Well no. It isn’t. Dave Dobson has set this new criminal world in a fantasy age of a medieval city-state that really, let’s be honest isn’t that great to deal with or even live in. Frosthelm’s a great city, sure. But underneath? It’s got more mysteries than anything else. It does live up to the comparisons made, however.

There is plenty of humour, as Boog and Martin discover that not everything they thought the city was shines up to be a paragon of justice. That’s the case of working in any state or institution. Corruption lies at the bottom of all this. I don’t want to spoil the story. But what I can say is Boog and Martin end up in so many conflicts, uncovering treachery after treachery that it becomes a search for the truth. This novel is a great mix of action and humor and stupid snarky cults that always want to manipulate the masses. (I am beginning to think they just want their way after all).

As the story goes, there are many twists and turns, plenty of well-written dialogue and well-written prose. It’s a fun story and I for one loved the way it was written. I wonder what else Book 2 will conjure up? This book combines a lot of astrology and magic, which astrology itself? I don’t know if I could ever learn it. But it is nice to see. The worldbuilding is immersive enough to make you forget the real world for that matter. I say, it’s a great novel and you need to check it out!

Book Links:

Universal Link: (audio and print accessible here)


Amazon Series Page:


Free Inquisitors’ Guild novella:


Author Bio & Information:

A native of Ames, Iowa, Dave loves writing, reading, boardgames, computer games, improv comedy, pizza, barbarian movies, and the cheaper end of the Taco Bell menu. Also, his wife and kids.

In addition to his novels, Dave is the author of Snood, Snoodoku, Snood Towers, and other computer games. Dave first published Snood in 1996, and it became one of the most popular shareware games of the early Internet. His most recent project (other than writing) is Doctor Esker’s Notebook, a puzzle card game in the spirit of escape rooms.

Dave taught geology, environmental studies, and computer programming at Guilford College for 24 years, and he does improv comedy every week at the Idiot Box in Greensboro, North Carolina. He’s also played the world’s largest tuba in concert. Not that that is relevant, but it’s still kinda cool.

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Neil Sharma

I am a freelance writer, video game reviewer and gaming youtuber, also publishing book reviews for fantasy and sci-fi!