The Element of Fire

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Thomas Boniface, Captain of the Queen’s Guard, leads a rescue party to save the old court sorcerer, Galen Dubell, kidnapped and held prisoner in Ile-Rein’s capital, Vienne, by Urbain Grandier, a foreign sorcerer driven mad by torture in his homeland, neighboring Bisran.

Meanwhile, Kade Carrion, a fay witch and half-sister to the weak, young King Roland, gains entrance to the city disguised as an actress. Her motivations are uncertain, even to herself, but she plans to confront Roland and his mother, the Dowager Queen Ravenna, and perhaps settle old scores.

As Kade appears on stage before the royal audience, she is attacked by a creature of Fayre. Although the golem is destroyed, its appearance is followed by an invasion of the city by the forces of the Unseelie Court.

Vienne is plunged into chaos, its citizens fighting for their lives against unholy forces. Kade finds herself helping the defenders against the fay. She gains the trust of Thomas Boniface, whose main objective is to get Ravenna, Roland, and his young queen, Falaise, out of the city safely. This Thomas does with Kade’s help, but he remains trapped inside the city walls. Thomas discovers that Urbain Grandier has killed Galen Dubell and assumed his form, and uncovers a plot by Roland’s cousin and confidant, Denzil, to unseat the young king and usurp the throne, assisted by Grandier and the Unseelie Court.

Thomas and Kade escape into Fayre, but they return and Thomas is captured by Denzil. Kade rescues Thomas and Denzil kills Grandier, who plans to betray him. The fay and Denzil’s forces are defeated, and after killing Denzil in a duel, Thomas chooses to accompany Kade back into Fayre to explore the love that has grown between them.