Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Just Reviewed K.E. Kimbriel’s “The Fires of Nuala” at SBR

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Folks, if you haven’t read any of Katharine Eliska Kimbriel’s novels before, you need to go find them and read them immediately.

I don’t often say this.  In fact, I’ve said this with regards to maybe two other authors in my entire life, those two being the novels of Rosemary Edghill (in any genre) and the novels of André Norton.  These two authors — one extremely well-known and a Grandmaster, the other who should be much better known than she is — are must-reads in any genre.

So far, I’ve read the three books in Ms. Kimbriel’s The Chronicles of Nuala, but only reviewed the first, THE FIRES OF NUALA, this evening over at Shiny Book Review (SBR).  (The second two books will be reviewed next week.)  What I’ve read  has shown me that Ms. Kimbriel knows what she’s doing, as she’s developed a complex world with a mythos all its own and characters who are vital people who demand attention at all times.

THE FIRES OF NUALA came out in 1988.  Somehow, I missed it back then.  The reissued** version came out in 2010 courtesy of Book View Cafe.

I’m glad I read it now, as it’s a first-rate novel that combines space opera, mystery, romance, epic world building and a complex plot into something that’s even more than the sum of its parts.  (I didn’t call it “…a book that should be in every science fiction library as it is complex, engrossing, interesting, compelling, and outstanding” for nothing, folks.)

THE FIRES OF NUALA should’ve won every award there was, as far as I’m concerned, unless the 1988 version was radically different than this one (something I find extremely hard to believe).  But due to the nature of the e-book revolution, at least it’s back out there and available to captivate new readers.

Seriously.  Read my review, then go read the novel.  Then ask yourself, “What happened back in 1988 that I missed this?”  (Unless you’re too young, of course, for this to apply.  In which case, just go grab the book and save steps.)


** Upon further review, I’ve been reliably informed by Ms. Kimbriel that THE FIRES OF NUALA that I just read is the very same, exact version put out in 1988.  I really do not understand how a book like this one could be completely overlooked by the Hugo and Nebula Awards, but then again, I don’t run in those waters and never have.

However, I do know quality when I see it, or read it.  This book is quality with a capital “Q.”  So go out and read it, if you haven’t already.  (If you have, great!  But if you want an e-book, $4.99 for a book of this length and excellence is, as previously stated over at SBR, an absolute steal.)

Written by Barb Caffrey

March 30, 2013 at 7:20 pm

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