Posted in Fashionably Late Reviews :)

Review: Circle of Fire by Keri Arthur


*Received as an ARC for an hones review of the re-issue of this book.

I was sad when this book came to an end. But more because I was made to realise that it wasn’t necessarily part of a continuing series, more of a  stand-alone within the same universe, and that irked me. I thought the relationship between the protagonists Jon and Maddie could have easily been explored over a trilogy at least.

This is where this book falls down for me. After ticking most of the boxes when it comes to paranormal romance/mystery it fell on its arse when trying to find a natural ending. Might as well signed off with ‘…and they all lived happily ever after.’ and no one wants that, not really, not after one average length book. I wanted more!

That was my only gripe with it- the ending was rushed, and you could tell.

So what turned me on this book?

  • Maddie – She had all the markings of a paranormal kick-ass chick. And would have been! If her story wasn’t cut short.
  • Jon – Yeah. I’d go there. A shapeshifting hunk of yes please! ..shame his ability means he keeps everything but his silver ring when he shifts shape. He should have lost his clothes… Just sayin’
  • Hank – What a creep! I loved his creepiness, it made me chuckle in that ‘euw, hell no’ kind of way.
  • World building – unless you believe in things that go bump in the night, we’re presented with an alternate universe full of psychics and witches and shape sifters and yes, even vampires (don’t worry, they won’t sparkle on you) and I don’t think it missed a beat in making it believable, or more, it suspended my disbelief long enough for me to be drawn right into it.
  • Hawtness – That are a couple of HAWT scene in this where the heat (no pun intended..) is ramped up all the way to eleven. Or at least ten and a half. Again, this was something I would have liked to have seen expanded before the very fairytale ending.

What turned me off this book?

  • Eleanor – She was a douche. And only served as a tool to make Maddie hella-jealous. I think Hank could have run the show in his own creepy way.
  • Length – I know, I know, but it really annoyed me. There was so much that could have happened, could have been explored, and I really think an opportunity has been missed here. There were glimmers of Eugenie in this (Dark Swan series by Richelle Mead) or even a Sookie Stackhouse (Charlaine Harris, clicky!) that could have held its own for more than one book. And the last few pages of this really are cringe-worthy.
  • Emphasis – Maybe it’s a cross-Atlantic thing, but there were places where the italics seemed to stress the wrong word in a sentence… It clanged for me.

I’ll definitely be checking out further books in the Damask Circle series, but I will admit that it’s a little daunting to take on a different set of characters each time. I hope Arthur changes the formula, and doesn’t just dress up the same story with different names. I am hopeful. And I would definitely recommend this to anyone into the urban fantasy/paranormal romance scene.

Read in a couple of nights. It’s a page turner for sure.

I give a 2:1 – for its fast pace and for making me care about the main characters to the point that I was savage about having to let them go so soon!



YA writer. Epic reader. Professional procrastinator.

2 thoughts on “Review: Circle of Fire by Keri Arthur

  1. Hmmm, it sucks the ending was cringe-worthy! 😦
    And just out of ‘scientific’ curiousity, how exactly did that shapeshifting thing work? Did he keep his clothes on as a wolf? Doesn’t that look kinda stupid? Or did his clothes magically appear when changed back?

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