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“The novel that begins the story of Chandra Nalaar, the impulsive young fire mage whose exploration of the multiverse and the extent of her own volatile power draws the attention of an ancient faith that sees her as a herald of the apocalypse. Will she control her own destiny, or suffer the will of others?”
[dun Dun DUNNNN]
Up front this is going to be another ‘If you aren’t familiar with at least the current MtG universe, this is may not make the most sense’ warning. Both in this review, and the book in general.
I. Hate. Her.
Why do you hate her, you ask? She’s THE most stereotypical Planeswalker/mana user ever. She uses red mana, which is generally known for fire, chaos, and aggression. But instead of using that to make an interesting character that is aggressive, chaotic, and a fire-user, oh no – Not Chandra. I just kinda feel like Wizards of the Coast was like: Let’s take all the known stereotypes for this and lump them together. “Oh, let’s make her a woman, too. Because you know how crazy and irrational dem womenz are, am I right? Huehue.”
She’s ‘hot headed,’ [literally, her hair turns to fire. Not even kidding] she’s incredibly dense, unnecessarily aggressive [verging on to the point where you have to wonder if her fire hair has burned years worth of braincells], doesn’t ever think before she acts [ever. EVER.] and then wonders why people [myself included] hate her. Oh, I dunno. Because someone looked at you wrong, you incinerate entire villages, and then wonder how that happened. Ugh. Ugh, ugh ugh. It’s literally like: Oh, hey, I use FIRE and so I have a FIRERY personality and I’m quick to anger like FIRE and oh hey again, my hair is totally FIRE.
The book itself is written incredibly well. It only solidifies my last statement for my last MtG book review [Agents of Artifice] that MtG hires talented authors to write their books. [Too bad the same can’t be said for whomever made Chandra. -cough-] I was pretty much able to get through the book without an issue because even though I loathe the main character, the author did an incredible job to write an excellent fantasy book, crappy character or not. Besides, the book also includes another Planeswalker, Gideon, who is/was a white mana user at the time of this book, at least. [Who, despite using white mana, is kiiiiiiind of a dreamboat. Just saying.]
Really, it’s Gideon who made the book for me. There’s all kinds of other well-sculpted characters, but he really brought the book up to the next level. Despite the kinda weird affection/semi-flirting from him towards Chandra [gross], I can say I certainly didn’t mind the description parts of when he was shirtless and covered in sweat after a battle. [-fans self-] But also, he’s a badass. Straight up badass. An extra bonus also is that he gives Chandra a lot of shit for her being a dumbass when she didn’t think before acting. That was always nice.
My main complaints in this book, other than it being about Chandra, is that some of the parts, especially the end [which has been being built on since the beginning of the book, and what the book is named after] …kinda anti-climatic. It builds and builds and builds and then when you get to the end, when everything goes down, it almost just sort of… deflates. Not the event that happened, no, but how it was executed? Kinda a let down, honestly. It was still an ultimately good ending, but could have used a little less build up I think.
Overall, I give The Purifying Fire 4/5 Red Mana
“How can you eat someone that you’ve talked to?!”