Twelve years ago, Edander went to the Conservatory to try and control his fire power. Now that he can, he’s stuck at the Conservatory until he finds a bondmate, that one person who can stabilize his power so that he doesn’t spiral out of control. When a stranger, Ignifer, shows up at the Conservatory unannounced, he’s slightly curious of the man but doesn’t really take a notice of him until later. It’s not long before the two are forced to take on a brigade and then strike up a friendship filled with stories and all the information Ignifer can give Edander about the war. Ignifer is leaving soon, though, so that begs the question, will he take Edander with him and ask to be bondmates?
The blurb is a little misleading in the sense that while I was reading, I didn’t necessarily get the feeling that Edander was desperately waiting for his bondmate nor did he think of the stranger becoming his right from the start. It is more in the way that Edander finds a kindred spirit in Ignifer and how easily they seem to work together and get along. With that said, I really enjoyed this one because of the characters.
Edander is a bit melancholy because he hates the winter at the Conservatory, which seems to consist of rain and wind. Regardless of the fact he can manipulate fire, he’s always so cold until he meets Ignifer. Ignifer, on the other hand, is like a ray of sunshine. He has a very scarred face but that doesn’t stop him from taking enjoyment and amusement wherever he can and, with Edander, he seems to get that. The two work very well together in fighting but also seem to be a perfect fit in getting along.
This is one of those stories that had a lot of potential but because of the length of the book doesn’t go in as much depth as it could have. We get a sense for the world they live in (which I found fascinating) and even a slice of fighting. We see how the two start their relationship and get a brief taste of how it blossoms. I really enjoyed all of it but I think the biggest problem is how short it is. This story could have been very good if it had been longer, expanding on not just the developing relationship but also how Ignifer and Edander work outside the safety of the Conservatory as they get closer to war.
Overall, this was an enjoyable story. For such a short book, the author did a good job of making the characters shine and even giving the reader a good sense of how the world operates. It’s well-written and easy to read but a longer and more detailed story would have made this story much more entertaining. Hopefully there will be a sequel so that we can see how Edander and Ignifer handle life together and what all happens when Ignifer meets Edander’s family.