Fire by Heather James is an enjoyable fantasy that follows the stories of Roxy, a fiery Helian Protector, and Jasmine, the girl who doesn't quite belong.
I really liked this book. I loved Roxy's chapters, watching as she was brought in on the scheme that follows the Helian pattern of generally just being nasty to the other nations. It's not often that we get a point of view from the antagonists, and Roxy was such a convincing character that I was really unsure of how this was going to end up.
Jasmine and Brae have been friends for a long time; so when Brae announces his intention to travel to the Helian realm for the 'conference', Jasmine immediately worries. After a few disturbing dreams and some unusual developments of her own character, Jasmine sails herself to the Helian realm to save her friend.
The characters in this book were so defined that even if they didn't have their names above their chapters, you could still tell who was narrating, and I find that to be an exceptional thing. Too often characters sound like sock puppets and to read a book that finally bucked that trend was extremely refreshing.
During the second half of the book, I was surprised at how much I felt for a certain development on Roxy's behalf. I did not see it coming and I cannot explain how grateful I am that I was completely blindsided by this. I love when the author takes me completely unawares; it's part of the reason I read!! This is certainly one development that I can't wait to see in the sequel, Water.
Jasmine's ... unique... development was also very well executed. I figured it out about three quarters of the way through the book and had to put down my phone and go 'ohhhhhhh' because it made perfect sense and yet I didn't see it coming at all!
Recommend those who love surprising novels and the elements.