Some blessings can be a curse.
Among the Melior nothing matters more than a person’s Blessing, a magical power granted to each person by the Elements. Blessings define their society; distinguishing between leaders, artisans, and commoners. Every year children gather in the temple, praying that they might become favored, while one simply prays for recognition. Kisara is the only child in a generation to go unblessed. Desperate to escape her fate, Kisara awakens a power her people once tried to erase.
Opening on the eve of the ceremony pulls readers in, introducing background information through preparations and rituals, but when the novelty wears off the narrative struggles to replace it. Summaries hurry audiences through three years and seven chapters. Snippets of dialogue try to invoke emotional weight in truncated scenes; as both audience and characters struggle through a cyclical holding pattern.
In the absence of substantive change the story relies on internal conflict and emotional tension to tide audiences over until the real story begins, midway through the narrative. Bereft of subplots, the characters remain trapped in their original roles, their entire identity defined by their relationship with the protagonist, who is only slightly more complex. The story does improve, gradually, but never escapes its original shortcomings, or an over-reliance on summary to hurry audiences on to the next strong scene, without taking the time to build up to it.
Fire Blessed (BoM 02)