A GIFT OF FAERIES AND FIREKIN by David Dalglish (Book Review)
“The fire is alive,” the woman breathed. She looked between them. “The fire is nice. All right. That’s fine. This is fine.” She took a cautious step back. “You won’t… you won’t do something weird to me if I don’t, right? Just what kind of favor is this?”
Tesmarie tilted her head to one side.
“We need some flower petals, that’s all. What kind of favor did you think I’d want?”
“Well faeries in stories tend to want firstborn…”
Every now and then I love dipping into a short story, and what is better than reading a story set in a world you’re already familiar with, and encompasses characters you already know you love? Well on a rainy, miserable afternoon I read a story that ticked all these boxes.
A Gift of Faeries and Firekin by David Dalglish follows the story of an Onyx faery – Tesmarie, and a Firekin – Puffy, as they search for items suitable to make a gift worthy enough to give to their human friends, and protectors, Devin and Jacaranda.
Yes, this story is exactly as simple and as light-hearted as it sounds, but if you’ve read Soulkeeper, and it’s sequel Ravencaller by Dalglish then you’ll recognise these characters immediately. I would say it’s perfectly fine to read this even if you haven’t read the series, but I think already knowing these characters does help. However, for anyone who may need this, here’s a brief bit of context. Crksslff, or Puffy, as he is affectionately (and more easily) called by humans is a Firekin – a sentient being made entirely of fire. Puffy communicates through a series of sparks, puffs of smoke and he can spell out words using flamelight. Tesmarie, is a dark skinned Onyx faery, she can manipulate time, and wields a moonlight blade, but her ethos in life is to strive for peace.
Puffy and Tesmarie happen to be my favourite characters from Dalglish’s The Keepers series, and so I jumped right into reading this one. Fantasy which involves non-human characters will always excite me, and if there is one author who includes a fantastic array of non-human characters, it’s David Dalglish. This short story is only 16 pages long, so it’s an extremely quick read and in terms of tone it is a far departure from the author’s usual gritty dark style. You know what though, this is the exact kind of story I needed right now. Something that is both whimsical, cute and heartwarming. By the end, I actually had a big smile on my face.
I believe this was the author’s intention because with everything that is happening in the world right now, we could all do with something to make us smile. Therefore, I just wanted to help spread the word about this free little story.
‘There’s too many frightening things in this world, and I would hate to be one of them.’
I also just want to mention how gorgeous the cover is, the image of both Tesmarie and Puffy feels very much how I pictured both characters. The cover art is done by the very talented Nidhi Shetty, who actually hand-lettered the title! Please check out her other artwork and projects on her accounts – Twitter: @grimoira_art & Instagram: @grimoira
If you’re interested in reading this digital copy of A Gift of Faeries and Firekin, David Dalglish has made it free for everyone on all platforms, except there’s a charge on Amazon, but the author has copies available on his website which you can download to your Kindle. Here’s the link; http://ddalglish.com/wp/books/the-keepers/a-gift-of-faeries-and-firekin/