YA Review – The Secret of Fire – young adult fantasy

Fischer, J. J. The Secret of Fire. Greenville, SC: Ambassador International, 2021.


The Rebellion has fallen. The door to the Outside has been opened with a cascade of consequences. And Julian Arminius, the one who opened the door, is now the most powerful man in Darcentaria. Secret of Fire finds the young couple, El and Torsten, ripped apart by their enemy’s schemes. As they fight to be reunited, the pair discovers insights into the nuanced beginnings of Darcentaria and the technologically superior civilization of the Outside. “History is a magician…and his greatest illusion is progress.” The two, once again, find themselves waging war against the forces of evil, while also battling the hidden recesses of their own hearts and histories. “The rest of the world shines on a bright light, but not humans. Sometimes we grow ten feet in the dark and only one foot in the sunshine.”

In Secret of Fire, author J.J. Fischer once more explores the human condition by contrasting a medieval civilization with a WWII era one in this gripping, high-fantasy novel, leaving the reader grappling with his own human limitations. “Not all who live in chains are prisoners. Not all who win are victors.”

Perfect for: Lovers of fantasy, Tolkien, and realm building.

Purchase The Secret of Fire on Amazon

MY REVIEW – The Secret of Fire

The Secret of Fire is the second book in J. J. Fischer’s Darcentaria Duology.  It has been several months since I read the first book in this duology and I struggled with the storyline for some time – things just weren’t making sense to me. It would have been helpful if there had been a list of characters and a “previously in The Sword in his Hand.” 

I did enjoy the premise of this book – what happens when a ship is lost in the Bermuda Triangle? When reading the first book I thought the story was more modern day and the characters from America. However, The Secret of Fire makes reference to Hitler which makes me think the time frame is World War II. We find out the main characters are from Hitler’s country. The world in the story also receives a visit by officials from what appears to be Germany. So, the world-building could have been better and the plane going down in the Bermuda Triangle doesn’t really work.

In spite of these confusing details, there is much to like about the story. It becomes a missionary story where those from the Outside decide to stay in this alternate world and share Christ with the people. The romance factor is good – there is enough conflict and challenges to keep the story interesting. 

The Secret of Fire would be appropriate for a k-12 Christian school library. I would keep it for high schoolers due to the difficult situations the characters face. 

I received a complimentary copy of The Secret of Fire. This is my honest review. I am an Ambassador Intl book reviewer and partner!

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