If you’re unfamiliar with avian familiars, birds, dragonettes, and other flying creatures that act as wizards’ assistants, you should check out Impatient Fire, by William Hill, to get the full scoop about them and more, in the second book of his delightful fantasy series intended for young adults. Anyone who loves novels about magic, mystery, elves, centaurs, dragons, conspiracies & mayhem is sure to find pleasure in reading this continuation of the exploits of the wizard-in-training 14-year-old Jules Magnus, her brother Darius – or Dari – and the mom, a teacher at the FAA (Familiar Academy for Avians), Maestra Magnus.
Jules has lost her ability to channel, or use, magic – her speciality is fire magic, or Fyren, one of the Seven Sources of magical abilities – and she is desperate to try to do anything she can to regain her powers. This is especially true because her father’s been kidnapped and his life is in danger, and he left her and Darius a note saying they need to use their staffs and work together to unlock a secret vault and to get a Maze underneath the FAA that has been disenchanted to work again. The wizards draw much of their magical strength from the Maze, when it’s working, and fixing it might be just the key that’s needed to also restore Jules’s wizard powers.
Impatient Fire is chocked full of adventure and intrigue beyond Jules’s attempts to regain her abilities to channel magic and help, with her brother, to rescue her father. One of her closest avian friends is the drakonette, Lance, who is really the “runt dragon,” of the subtitle. He’s on a secret mission to protect and serve a dragon prince and to be on the look out for spies, and he’s the eighth heir in the royal bloodline, himself. He’s a good friend to Jules, who tries to teach him to use “levers,” (magic wands and other items that can be used to channel magic) and to get his magic to not be as unpredictable and chaotic in its outcomes. His magic often backfires, or works in bizarre, unforeseen ways, and it’s likely he was responsible for both the Maze not working properly and possibly for Jules’s losing her powers, though both things were not at all what he wanted to happen.
The school’s been infiltrated by dragon spies and assassins of the evil Flatscale variety, like the Blax, Red, Whyte, Greene, and Bluw. Protecting the Prince is one of the highest priories, and to do that, Lance is charged with getting the Maze to work, so his and Jules’s goals are very similar. However, it’s difficult, Lance finds, to stop an assassin who is as stealthy as a cat, and kills seemingly without having any qualms about it. He’s got to learn how to control his magic better, in order to succeed at his mission and help Jules get her channeling abilities back and rescue her father.
On top of all of this, the FAA is going to have a talent show. All of the avians are excited about it and work on honing their special talents to display at the show. Some of the birds are good at mimicking others, some are good at juggling, miming, and various other talents. Their attention spans are not the longest in the world to start with, but the instructors at the school are met with a bigger challenge than usual in teaching the birds and other flying creatures during the time when they’re practicing for the show.
Jules will do whatever’s necessary to regain her abilities, even if it means the methods she uses may be a little dangerous. She reads sometimes humorous “cures” from a book that tells 77 ways to regain one’s use of his/her powers, and tries a few of them herself. Trying a few of them provide some of the novel’s funny moments, though, of course, to her they’re not funny at all, just ways that will hopefully help her regain her channeling powers.
Will Jules ever become patient enough to regain her fire channeling powers and save her father? Will Lance be able to get his magic under control and help to repair the Maze? You’ll have to read Impatient Fire for yourselves to find the answers to these burning questions and more! It’s a fantasy novel that will fire the interests of anyone who love books about magic, wizards, dragons, and other mythical creatures. You should add it to your reading lists today!
(Jules and the Runt Dragon: Book 2)
By: William Hill
Otter Creek Press