Dream of Fire

Written by: Nicholas C. Prata

Published By: Arx Publishing

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

                At first glance, Dream of Fire, by Nicholas C. Prata, is your run-of-the-mill good versus evil novel.  The white-clad hero Antiphon Al-Caliph seeks out the black-clad villain Kerebos Ikar in an effort to turn him from his evil ways.  We’ve all read this story before, right?  Wrong.  This novel IS your classic good versus evil tale, but with a twist.

                Kerebos Ikar as leader of the ruthless army, the Black Legion, has been cutting a deadly swath across the continent of Pangaea.  The Black Legion is known to all and Kerebos’ name has been known to strike fear in even the bravest of hearts.  Their goal: to conquer the world of Pangaea in the most destructive manner possible.  Death and destruction are obsessions of Kerebos, which began when he killed his own father years ago.  He has been plagued by dreams of this murder his entire life, a fact that he finds at once guilt-inspiring and a sign of weakness to be conquered.

                Antiphon Al-Caliph is a priest from the Order of the White Flame, a religious order that very much parallels our world’s New Testament.  Antiphon has been assigned a daunting task by the Grand Master of the Order of the White Flame – to confront Kerebos and convert him into a follower of their order.  The Grand Master has had dreams which depict Kerebos as the savior often prophesied in their scriptures.  Although uncertain of his ability to perform the task at hand, Antiphon sets out with grim determination, praying that he will be strong enough and convincing when the time comes.

                When Kerebos and Antiphon meet, Kerebos finds himself torn between the convincing arguments of the priest and his own blood-lust.  Amused at Antiphon’s pledge to convert him, Kerebos vows to convert Antiphon instead.  Antiphon is made witness to numerous atrocities performed by Kerebos and the Black Legion, all in an effort to shake the priest from his faith.  When his faith is instead made stronger, Kerebos decides to give up his attempt at conversion.   However, to everyone’s surprise, Kerebos refuses to kill Antiphon, instead choosing to set him free, warning him to never return. 

                Antiphon returns to the order, convinced that he has failed.  Meanwhile, Kerebos begins to question all he has ever believed in.  Their paths cross again as destiny brings Kerebos to Kwan Aharon, home to the Order of the White Flame.  Will the murderous master of atrocities become the grace-filled savior foretold by the scriptures of the Order of the White Flame?

                When I first read Dream of Fire for the e-zine, I began with some trepidation, unsure how I felt about the novel.  But I was determined to keep an open mind.  In only a couple of hours, I found myself a quarter of the way through the novel.  I was astounded at how absorbed I had become.  I literally didn’t want to put the book down.  Action fans will love the brutal and bloody fight scenes between Kerebos and his numerous enemies.  Those with a philosophic turn of mind will be most attracted to the thought-provoking story, which draws parallels to the New Testament’s Revelations.  Nicholas C. Prata is a gifted writer, combining the world of fantasy with that of religion, without preaching to his readers.  The action in the novel is fast-paced, and the non-action scenes are equally absorbing. 

                Dream of Fire is a book you simply can’t put down until you get to the very last page.  This is a truth you cannot deny even after reading the novel for a second time as I was inspired to do a few days ago.  I have to admit, even after all these years, I still find the novel as intriguing as I did the first time I read it.  I understand that Nicolas C. Prata has recently published a prequel book to Dream of Fire called Kerebos.  I can’t wait to get my hands on this novel and discover exactly what placed Kerebos on his path of destruction and ultimate redemption.


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