Knight of Flames is the second book in Faulkner's Inheritance series. The first book, Jack of Thorns, saw me falling head over heels in love with the series's main couple, Laurence and Quentin. This second installment has me falling even deeper in love with this couple; I just can't get enough. Seriously, my offer to be a third in this relationship still stands...
(As an aside: We really need a ship name here. I'm tired of having to write out "Laurence and Quentin." Also, they really are so exquisitely matched. OTP forever! Perhaps QuLa, pronounced like koala? Or maybe Bambury? Or possibly Bamtin? I can't decide!! Ok; aside over.)
This was an absolutely fantastic read, managing - somehow - to be even better than the first. Characterization remains one of Faulkner's strong suits, as the pages of this book are littered with a diverse cast of nuanced, believable human characters who are trying to find their way in the world, albeit a world fraught with more danger than that inhabited by your standard human. Speaking of characters, readers are introduced to an ever-widening cast of secondary characters in this novel. I suspect they will begin to play larger and larger roles in the storyline that is yet to come.
While Knight of Flames is clearly a romance novel, the romance is not the entire focus of the book; rather, the romance is a framework around which a capable fantasy story is told, complete with villains to be stopped, harrowing and heartwarming heroics, and a web of connections shrouded in mystery. This installment does a great job of pulling readers even further into this world that Faulkner has created - exploring more nuances of the world's magic system (for lack of a better term), its power politics, and its history.
This is not to say that the romance isn't important. The relationship between Laurence and Quentin continues to be portrayed and developed in a masterful way. Faulkner deftly teases readers with moments both heartfelt and sensual, as our two main men navigate their relationship that is complicated by the pasts they each bring to it. Readers are greatly rewarded for sticking with this relationship through thick and thin (as if they had a choice). Knight of Flames contains the most sensual, artfully-presented handjob scene I've ever read. I can tell you it was quite awkward to read while on a plane...
Overall, I am happy to have had the opportunity to continue inhabiting both the heads and hearts of both Laurence and Quentin and I happily look forward to continuing the trend by reading Lord of Ravens, book 3 in the Inheritance series.
Trigger warning: This book contains depictions of and discussions about drug and alcohol abuse and addiction as well as underage prostitution.
Please Note: All Amazon links that appear in this post are affiliate links.