There is something charming about going back through your bookshelf and finding books you used to love as a child. I have just done that with the Fleabag Trilogy, the three stories surrounding the Ring Fire, the king and the Fire Wielder by Beth Webb. Not to forget the three legged talking cat.
The trilogy starts off with the old monarch dying. A street child-turned-kitchen maid is given the task to help find her missing ring. Gemma finds herself in possession of a small amount of the Ring Fire, a magical fire that no one truly understands but is the hope and light of the kingdom and the future. She alone will know when the true monarch is found.
Her adventures brings her into contact with Rowanne –a Lady Knight who is so desperate to serve the Ring Fire she will do anything – and Phelan, an orphan boy forced to turn to thievery in order to survive but who has an unexpected destiny. The three friends travel to find the ring, accompanied by Fleabg, the talking cat who always has something to say when he isn’t thinking of his stomach.
The three friends are united in all three stories as they have to battle the evil Blue Magic. Although it is wielded by different people each time, the threat is still the same and they must rise above their own fears and doubts in order to keep the Ring Fire safe and therefore protect the kingdom at the same time.
I remember this book to be full of charm and a really engaging story. The same is true of it now, although reviewing is hard because I also came to the conclusion that I have grown out of it a little. However, from a child’s perspective, it is full of children narrators who find that when all hope is lost, they have to look inside them to find the courage and the strength to keep going. It’s not who you are born as that is important, but what you are prepared to do in order to keep those you care about safe.
With magic and adventure in plenty, it is an ideal book for young teenagers branching into the fantasy world. There are elements in it that everyone will enjoy and who wouldn’t like to have a talking cat amongst them?
It’s strange re-reading it as an adult, however, for you notice the rapid switches in narrators and the repetitions of phrases to drive a point home. The use of punctuation differs for children than it does for adults. It does, however, still have the charm about it and the story even manages to keep you gripped despite being an easy read and remembering what happens next.
For adult readers, this book won’t do anything for you. But if you are a younger reader or interested in fantasy, it is a great one to dive into. You can relate to the characters and lose yourself in the world. I might have moved passed it now, but it is still a great book.