Monday, 10 February 2014

Book Review: Circle of Fire (Damask Circle #1) by Keri Arthur

Series: Damask Circle #1
Publisher: Dell
Publication Date: 28 January 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Source: NetGalley (In exchange for an honest Review)

Goodreads Synopsis:
Sixteen teenagers taken from their homes. Eleven bodies recovered, each completely drained of blood. Some believe vampires are responsible. Jon Barnett knows that what’s happening is far worse. Sent by a group of paranormal investigators known as the Damask Circle, Jon quickly becomes enmeshed in a web of black magic and realizes he needs help. But fate gives him only one choice.
Madeline Smith has retreated to an isolated farmhouse, afraid of the abilities she cannot control—abilities that have killed. But when a “ghost” brings a warning of danger and her nephew goes missing, Maddie not only has to leave her haven, she has to place her trust in a man who is neither ghost nor human. As the noose of sorcery tightens, the search for the teenagers becomes a race against time. But the greatest danger to Maddie and Jon could be the intense feelings they refuse to acknowledge but cannot ignore

My Review:
Circle of fire has been on my to-read list ever since I read Keri's Nikki & Michael series. This is one of Keri's earlier releases. 

I found that the story line was not very deep. It had some substance, but I think it had the potential to be that little bit better. The first time I picked up this book, the first chapter did not grab me. It took me a few chapters to get into the story, but once I was hooked, I really enjoyed this book.

Characters: 3/5
Keri creates interesting and likable characters. The romance was a bit of a slow burner but it had the sweetest ending. 

During the book the story changes between Maddie & Jon's POV.

Maddie - I like her. She isn't your super strong confident heroine, but she does the right thing no matter what - like bracing her fears to go after and save her nephew Evan. She is uncertain about love from past experiences and this makes her question anything she feels for Jon or what he might feel for her. She is brave but also insecure about who she is and her powers, in such a naive way. 
One of the things that really bugged me was how her sister and the husband think so little of her, and fear her. Her sister asks her to find Evan and then lets her husband pursue her through the police system - this seemed so ungrateful!

Jon - Jon is mysterious - It is difficult to read how he truly feels about Maddie - he is drawn to her for reasons he doesn't understand. Duty always comes first with him. I really enjoyed his growth and development through the story. 

Plot, Pace, Writing style: 3/5 
Although not very deep, the plot was original, and the story had a great pace. Keri is a great writer. I enjoyed that I did not always know where the story was going and there were quite a few unexpected surprises.

Cover talk: 4/5 - I really like this new cover. It is a revamp from the original publication in 2001. It really caught my eye and it is what convinced me to give this book another try. 

Final Thoughts: I will definitely be continuing with this series. I am not rushing out to buy the next book as it is not about Jon and Maddie, but I will finish this series in due time. 

My Rating:

Books in the series:

~ Favourite Quotes ~

Don't depend on luck, Jon. It's a fickle friend.


He could live without his soul, but he couldn't survive without his heart. Without her.

Author Bio:
Keri Arthur, author of the New York Times bestselling Riley Jenson, Guardian series, has now written more than 25 books. She's received several nominations in the Best Contemporary Paranormal category of the Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Awards, and recently won RT's Career Achievement Award for urban fantasy. She lives in Melbourne with her daughter and two crazy dogs

Author Links: Goodreads l Twitter l Website




  1. I have seen this series at my local thrift shop, and I was wondering about it. It sounds like I should try out some of Arthur's other books first.

    1. I loved the Nikki & Michael series :) Maybe try that series first!

  2. I LOVE Keri Arthur!!! I've never read this series, though, so I'll definitely have to check it out! :)

    1. She is an awesome Author! Hope you enjoy this one too if you do get to check it out - I loved Maddie & Jon!

  3. Happy to hear you'll continue the series, I'm a BIG fan of Keri Arthur! Still haven't read this series though, but I truly LOVED Riley Jenson Guardian series and, so far, I'm reeeeally enjoying its spin-off, Dark Angel series!! Have you read those, as well?

    1. I really want to try the Riley Jenson series sometime too, I haven't read either yet. I have only read her Nikki & Michael series which I really loved to pieces. I want to re-read them for review sometime for the blog :)

    2. That's good and I will surely read Nikki & Michael series at some point, I'm very curious about it.
      Hope you get the chance to give Riley Jenson Guardian series a go, it's one of my fave series ever!

  4. I keep starting, putting it down, starting, putting it down *sigh*. I know that the second book will probably flow much better. I need to just push through.

    1. I did the same thing with this book. I think i picked it up twice before and didn't really make it past chapter 2. It was definitely worth it to push through! i am a bit nervous about the second book as it doesn't star Maddie & Jon, from the prelude I read - Unless they feature further on in the book. I'll have to check out some reviews and see if book 2 is good :)

  5. I have never read Keri Arthur's books before. I'm guessing they are also along the lines of paranormal? This is a genre I really like but it's been a while since I've read one. I'm thinking that I'll give this author a try with her Nikki and Michael series that you mentioned here. :)

    1. Lol you guess right! It's my go to genre as I am sure you have guessed by now :) I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!! I would love to re-read them to review for my blog :)

  6. Great review Chanzie! I haven't read a Keri Arthur book before, but you have me intrigued!! Will have to meet Maddie and Jon for myself!!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

    1. Yay! That is always a great thing to hear :) Hope you like Maddie as much as I did!


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