Daja is a metal mage – iron speaks to her senses and fire is her friend. She is incredibly powerful – more powerful than a student should be, some think. Staying the winter in snow-locked Namorn, Daja is determined to enjoy herself, and her host’s twin daughters are good company. But there’s more to the pretty pair than meets the eye – the twins may be destined for more than just the marriage market…
It’s not only the twins who need Daja’s skills – she wants to help Ben Ladradun, the heroic firefigher. Desperate to control the blazes that regularly devastate his wooden city, Ben is fascinated by this girl who can make fire dance between her hands…
Daja and Frostpine, metalsmiths and lovers of heat, have decided to spend winter in the coldest place they could find for some, unexplained reason. They encounter young twin girls with undiscovered ambient magic and a heroic man who has taught the town to fight fires after losing his family to one. And… that’s about it.
Daja witnesses Jory performing magic while she’s cooking surprised that no one had mentioned she had any magic. Finding out that Jory and her family had no idea, and knowing that if one twin has magic then the other does too, she spends a few days teaching them to meditate and finding them teachers. Similar to Magic Steps, she’s a pretty hands-off teacher, but in this case, I’m don’t blame her; Jory is a nightmare. There is not one redeeming quality in her. She isn’t even nice to Nia, who is a lovely person and has been bullied into submission by her twin. Not much happens here.
Daja is obsessed with Ben and his tragic history and how he’s come to help the town. She dreams of creating a fireproof suit for him so he can do more good deeds in this town foolishly built out of wood. It’s fairly evident early on why she shouldn’t be so enamoured by this increasingly creepy man, but she refuses to use her common sense or logic until she is forced to by others.
Frostpine is wonderful as usual but sadly mostly absent throughout the story. He has his own crime-solving to focus on, and when he is around he’s usually just complaining about how cold it is. My biggest pet peeve in Cold Fire is how scared everyone seems to be of magic. It’s not like this is a world where it’s rare or unheard of, why does everyone have to freak out whenever Daja or Frostpine actually performs magic?
Overall, the story here is quite horrifying, it’s just overshadowed by a lot of nonsense that I couldn’t really bring myself to care about.