Marriage is a big deal, so you should have some choice in that, right? Well for mages in Aleva, arranged marriages to further the dwindling mage populace are commonplace. But for two mages who are engaged to each other and have been friends since childhood exploring the “what ifs” in life, they learn more about themselves in Caroline Peckham’s Falling Fire: Part One.
Knowing from a young age who you’re going to marry provides some certainty in life–there are no questions about your purpose and if you’ll wind up alone. But for Quinn Thorn and Rogan Ganderfield, celebrity status engaged teenagers, there’s some uncertainty as they wonder if they actually could be in love with one another, in a way more than their being best friends. As they enter university as a newly engaged couple, Quinn and Rogan entertain the idea that they should experience more of the romantic world than just themselves.
This novella provides an interesting perspective to one of the more minor characters, Quinn. While Rogan is quite involved in the story, too, his character seems to remain consistent with who he is in the primary series while Quinn seems to be quite different from how she’s depicted in the primary series. Perhaps it’s because this novella shows Quinn without the filter of someone else narrating her personality and actions, but Quinn seems more like a person instead of rote stereotype. But then it also makes me question her role in the primary series because it wouldn’t seem like she would need that much time to adjust to be a likable person. Additionally, this felt more like this portion of the story would have happened post-series instead of taking place before with how they conducted themselves.
Overall, I’d give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.