The Fire Within Them (The Soulfire Saga #2), by Matthew Ward

9 Jun 2024

The Book

The Fire Within Them
Series: The Soulfire Saga
Pages: 593
Age Group: Adult
Published on 11 Jun 2024
Publisher: Orbit Books
Epic Fantasy
Available on:


The second book in Matthew Ward's action-packed trilogy, the Soulfire Saga, The Fire Within Them is set in a world ruled by an immortal king, where souls fuel magic and a supernatural mist known as the Veil threatens to engulf the land. Perfect for fans of John Gwynne and Anthony Ryan.

For the first time in a millennium, the kingdom of Khalad is divided. The Battle of Athenoch has fanned the spark of Bashar Vallant’s rebellion to a raging flame. Tyzanta, jewel of the east, has declared for his cause, and other cities have followed. Vallant, the people’s hero, may soon be powerful enough to challenge Caradan Diar, Khalad’s immortal king.But such power demands great personal sacrifice.

Afflicted with omen rot after channeling the Deadwinds to save Athenoch from the koilos army, Kat searches for a means to stop the disease killing her as it did her mother. Her journey will uncover secrets long since buried–secrets concerning her past, her family and the kingdom itself. Eventually she’ll learn that the past never stays buried in Khalad–and that the truth can cut deeper than any blade.  

My Review

The Fire Within Them is the second instalment on the Soulfire Saga, an epic fantasy proposal written by Matthew Ward, and published by Orbit Books. We return to the kingdom of Khalad, ruled by the Eternity King, and to our two sisters who are still struggling; but we become spectators of their growth into a world which Wards expands and improves.

Kat is still searching for a cure for the debilitating illness that eventually will end with her; but this time, she's not only a rogue fighting against the nobility, as she has become part of the Vallant. Despite that, we can still see how she tends to struggle with asking for help, but it's still a kind soul, as it is reflected in her interactions with the rest of the characters. Finding the truth behind her father's secrets is not an easy task, and in general, we can see that Kat has too much on his mind.
Remember Tanith, Kat's half-sister? Well, she's back in a spectacular way, and Ward decides to include her as a POV; she's not so focused on eliminating Kat, but her own path will be enlightening around the secrets that are under the surface of Khalad. I found myself enjoying so much each time Tanith took the spotlight, as they are some of the best chapters of the book.

With the descriptive and evocative prose that characterizes his writing, Ward continues expanding and developing the world, connecting some threads that were introduced in The Darkness Before Them; similarly to the first book, we could say that the pacing is relatively slow at the start, putting all the pieces on the board and preparing all for a great finale that in reality, leaves more questions that need to be answered in book 3.

The Soulfire Saga is the perfect election if you want a big and expansive epic fantasy series, with a second instalment that continues developing the characters and that doesn't have a single dull moment; I can't wait to see how Ward wraps all in the final instalment. A seriously underrated writer that more people should check.

The Author/s

Matthew Ward

Matthew Ward

Cat-servant and owner of more musical instruments than he can actually play (and considerably more than he can play well), Matthew Ward is an author, creative consultant and VO director.

He lives near Nottingham with his extremely patient wife – as well as a pride of attention-seeking cats – and writes to entertain anyone who feels there’s not enough magic in the world.