Ember by Kristen Callihan


KCallihan-EmberAn e-book only prequel to Firelight by Kristen Callihan, I wasn’t sure what to expect with Ember, either a meaningless background story or a novella that would convince me to read Firelight. It turns out, Ember was a mix of both – a background story that completely convinced me to read Firelight.

After a fire consumes the Ellis family fortune, the beautiful and resourceful Miranda finds herself faced with an impossible dilemma: enter a life of petty crime or watch her family succumb to poverty.

When Lord Benjamin Archer’s one chance for redemption is destroyed by corrupt London antiquarian Hector Ellis, he vows to take what Ellis values most-his daughter Miranda. Forced to hide his face behind masks, Archer travels the world hoping to escape the curse that plagues him so that he can finally claim his prize. But once Archer returns home to London, will it be revenge he seeks? Or will the flame-haired beauty ignite new, undeniable desires?

Because Ember is a short novella, there wasn’t really a set plot, just lots of background information. It wasn’t boring by any means, but it wasn’t full of action either. Ember jumped around a lot; both in time and between Miranda and Archer – she was in England and he was traveling the world. It started out when Miranda was ten years old then jumped ahead by about ten years to when Miranda struggled with keeping her family from succumbing to poverty. Then it would jump to Archer who was traveling around the world, trying to break some curse that was never explained. It seemed like it should have been confusing, or that it would give readers whip lash, but it was actually pretty easy to follow.

Miranda was very different from the typical historical heroine. Granted, all she really wanted to do was to finally please her father, but she did it in an unusual fashion – by being a pickpocket. After doing it for so many years, she’s gotten really good at it. And, of course, no one would ever suspect a young, beautiful woman of being capable of something so horrendous – which makes her job so much easier.

Archer was a mystery. He has some sort of curse that he’s trying to break, though there were no explanations for any of it. He seemed angry and bitter (’cause, you know, he’s cursed) but instead of being off- putting, it made him sexier. (Strange, I know, but it’s true.)

Because I still haven’t read Firelight yet, I don’t know how important Ember is to the plot or if it’s vital to read it to understand this background story. I have seen a few reviews on Amazon saying to not read Ember first, that it takes away from the mysterious development of Archer and gives away a couple of spoilers from Firelight. Either way, after reading Ember, I am dying to get my hands on Firelight to see what is going to happen between Archer and Miranda.

Read Order:

About Casey 203 Articles
Casey is the founder of Heart Full of Ink, Director at Reading Until Dawn Con, and a full time cheese addict. She's been ranting and reviewing for Literary Escapism since 2010, and is part of the trio #3Bloggers1Series podcast. When she's not reading, looking for new books, or stalking authors online (waiting for more books), she can be found binge watching Netflix. But really, her life is all about DEM BOOKS!


  1. Casey,

    Regarding the read order: I think you got this series mixed up with Sophie Jordan’s. Book 2 of the Darkest London series is Moonglow (which I’m currently reading. :D)

  2. I love it when authors do a quick little prequel. It’s a nice treat for long term fans of a series who want another view into things, and it’s great for readers new to a series, to get a taste of what it’s all about.

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