Champions: At Fire’s End by Charlotte Jain is a fast paced novel which takes you in a world of fantasy. This is the first book of a captivating series – ‘Champions’. In this world of fantasy, you find a number of complex but relatable characters. These characters add excitement to the events as they unfold in the book. The book has almost all the ingredients that a fantasy book should have. There are characters with special powers. There are situations which are not possible in our real world. The storyline revolve around a battle. The story is full of action and thrill, and takes you away from your ordinary and mundane life.
Let us turn our attention to the story-line. The war between the Titans and Olympians brought forth destruction and demise in the human world. After seeing this destruction, an agreement was made to stop this devastation. According to this agreement, the flame of battle will be passed to four mortal champions. Each of these champions would control the power of a natural element – air, fire, earth and water. These four mortal champions will make two groups of two each and fight with each other. One group will represent the Titans and the other will stand for the Olympians. After the final clash, the winning side will rule and the losing side will have to go to the dark depths of Tartarus.
In the beginning, I found it really difficult to grasp the meaning of the events happening in the book. Instead of developing a fantasy world and drawing the readers in, the author directly takes the readers in the midst of events. This makes it really difficult to follow the story in the beginning. However, I kept reading and things started to make sense slowly but surely, and I finally started enjoying the book. The story has been told from two points of view. This not only helps in sequencing the events but also allows the readers to get a better understanding of what was going on at that time. At the same time, I would have liked to see a slight change in the tone of one of these two voices as both the voices seemed to speak in the same tone most of the times.
There are two main characters in the book – April and Kyle. April is associated with the element of fire and has been depicted both as ruthless and caring. As the title of the book suggests, this book is basically the story of April. A lot of focus has been given on the development of her character. Kyle, on the other hand, is associated with water. His character has been depicted as overconfident but calculating. The conflicting personalities of these two characters are the lifelines of this book. In the beginning, April and Kyle have been shown as best of friends. However, as the story progresses further, these best friends gradually set against each other with clueless accomplices who are tossed in the mix to be persuaded, trained and battle ready. It is important to note here that elements of fire, wind, earth and water together represent the substance of the world. And, this is what the author has tried to demonstrate in the form of a well-woven story-line. The plot is certainly interesting but could have been amazing if the beginning part of the book has been dealt at a slower pace and in a more systematic manner.
Overall, it is a nice read. And, I will definitely be eagerly looking forward to the next installment of this series.