AUTHOR: Harry & Connolly
TITLE: Child of Fire
Child of Fire
Twenty Palaces 
Del Rey (2009)
Tags: Fantasy, General, Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Contemporary, Magic, Magicians, Paranormal, Murderers, Secret Societies
Fantasyttt Generalttt Fictionttt Fantasy Fictionttt Contemporaryttt Magicttt Magiciansttt Paranormalttt Murderersttt Secret Societiesttt
From Publishers Weekly
Connolly’s gritty urban fantasy debut is not so urban: it takes place in Hammer Bay, Wash., where residents are thankful for the toy factory that stimulates their economy and are apparently oblivious to the frequent magical immolations of local children. Convicted felon Ray Lilly works for the mysterious Annalise Powliss and the Twenty Palace Society, hunting down people who use magic and the otherworldly predators whose power they channel. Callous Annalise and hard-nosed Ray have a complicated personal history that gradually comes to light as the Society faces off against factory employees, local law enforcement and other corrupt forces in the town. Unique magical concepts, a tough and pragmatic protagonist and a high casualty rate for innocent bystanders will enthrall readers who like explosive action and magic that comes at a serious cost.
Child of Fire
††It felt good to sit behind the wheel again, even the wheel of a battered Dodge Sprinter. Even with this passenger beside me.
††The van rumbled like a garbage truck, handled like a refrigerator box, and needed a full minute to reach highway speeds. I’d driven better, but I’m a guy who has to take what I can get while I’m still alive to get it.
††The passenger beside me
was Annalise Powliss. She stood about five foot nothing, was as thin as a mop handle, and was covered with tattoos from the neck down. Her hair was the same dark red as the circled F’s I used to get on my book reports, and she wore it cropped close to her scalp. It was an ugly cut, but she never seemed to care how she looked. I suspected she cut it herself.
††She was my boss, and she had been forbidden to kill me, although that’s what she most wanted to do.
††”Where are we going?” I asked for the fourth time.
††She didn’t answer. She wasn’t talking to me except to tell me where to drive. To be honest, I didn’t blame her. She had good reason to hate me.
††At the moment, though, she and I had a job to do and all I knew about it was this: Annalise was on her way to kill someone. Maybe several someones. I was supposed to help.
††Because she wouldn’t talk to me, I was not entirely clear who had ordered her not to kill me or why they would bother. I was just the driver, and I didn’t even know where we were going.
††”Quarter tank,” I said as we approached a gas station. I hated to drive on less than a half tank of gas, but so far the boss had refused to let me fill up. Since she had the money, the title, and the physical strength to tear my arm off, she made the decisions.
††She glanced down at the scrap of wood in her hand-unpainted and unfinished except for the twisted nonsense shape made of several colors on one side-and said nothing. I stifled my irritation and drove past the pumps.
††We were westbound somewhere on the Olympic Peninsula. There were no other cars on the road.