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Fire Logic

The martial Sainnites have occupied Shaftal for fifteen years. Every year the cost of resistance rises. Emil, an officer and scholar; Zanja, a diplomat and last survivor of her people; and Karis, a metalsmith, half-blood giant, and an addict, can only watch as their country falls into lawlessness and famine. Together, perhaps they can change the course of history.

How does an occupying army make peace with those they have subjugated? Can a cycle of violence be broken?

Earth * Air * Water * Fire

These elements have sustained the peaceful people of Shaftal for generations, with their subtle powers of healing, truth, joy, and intuition. But now, Shaftal is dying.

The earth witch who ruled Shaftal is dead, leaving no heir. Shaftal’s ruling house has been scattered by the invading Sainnites. The Shaftali have mobilized a guerrilla army against these marauders, but every year the cost of resistance grows, leaving Shaftal’s fate in the hands of three people: Emil, scholar and reluctant warrior; Zanja, the sole survivor of a slaughtered tribe; and Karis the metalsmith, a half-blood giant whose earth powers can heal, but only when she can muster the strength to hold off her addiction to a deadly drug.

Separately, all they can do is watch as Shaftal falls from prosperity into lawlessness and famine. But if they can find a way to work together, they just may change the course of history.

Elemental Logic: Book 1
Spectrum Award winner
Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award nominee

Read an excerpt. Listen to Chapter 1 read by the author: part 1 · part 2

* “Marks has created a work that is filled with an intelligence that zings off the page. . . . This beautifully written novel includes enough blood and adventure to satisfy the most quest-driven readers.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

* “Marks is an absolute master of fantasy in this book. Her characters are beautifully drawn, showing tremendous emotional depth and strength as they endure the unendurable and strive to do the right thing, and her unusual use of the elemental forces central to her characters’ lives gives the book a big boost. This is a read-it-straight-through adventure!”
Booklist (starred review)

“A deftly painted story of both cultures and magics in conflict. Marks avoids the black-and-white conflicts of generic fantasy to offer a window on a complex world of unique cultures and elemental magic.”
—Robin Hobb

“Like real life, it is all about shades of gray. . . . an immensely political and unflinchingly optimistic novel. Differences are celebrated as often as scorned, and love can be found even with an enemy without the costs that might be expected in our world. Fire Logic questions both the real magic behind faith and the self-selective blindness involved in following a leader: religious, military or political. Characters and story come together effortlessly even as Marks refuses to shy away from complex issues of self-determination, ownership and multicultural coexistence.”—BookPage

“A deep and intriguing read.” – BookSense Daily Pick

“Contained in Fire Logic are some of the most sensual and tender sexual encounters ever captured on paper. She perfectly portrays the timidity, the lust, the uncertainty, of that first connection and the exultation of discovery. The emotion, so raw and vulnerable, is arresting and humbling.” – ME Reviews

“A cast of memorable characters whose lives, loves, and sacrifices combine to imbue faith in a shattered land.”
Library Journal“Marks vividly describes a war-torn land, and the depth of character development makes this novel a page-turner.”
VOYA“Cuts deliciously through the mind to the heart with the delicacy, strength, beauty, and surgical precision of the layered Damascus steel blade that provides one of the book’s central images.”
—Candas Jane Dorsey

“Laurie Marks brings skill, passion, and wisdom to her new novel. Entertaining and engaging—an excellent read!”
—Kate Elliott

“This is a treat: a strong, fast-paced tale of war and politics in a fantasy world where magic based on the four elements of alchemy not only works but powerfully affects the lives of those it touches. An unusual, exciting read.”
—Suzy McKee Charnas

“A glorious cast of powerful, compelling, and appealingly vulnerable characters struggling to do the right thing in a world gone horribly wrong. I couldn’t put this down until I’d read it to the end. Marks truly understands the complex forces of power, desire, and obligation.”
—Nalo Hopkinson

“Most intriguingly, about two-thirds of the way into the book, the low-key magical facets of her characters’ elemental magics rise away from simply being fancy “weapons” and evoke—for both the readers and the characters—that elusive sense of wonder.”
—Charles de Lint, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction

“An exquisite novel of quiet charm. Fire Logic is a tale of war and magic, of duty, love and betrayal, of despair encompassed by hope.”
SF Site

Laurie J. Marks is the author of nine novels. Her first two Elemental Logic novels (Fire Logic and Earth Logic) both won the Gaylactic Spectrum Award and received multiple starred reviews. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts, and teaches at the University of Massachusetts.

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