The cabbie shoulder-checked, and then pulled into a center lane. “Maybe you’re not too good at your job.”
The offhand manner that the cabbie driver tossed off the insult surprised Scott. About to retort, he realized he didn’t even know the driver’s name. He swept his gaze over the console and spotted the man’s license—clearly displayed, as mandated by law. The picture was of a mustached Arab with dark, brooding eyes and a scarred lip. “This isn’t your cab,” he said, stunned.
“Certainly not,” said the cab driver, glancing into the rearview mirror. He stopped at a light, and then flipped on his blinker. They were heading toward Wapping. The buildings here were shabbier than they’d been near the Thames, houses with dusty windows and peeling paint. It was the kind of place criminals went to lay low. The choice might have been deliberate. Scott couldn’t tell.
“Who are you?” he asked.
“Blaze Thomas. Pleased to meet you.” The light changed to green, and Blaze hit the gas once more.
“You rescued me in a stolen cab. Why?”
“I’ll explain when we get to the Number Five,” he explained. “For now, let’s just say that that wasn’t the first time I’ve seen a Grey Gentleman in its native state.”
“A Grey Gentleman?”
“A shape-changer. You saw one back there and I’ll wager you saw one or two in Harrods. I’m no friend of theirs, and the enemy of my enemy…” He shrugged and glanced over at Scott as if to make sure he got the message. “I’ll explain when we get to the Number Five.”
• • •
Ritual of Fire is the third novel set in the universe of Fireborn, following Embers of Atlantis and Each Ember's Ghost! Powerful scions walk the streets of modern London, oblivious to their true nature. Unknowingly, they carry within them the spirits of reincarnated dragons from an age of high fantasy. As magic begins to emerge once more in the 21st century, long-dormant memories begin to flood the minds of these scions, reminding them of their mystical heritage.
When a popular politician survives what should have been a fatal assassination attempt, MI5 agent Scott Baker begins to suspect a terrifying truth. Something is taking control of London’s most influential leaders, and that shocking discovery has thrust Baker into a fight for his life. Now, branded a fugitive and hunted by his one-time colleagues, this ex-intelligence agent must seek help from unlikely allies as he attempts to learn how deep the conspiracy goes. What mystical force is behind this apparent takeover? How does it relate to Baker’s increasingly disturbing visions? The answers could determine the fate of the world!
A Word from the Author
Author Jordan Ellinger shared some of his thoughts on the process of writing this exciting tale in the Fireborn setting:
I was immediately intrigued when Fantasy Flight Games approached me to work on Fireborn. The name itself evokes images of dark fantasy and eldritch spells, and when I looked into the world of the RPG I was further impressed. I couldn't imagine a more compelling setting for a modern fantasy than the City of London, with its rich history and tapestry of famous monuments and buildings. I was intrigued by the idea of scions--dragons reborn into human bodies, but who are still able to tap into some of the powers they wielded in their previous lifetimes. Finally, I was flattered to be asked to work alongside one of my heroes, NYT Bestselling author Tracy Hickman, who wrote Embers of Atlantis, the first novel in the Fireborn setting.
With Ritual of Fire, I wanted to explore several aspects of the RPG, and I felt like the only way to do that would be to craft five compelling stories and then bind them together with one overarching narrative, much like how broodmates bind together in the game. I started with Bridget, a regular teenager with very little experience with the arcane, who will hopefully show readers this fascinating world through her eyes. Later, more and more experienced characters are introduced until the plot culminates with a ferocious battle in the skies above London.
The copyrightable portions of Fireborn: Ritual of Fire are © 2012 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Fireborn is a trademark and/or registered trademark of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.