The Child of Fire post


My first published novel Child of Fire, (cover art at the bottom of this post) is out right now. Yaaaaayyyyyyyy!!!

You can buy a copy from any of the online booksellers listed in the sidebar to the right, or in pretty much any brick-and-mortar store. (Call ahead to make sure they have it.)

If you’d like to read a sample chapter first, that’s available now, too. There’s also the starred review from Publisher’s Weekly. Finally, the book has made Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2009 list!

The sequel, Game of Cages, has been revised, copy edited and the galleys have been checked. Yay! The tentative release date for that one is August, 2010.

The best summary of Child of Fire I have is the one I used in the query letter that caught my agent’s attention. Here it is (edited slightly because I can’t resist):

Ray Lilly is just supposed to be the driver. Sure, he has a little magic, but it’s Annalise, his boss, who has the real power. Ray may not like driving her across the country so she can hunt and kill people who play with dangerous spells–especially summoning spells–but if he tries to quit he’ll move right to the top of her hit list.

Unfortunately, Annalise’s next kill goes wrong and she is critically injured. Ray must complete her assignment alone–he has to stop a man who’s sacrificing children to make his community thrive, and also find the inhuman supernatural power fueling his magic.

Child of Fire is a contemporary fantasy in the tone and style of a crime thriller.

Here are some of the blurbs the book has collected so far:

“Every page better than the last. Cinematic and vivid, with a provocative glimpse into a larger world. Where’s the next one?” — Terry Rossio, screenwriter (Aladdin, Shrek, Pirates of the Caribbean)

“[Child of Fire] is excellent reading and has a lot of things I love in a book: a truly dark and sinister world, delicious tension and suspense, violence so gritty you’ll get something in your eye just reading it, and a gorgeously flawed protagonist. Take this one to the checkout counter. Seriously.” — Jim Butcher

“With an engaging protagonist, an unusual setting, fascinating magics, dark mysteries, and edge-of-your-seat action, [Child of Fire] is everything you could want in a supernatural thriller. An exciting and original start to a great new series that will leave readers hungry for more.” — Victoria Strauss (see also: Writer Beware)

“[Child of Fire] is a fine novel with some genuinely creepy moments. I enjoyed it immensely, and hope we’ll see more of Ray Lilly.” — Lawrence Watt-Evans

“Connolly’s story jets from 0 to 60 in five pages, and never lets you brake for safety. He’s a fantastic new voice.” — Sherwood Smith

“Redemption comes wrapped in a package of mystery and horror that hammers home the old saying ‘Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time’ … and even then you’d better check the yellow pages for one bad-ass exterminator first.” — Rob Thurman

“Classic dark noir, fresh ideas, and good old-fashioned storytelling.” — John Levitt

There may have been other blurbs, but I don’t have a copy of them.

And here’s the cover art:

Cover for Child of Fire

It’s by Chris McGrath(!)

The tags for each book are the working titles:  Child of Fire is tagged as Harvest of Fire, in case you want to read back through all the posts about it (although I can’t imagine why).

Be sure to give the sample chapter a try! Or you can order right now from any of these sellers:

| | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository (free int’l shipping!) | Books a Million | Indiebound | Kobo | Mysterious Galaxy | Powell’s Books |


74 thoughts on “The Child of Fire post

  1. Harry,

    THIS is your first sale? That makes me physically ill. Too much talent for a first book. Too lean, too focused, too engaging. There oughta be a law.

    Well done. You can write, man.

    Welcome to the biz. :)


  2. Cheryl Jumps

    Wow! Just my type of story!!! We went to HS together…No I don;t want anything Free LOL.
    I was in Band and hung out with Vides, Jon Baker, Tom Leitch, Andy Nolan and Skip Venuto.
    Looking forward to reading the Book : )
    Cheryl (Williams) Jumps

  3. Sean

    Just picked up Child of Fire today…and finished it today, literally could not put it down. Simply Epic, great work and can’t wait for the next one :)

  4. Just finished it. I must admit I am one of the people who picked it up larger based on the cover art and the Jim Butcher blurb. Great job on world-building and character development – enough to keep the reader from getting confused but not so much that we aren’t still curious. I will definitely be recommending it to some of our customers (I work at Murder by the Book in Houston, Texas). Always nice to have a new, good urban fantasy with a male main character. Good luck with it!

  5. Michael B Sullivan

    Hi Harry,

    I saw your Big Idea post on Scalzi’s blog, followed the link to the first chapter that you published here, and that sold me on Child of Fire. I purchased it from Borders and read it in a couple of days.

    I’m really impressed by this, particularly as a first book. The velocity of the story was compelling, and I think that you did an excellent job of hinting at the larger world without getting bogged down on anything that wasn’t immediate to the conflict. I really dig the Lovecraftian touches.

    Looking forward to the sequel!

  6. October 8, 2009

    Hey Harry,
    I am writing to notify you that you will be the featured author at Over the Edge Book Reviews on November 22nd.
    As a featured author you and your work will be showcased throughout the day. I offer my readers an online interview, chat and a chance to win a copy of the featured authors work. In this case I would be offering a copy of your October release “Child of Fire”.
    I would be more than happy to accommodate you by sending the interview questions via email for your convenience. If you feel this is something you would like to do than please contact me at at your earliest opportunity


    Christine Morehouse
    Over The Edge Book Reviews
    Romantic Crush Junkies Book Reviews
    Erotic Romantic Crush Junkies Book Reviews

  7. The book is really fantastic, and you should all go out and buy it right this second. But wait…. Is that Keanu Reeves on the cover?! Kidding, kidding.

  8. Vicki Urtel

    I’m really tight with my book money, I’m glad I took a chance with a new author. I loved Child of Fire and can’t wait for Game of Cages. Thank You.

  9. Rob

    The hardest part is always waiting for the next book in the series.

    Fantastic story, couldn’t put it down. You should have started writing professionally at a younger age, you certainly have the talent.

  10. Suzette

    I had picked up your book a couple of days ago when I was desperate for something to read and couldn’t find what I was originally looking for. I am very glad I did. Loved the writing and I can’t wait for the next one. I will definitely be recommending it to my patrons.

  11. Dan

    You’re an inspiration to aspiring writers, Harry. I liked the book and look forward to what you have in store. If only you could pump out books every six months – ha! Maybe some day I can be published too and consider myself one of your contemporaries. But enough of my selfish pleasant fictions. Congratulations, and keep up the good work!

  12. Jonathan

    I read your “brag post” on AW, then your sample chapter, and I was off to the bookstore to grab a copy. I wasted 30 minutes and gave up trying to find your book in the hardbacks. I was sitting in the coffee shop reading Modesitt’s new hardback that I knew I couldn’t afford when they annonced they were about to close. So , I hopped up and ran to go find a paperback I could afford(who leaves a bookstore empty handed? Not me!) and surprise surprise I lucked up and found yours. It made my night.

    Well I’ve got a scene to finish before I call it a night. It’s been giving me hell, but now that I have a book to read, I’ve got to finish it. Otherwise, I’ll just use you as a reason to procrastinate even more than I already do.

    Keep up the good work.


  13. Ann

    Just wanted top leave a comment to let you know that I had a lot of fun reading Child of Fire. I bought it at lunch time yesterday and while I usually keep an eye on the time when I start a new book on lunch break, this one ended up making me late for work (I’ve flex time, so not the end of the world – but still!)

    A very enjoyable read. I look forward to reading more of the series. =)

  14. Cody

    Absolutely loved Child of Fire Mr. Connolly! Keeping giving Mr. Butcher a run for his money and you will be at the top of all my book wishlists. I loved everything about it and couldn’t believe it was a first book. Way to go!

  15. Hey Harry!

    I finally had a chance to post a (long overdue) mention of your book on the Black Gate website –

    Thanks for sending us a cover image!

    – John

  16. Just finished the book. Ray Lilly has got my attention. Now eagerly awaiting the second novel.

    I get the feeling there is more to Ray than even he knows – and I cannot wait to find out what it is!

    Thanks for sending!

  17. Alan Denke

    Finished the book last night. Fabulous! You should set up a fan page on Facebook to help promote it. I’ve been telling friends to buy it – anything to perk up the local Seattle economy. No more Ray Lilly until mid next-year… have to find something else in the meantime I guess.

    Good job!

  18. Thanks, Alan. I’m not sure about the fan page. I don’t know how to make one, and I don’t really have time to maintain it.

    But thank you, and thank you especially for spreading the word.

  19. OzwaldEmandius

    Picked this up on a lark.. my authors all have the same window to come out in and I couldn’t bear another UK book company telling me they didn’t have this or that Felix Castor novel in stock and I was going to cut my wrists if I had to read more fant-a-porn that seems to dominate the section right now. Saw the endorsement by Jim Butcher and figured it was worth a shot.

    BEST pick up since I stepped on Butcher’s Storm Front, just wish you had more out to read! Have to agree with the others, this is stunning as a first book. Can’t wait for Cage and no more attacking Volvo’s with your bicycle, no freakin dyin on us!

    It really is an inspiring success story to read about your development as an author as well.

  20. Crystal

    Hi Harry,

    I saw the cover, then the JB endorsement and decided to check it out..hurry up with the next ones, okay! Congrats on the debut novel and again, hurry up with the next installment!

  21. Joe Vega

    I bought this book didn’t think I would be for a thrill of a ride my friends said they wanted to read it after me lol I said when I finish I’ll let them know if it was worth it but after reading the first chapter I couldn’t resist to tell them to buy their own lol

  22. Michael

    Dude. Awesome. Only books I’ve read in years that compare are the Dresden files. Definitely on par. Uber badass, I’m pissed that I have to wait for the next one.

  23. torgeaux


    didn’t want to derail the Whatever thread. Loved your first book…interesting, somewhat heated argument at SomethingAwful forums on comparisons to the Dresden Files recently.

    Ironically, I’ve held off pre-ordering Game of Cages because I want it for my Kindle. Hilarious, isn’t it. I’ll get it on publication, most likely, whether out on Kindle or not. Still, use your incredible authorian influence to get it on the kindle, just for me, ok?

  24. Thanks very much!

    I have a number of friends who read Child of Fire on their Kindles, and I very much expect Game of Cages to be available there, too, on publication day. I hope so, anyway. I know I’ve sold quite a few Kindle editions (although I have no hard numbers) but I do wish was willing to pay a affiliate percentage for them.

    SomethingAwful, eh? ::search search::

    Well, that didn’t take long to find. A lot of readers have gone in expecting the Twenty Palaces books to be like The Dresden Files, and been disappointed. I think they’re different in a bunch of important ways–Ray Lilly is a vigilante, not a PI. He kills people, and some of the people he’ll have to kill are going to be people he likes.

    Anyway, I strongly suspect people are going to come to the end of book 2 knowing the Jim Butcher’s series (which I love and read religiously) and mine are pretty different.

    Also, you might want to let cultureulterior know that Rob Thurman is actually Robyn Thurman and doesn’t belong in the “dudes” section. :)

    Thanks again.

  25. Mike New

    Excellent, I was glued. It seemed there was much backstory hinted at. Certainly fertile ground – will there be a prequel someday?

  26. Mike, I intend to publish a prequel someday, but that will only happen if the first three books do well. Del Rey let me know they weren’t interested in a prequel quite yet.

    But hey, if it sells well, it’s almost certain that there will be a prequel to tell the story of how Ray met Annalise. So, tell your friends about the book. Spread the word. Every positive remark helps a ton.

    And thank you.

  27. Barbara F.

    I just finished Child of Fire and LOVED it. Fast-paced, furious urban fantasy. I love Ray and Annalise and am looking forward to what Catherine has in store for poor Ray! Wishing you tons of success.

  28. Josh

    Reading it for the second time and it is just as amazing as the first!! Can’t wait for the next one!

  29. Elaine

    I just finished Child of Fire, and gave it 4.5 stars on LibraryThing. I read a LOT of urban fantasy, and am always on the lookout for someone who brings new ideas to the table. Thanks for being that someone! Looking forward to the next one.

  30. Impressed

    I picked up Child of Fire because of Jim Butcher’s recommendation, and I burned through it in a straight sit.

    Child of Fire is a marvelous fantasy/horror mix. Your characters are compelling, and each unique. Your first novel is very strong. Congratulations, and I look forward to Game of Changes.

  31. Toni Conley

    Found your first book in a second hand store. Don’t worry, I find a lot of good books at second hand stores. I bought it and read it mostly because of the blurb on the front cover by Jim Butcher.
    Enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to the next installment. The book now waits on my husbands night stand and will be passed on to the other readers in my extended round of family and friends.

    Thank you…..keep going…..Toni

  32. linh

    Great job with Child of Fire. Read it all in 3 days! Captivating and engaging. Can’t wait for the next one!

  33. christopher burr

    I just finished “Child of Fire.” I am sad to say I put it off for a year. I got an A.R.E. at San diego comic con last year and put off reading it. I have now decided to continue with the world you have made. Thank you for such a wonderful read. I can’t wait for the sequal in August. :)

  34. Christopher, thanks very much. And no worries about putting the book off for so long. I have some books on my to-read shelf that have been there 12-13 years!

    I hope you enjoy the second one

  35. Trish Slaughter

    I read Child of Fire today. Couldn’t put it down; it was delightful! I picked it up at the library because it had a recommendation from Jim Butcher on it – high praise indeed! I can hardly wait for Game of Cages to arrive at my local Indigo. I DO hope you’re hard at work on numbers 3 and 4. Write on!

  36. Thank you very much, Trish. I hope you like book two twice as much. :)

    And book three is already written and turned in. My editor is pretty excited about it. As for book four, that will only happen if the books do well. So tell your friends! Word of mouth is vital for new authors.

  37. Adam

    I saw the recommendation on Jim Butcher’s website and decided to scoot on over and check it out. Leaving to grab the first few after reading the sample chapter.

    Keep up the good work… Adam

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