Kenny Soward's Galefire was published by Broken Dog Press in December 2015.

Information about Kenny Soward:

Kenny Soward grew up in Crescent Park, Kentucky, a small suburb just south of Cincinnati, Ohio, listening to hard rock and playing outdoors. In those quiet '70s streets, he jumped bikes, played Nerf football, and acquired many a childhood scar.

Kenny's love for books flourished early, a habit passed down to him by his uncles. He burned through his grade school library, and in high school spent many days in detention for reading fantasy fiction during class.

The transition to author was a natural one for Kenny. His sixth grade teacher encouraged him to start a journal, and he later began jotting down pieces of stories, mostly the outcomes of Dungeons & Dragons gaming sessions. At the University of Kentucky, Kenny took creative writing classes under Gurny Norman, former Kentucky Poet Laureate and author of Divine Rights Trip (1971).

Kenny's latest releases are Cogweaver (GnomeSaga #3), The Ten Thousand Things (Dead West #2) with Tim Marquitz and J.M. Martin, and Galefire which was published on 12/8/2015.

By day, Kenny works as a Unix professional, and at night he writes and sips bourbon. He now lives in Independence, Kentucky, with three cats and a gal who thinks she's a cat.

Click here to visit his official website.

Information about Galefire:

Lonnie is just your average runner for the infamous Eighth Street Gang when he gets an urgent phone call to back up his crew after trouble follows them home from a drug deal gone bad.

During the ensuing firefight, Lonnie sees some things he wishes he hadn't, including the gang's leader, Selix, channeling her powers from a place called the Fade by getting high... and dancing. Memories begin unraveling inside Lonnie's darkened mind. Memories of dragons and fiends and fire-swept otherworlds. Memories Selix controls with a simple touch.

But what is real and what is not?

In the strange and violent world of Galefire, Lonnie comes to realize not everything is as it seems, including his own identity. But will Lonnie and Selix reconcile the past before they are caught by those who seek to drag them home in chains?


Kenny Soward's Galefire is the first part of the Galefire series. It's an entertaining and gritty modern urban fantasy that nicely differs from other similar kind of novels. It was a nice surprise for me, because it was a relatively fast read and I found myself enjoying it.

Before I begin to write about my thoughts concerning this novel, it's good to mention that I'm not very fond of modern urban fantasy. In my opinion, most urban fantasy novels are simply not worth reading (they may be mildly entertaining escapism, but offer little or nothing else to the readers). I've noticed that too many authors tend to recycle familiar plot elements in a frustratingly annoying and boring way without any kind of originality or style, not to mention atmosphere. I'm aware of the fact that urban fantasy is very popular at this moment, but I personally can't read most of the novels because of their low quality and poor entertainment values. When I read urban fantasy, I expect to read quality fiction or good entertainment.

Fortunately, Kenny Soward's Galefire belongs to the small group of novels that I consider to be worth reading. It's a delightfully gritty and well written novel for those who enjoy urban fantasy and have an appreciation for entertaining stories. It's something different and exciting from Kenny Soward who is the author of the fascinating GnomeSaga trilogy and the entertaining Dead West novels (these novels have been co-written by Tim Marquitz and J.M. Martin).

After reading many stale urban fantasy novels, Galefire feels like a breath of fresh air, because it's not your normal kind of urban fantasy. It differs from the novels that you normally find in bookshops, because it has a good story, and what's best, it has interesting characters that have not been cut out of the cookie cutter mold.

Here's a bit of information about the story:

Lonnie wakes up to the sound of his cell phone ringing. He's imagining that he has a wife and a daughter, but soon wakes up to the cold reality of being a lowly runner for the Eighth Street Gang of Cincinnati, OH, who sell drugs and bring violence and pain - and even death - to people. He has often dreamed of riding a large dragon. When he answers his phone, he is asked to get his gun and come outside quickly, because a deal has gone wrong. Soon Lonnie witnesses something strange and learns that he has been darkened by the gang leader Selix's powers. He sees Selix dancing and begins to remember things that he has lost after being touched by Selix...

This is the beginning of an excitement-filled story, because Kenny Soward manages to keep things interesting and delivers intriguing action scenes.

I enjoyed reading about Lonnie and Selix, because they were well-created characters. The author's way of writing about them works well, because bits and pieces about their lives are revealed throughout the story. This kept me interested in the story.

Lonnie is an interesting character. I think that readers will enjoy reading about his life and deeds, because his memories have been darkened by Selix and he begins to remember fragments about various happenings. The author writes well about his identity, memories and drug use.

This novel features interesting magic. I won't write any spoilers about it, but I can mention that you seldom see dancing related to magic.

The fight scene depicted at the beginning of the story is amazing. It's one of the longest fight scenes I've seen in urban fantasy novels and it works perfectly. One of the reasons why I love this scene is that the author lets his readers see how Lonnie feels about the happenings. There's a slightly surreal atmosphere in these scene, because Lonnie begins to pay attention to certain things that he hasn't noticed before.

I love this novel's atmosphere and grittiness. It was nice to see that Kenny Soward hadn't tried to write a soft novel that would please everybody, but had concentrated on delivering a story that has plenty of harsness and gritty elements. Reading this kind of modern urban fantasy is far more interesting than reading about what goes on amongst sexy vampires and werewolves who seduce people and have sex with them.

I give this novel strong four stars on the scale from one to five stars, because it's a good novel that's worth reading. To be honest, I was impressed by it and look forward to reading the sequel.

Kenny Soward's Galefire is a cool start to the Galefire series. It offers good entertainment, grittiness and interesting scenes to readers who enjoy modern urban fantasy. If you enjoy urban fantasy and are looking for something different to read, Galefire will most likely please you, because it's an enjoyable urban fantasy novel.

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