Silk Fire by Zabe Ellor- Book review

I was so happy to be approved by NetGalley for this science-fiction fantasy set in a Matriarchal world with political intrigue,twists and dragons. Here is my review of Silk Fire by Zabe Ellor.

Genre: Science fiction Fantasy

Publication date July 2022

Source :Netgalley

Koreshiza Brightstar is a courtesan on a planet-based matriarchal city where magic and technology work together. He thirsts for revenge against the aristocratic father who betrayed him as a child. But a chance encounter with a dying god leaves him with powers that could change the world, he realises he will need to trust others to pursue his vengeance and keep his secret safe.

I received a copy of the book for a free and unbiased review.


This book has one of the most memorable opening sentences from a character I have ever read!

The world-building in this book is ambitious in its scope and truly amazing- the blend of magic and technology blends together perfectly. In this world, Hovercrafts and Dragons share the sky. The underlying premise is that of essence, something ethereal that only a few people possess which is greatly desired, a commodity to take and hoard is unusual. I love reading   Matriarchal worlds in fantasy as opposed to the usual patriarchy, but this society isn’t perfect and is a good reflection of what sexism and misogyny looks like from the other side.

Koreshiza or Kore is a courtesan, a man who uses his body and brightness (from his essence) to build influence. Now he wants to use this influence to take down the father who betrayed and abandoned him and his mother. The book is written in the first-person from Kore point of view and it took a while for me to get used to the tangential nature of his narration but then this does fit his fragmented and broken personality. He trusts no one and for years has kept his true self hidden but while trying to influence the succession he finds himself falling for a man and a woman who loves him despite his flaws.

The plot is fast and moves quickly with plenty of twists and revelations. The political intrigue is as riveting as the action scenes.

This is definitely a book for adults who are not squeamish about ‘scenes of sexual nature ‘ as there are many sexual encounters in the book. I admit to skimming through most of them as I just wanted to get back to the story and action (except for the scene in the first part of the book which forms a key part of the book).

Content warning

Physical violence in sexual encounters with dubious consent, sexual abuse,(off-page), domestic violence, threats of sexual violence.

Perfect for fans

I think anyone who likes Kusheil’s Dart would enjoy this

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