"Just when you thought there was no such thing as entirely original fantasy novel, here comes M. Kei -- better known for "iron men in wooden ships" tales of gay heroes under sail -- with a most enjoyable work, FIRE DRAGON.
"The great strengths of FIRE DRAGON are in the sheer originality of the idea -- the formation and development of a fire service in a frighteningly vulnerable city -- and the author’s creative decision to stage the project in a fantasy Asian setting. Picture a lavish cross between China and Japan, anything between the twelfth and eighteenth centuries, in which the height of technology is gunpowder for fireworks. Over the border are enemy hordes … showing up in the city are quite advanced and totally illegal firearms -- not pistols, but revolvers (telling us clearly that this land of swords, clan politicking and bushido has been left behind, in an industrial sense, by the world outside). The Emperor himself is concealing an enormous secret, while the feudal nature of this society is built, pagoda-fashion, from the untouchables on up to the Celestials -- with one more twist."
Read the complete review at: http://bookworld.editme.com/Review-Fire-Dragon-by-M-Kei