Review: Firethorn, real words and real action

I have read some very famous military thriller authors who seem to live by the motto, “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with acronyms.” At that point it ceases to matter how edge-of-your-seat-breathless the action is, because I lost track of who the bad guy was.

Firethorn by Ronie Kendig

This is not the case with Ronie Kendig’s Discarded Heroes series. Ronie, an army brat and wife of military retiree, has captured all the intrigue of an international covert cloak and dagger operation without unnecessary jargon – or unnecessary language.

Firethorn, the fourth and last book in the series scheduled to be released in January 2011, is the first I have read as a digital review copy provided by her publisher. My intent now is the get all four of the books in print to keep on my shelf for my sons to grow into. The characters are the embodiment of what the military claims men are to be: honorable, faithful, strong, brave, and intelligent.

This is not to say they are perfect. In Firethorn, the protagonist Griffin “Legend” Riddell has already beaten back post traumatic stress disorder once, after witnessing his abusive father murder his mother. He found his calling in the Marine Corps Special Operation Command. Now, however, framed for a murder he didn’t commit, those nightmares are revisiting with a vengeance. When he is suddenly sprung from a maximum security prison to help put his covert ops team back together, Legend must face those demons or spend the rest of his life in their company. The woman who engineered Legend’s release is equally scarred. The larger question becomes, will they help each other heal, or will they end up damaging each other even worse.

The action ranges from the above mentioned prison break, to London nightclubs, to African diamond mines. Each character is fully realized and vital to the overall story.

I can’t wait to go back to the beginning to see how the other team members came to be. The Discarded Heroes series is Nightshade, Digitalis, Wolfsbane and Firethorn.

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