NOTE: I received an advance copy of this novel through Amazon Vine. The method of receiving it did not affect my opinion in any way. Additionally, I'm hoping that the final product has maps and character lists that weren't included with the advance copy, because they are necessary - it's impossible to figure out the lay of the land and difficult to remember who's who and where they are without any sort of maps or character lists to reference.
And now, on to my review...
While at first it seemed that this wasn't going to be one of those MAGIC IN YOUR FACE! fantasy novels, sadly as the book progressed it became one of them anyway, reading more like a video game quest or Dungeons & Dragons encounter, which isn't my cup of tea. The fact that there are rules for the magic helps a bit, but the lofty prose Karpyshyn uses when writing about these rules is grating at best.
In terms of characters, it seems that the few well-written ones don't have enough page time, while a lot of time is of course spent on the four 'children of fire', none of whom is particularly memorable.
Children of Fire is the first in a series, and that's part of the issue - it could have been a bit longer and more concise and told the entire story, perhaps; or it could have been a lot shorter and more concise and done a better job of building up to the next installment(s). As it is, while this novel was in itself interesting at times, I simply wasn't left wanting to read more. 2.5/5 stars.