This book is the first of the Elemental Masters series, being written and published in the 1990s. It is easily tellable as the first book set in this particular world , as there are refinements of particular areas and rules of the Elemental Masters and their world in later novels.
Rose is in a bad way. Her father has died, her inheritance has been grossly mismanaged, and she is living on borrowed time in her family home in Chicago as her father’s creditors descend upon her and appropriate everything.
Jason is also in a bad way. He needs help. This Fire Master needs someone with a particular set of skills who can help him find an answer, a way out of his curse, the backfiring of his hubris.
Du Monde is Jason’s would-be apprentice but he is not the material that a Fire Master is cut from. He wants power but he wants it the easy way, and Jason will not provide him with a smooth path. But, perhaps, there is someone who will.
This book is rather fun for me to read, once I get past the initial exposition. It is not my favorite Elemental Master’s book, as it is the prototype for the world. But I do like it much better the second time round than I did the first time I attempted it.