It’s been almost a decade since the release of Killswitch, the third novel in Joel Shepherd’s excellent Cassandra Kresnov series. In that time, Shepherd wrote a series of four fantasy novels entitled A Trial of Blood and Steel (also excellent, by the way). Given the long break, I’m sure that many readers assumed that the Cassandra Kresnov series was done at three books. At least, it came as a complete surprise to this fan when an advance copy of 23 Years On Fire, a brand new novel in the Cassandra Kresnov series, landed on my doorstep.
First things first: if you’re new to Cassandra Kresnov, you probably shouldn’t start with 23 Years On Fire. Some time has passed in the internal chronology since the end of the previous novel, which makes the book feel like a series reboot of sorts, or even the start of what will possibly turn out to be a whole new trilogy. Whatever the case may be, you’ll be lost if you haven’t read the first three novels in the series: Crossover, Breakaway, and Killswitch.