Mysterion, February 2020
Reviewed by Victoria Silverwolf
A biographical note reveals that “His Ministers a Flame of Fire” by T.B. Jeremiah is inspired, in part, by the author’s experience with the debilitating pain of migraine headaches. The protagonist suffers the agony of migraines, along with surreal, often disturbing visions that he cannot understand. An angelic figure relieves his pain with a cold touch, and opposes a hot, black figure. The final confrontation between the two enigmatic entities leaves the protagonist as uncertain about the meaning of his visions as he was before.
The author writes very well, and certainly paints a vivid and convincing portrait of migraine attacks. The story raises more questions than it answers, which may frustrate some readers. The protagonist generally plays a passive role in the plot.
A few quick, odd references – a pooka that lives in the neighborhood, a brother who talks to numbers – add a sense of strangeness, but seem irrelevant. The author begins the description of the angelic being with the words “She requires a paragraph to herself.” This direct message from the writer, unlike anything else in the story, shatters the reader’s suspension of disbelief.
Victoria Silverwolf is fortunate enough not to suffer from migraines.