We’ve had a Buck Stove (vents the hot air into the room) fireplace in our place since we moved in, but it’s finally gotten cold enough to really look into trying it out. A CSL log and a small box of firewood later, the upstairs is nice and toasty.
Clarkson would be proud.
Also- don’t worry about the items on top of the stove. The top of the firing chamber has a cavity where the main fan is. Said fan redirects the bulk of the heat out of the front vent, leaving the top reasonably cool to the touch. If the candles begin to get soft, we’ll know we need to relocate the items. Same goes for the bricks of the mantle- they’re well-insulated from the inside of the chimney and don’t ever get warm to the touch.