Review Blog

Nov 23 2012

The fire chronicle by John Stephens

cover image

Doubleday, 2012. ISBN 978 0 8575 3087 5.
Highly recommended. The fire chronicle is the second book in The Books of Beginning series which started with The emerald atlas. Kate, Michael and Emma have seemingly been abandoned by their parents although it is for their own protection. As The fire chronicle opens the children are in the Edgar Allan Poe Home for Hopeless and Incorrigible Orphans waiting for news of Dr Pym who helps them on their quest to reunite the Books of Beginning and prevent a great evil returning to the world. Kate is soon taken by a Screecher and trapped in nineteenth century New York, so it is up to Michael and Emma with the help of Dr Pym to try and find the second book.
As the book progresses we learn more about the prophecy involving the children and why their parents had to leave them as well as their nemesis the Dirc Magnus.
I loved The emerald atlas and it was a great pleasure to continue the story. All of the characters are well developed and the story combines all its diverse elements into a satisfying whole. Like all good fantasy stories it can be read on a number of levels but will especially reward the reader prepared to put in a little effort. I can't wait for the next installment, highly recommended.
David Rayner

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