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The Fire Chronicle

The Fire Chronicle is the second novel in the middle grade fantasy trilogy The Books of Beginning by John Stephens.

Of course, if you haven’t yet read The Emerald Atlas you may want to read last Friday’s review and avoid this one for the sake of possible spoilers. Agree?

All of you who have read The Emerald Atlas: Let’s talk about The Fire Chronicle, eh?

After an eventful time last winter, the wizard Stanislaus Pym decided to send the children back to the Edgar Allan Poe Home for Hopeless and Incorrigible Orphans as a measure of protection.

Now that Kate is Keeper of the Emerald Atlas, and the three children have been identified as the children of a prophecy involving the Books of Beginning, they are in danger from some influential, powerful and dangerous people/creatures.

However, it appears their living among the ordinary didn’t quite do the trick of keeping their location secret.

When their enemies discover them, Kate utilizes the Atlas to do her part in saving her brother and sister and ends up stranded over one hundred years in the past – without a means of returning. It’s a tumultuous, important time for the magical community – and Kate finds herself getting involuntarily wrapped up in it.

Meanwhile, Emma and Michael find themselves on a quest to find the second of the Books of Beginning. Following clues, solving puzzles, and trying to stay one step ahead of those who would do anything to obtain it, the two must set aside their concern for Kate to try to prevent a disaster…

The Fire Chronicle was an excellent follow-up to The Emerald Atlas. Though I still didn’t feel like it was perfect, this second novel gave me some of what I was missing in the first book.

A broader sense of adventure was featured here with the foreign locales, clues, and chasing the promise of this second Book of Beginning. It was entertaining. Plus, Kate’s time in the past ends up having some significant meaning and impact on the future, which I found very compelling.

Now, like the first book, there are some moments that certain things feel familiar. Whether it’s Harry Potter or other novels, it would just have these phrases, plot turns or characters that seemed similar. That I didn’t like so much, even though I know it can be inevitable with the volume of books out there.

Yet, even so, I did find The Fire Chronicle to be an improvement on The Emerald Atlas. I now believe that as a complete whole, assuming that the third book (once it comes out) will continue this upward trend, this trilogy might be a truly quality, enjoyable fantasy story.

I liked it quite a bit!


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I had no idea the author had a new book out so thanks for sharing the gorgeous cover with us and telling me about a new book! I haven't read Audition but I've read lots of mixed opinions so I'm interested to see what people think of The Sound of Letting Go ;)
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