Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fire Arrow

Author: Edith Pattou
Number of Pages: 332
Reading Level: 6th grade and up
Series: The Songs of Eirren #2
Reading Time: 4 days

Fire Arrow starts off where Hero's Song ended, this time focusing on the young archer that journeyed with Collun to defeat the Firewurme.

Brie has been living happily at Cuillean's home, planting gardens with Collun, but there is still a hunger in her for revenge on her father's murderers.

Unable to let this drive rest, Brie leaves Cuillean's house to track down her father's killers and destroy them. Along the way, she discovers a magical fire arrow that is as driven and focused as she herself is, and it is perhaps making her even more so.

Family secrets and the strange pull of the fire arrow lead her to the strange and reclusive Northern country of Dungal, where she finds herself more at home than ever. Her biggest challenge, though, will be letting go of the hatred that she has grown in her heart.

I liked Fire Arrow better than Hero's Song, but it was still not the best fantasy novel I've ever read of its type. The plot was much more original in this second book, and used much less of the Lord of the Rings archetypes. Similar to Hero's Song, I liked the focus on the inner life of the main character. By the end of the novel, you've come to know Brie very well, her faults and her strengths, likes and dislikes, struggles and hopes. The culture of Dungal, especially the Sea Dyak sorcerers and the fishing villages were wonderfully interesting. In fact, one of my favorite parts of the book was when Brie attends a "binding ceremony," which is the Dungalan equivalent to a wedding. It was so intriguing to read about their traditions.

The villains were vile, the heroes took courage when it seemed their was none, friendships grew, there was even a tiny bit of romance. All in all, Fire Arrow was a fairly good book. My biggest complaint would be that I felt there were a lot of loose ends. When does Brie return to Dungal? What happens to her and Collun? Queen Medb is still out there, no doubt making devilish, evil plans; what happens? Who defeats her? Does anyone? Where does Cuillean fit into all this? Will he and Collun ever meet? This would all be acceptable if there was a third book in the making, but, alas, there is not. How very unfortunate.

A Note to Parents:
This book was very clean. Not very gory, hardly anything that could be taken as even remotely inappropriate. Characters do drink wine or mead occasionally. If you object to your children reading anything with magic or sorcerers, I would steer clear of this series.

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