Page the Second


A fronte praecipitium a tergo lupi. (In front of you, a precipice. Behind you, wolves.)

Saturday, June 28, 2014


I read THE HOBBIT by J R R Tolkein in the fourth grade and DUNE by Frank Herbert shortly thereafter. I won't say GIFT OF THE PHOENIX by Donna Cook stands in the vanguard with the hobbits, elves, and fremen, but it's definitely in the same battalion.

The action was gripping, the story fabulous, the characters well-developed and likable (except for the villain, of course, who was utterly chilling). I enjoyed how she worked the magical sequences. They were believable, if not doable.

Prince Marcellus, Corren (an apprentice wizard), and Nicolai (a farmer) have something secret in common--a father and mother. The secrets don't stop there, cropping up at every turn, filling the book full of lovely twists and speed bumps. It's the job of The Three, along with two remarkable women, to stop The Crafty One from killing the phoenix and stealing its magic. The book is a mad dash to the finish line of the world with at least one brother knowing he was doomed to die. Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water faeries combine to make this a fascinating tale.

There were a couple of incredibly silly bits which I can't refrain from snickering over, just because they are so very ridiculous. Donna had people shooting their quivers. Anybody who has ever heard anything about archery or seen a bow shot, let alone anyone who has shot one, knows that you shoot arrows which you carry around with you in your quiver. Even if you are shooting a crossbow, you know those are called bolts or quarrels, not quivers. She mentions them twice, so I know it wasn't a typo.
The other silliness was that she called the sword hilt a helm. Sorry, Donna, a helm is a metal hat you wear on your head to keep your brains intact. You meant a hilt. Just keep that in mind for the sequel I'm waiting for.

Other than those bits, I found the book absolutely readable and difficult to put down. Bring on the next one, Donna. If you'd like to purchase this book, you can get it here. and here.

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