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Firesong is the final part of the Wind of Fire trilogy, read by The Author.
Fire in the sky! Signs and wonders! The end days are coming!
It is the time of cruelty. In the face of starvation, blizzards and the evil Morah, the Manth people have left the ruined Mastery to seek their homeland. Only Ira Hath can lead them there and she grows weak...
Kestrel dreads reaching the homeland. She is afraid of what it will mean for her mother – and why does she feel so alone? Bowman eagerly awaits the summons from the Sirene and prepares to make the final sacrifice for his people, his family.
and all the while, the wind is rising...
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Firesong is what publishers like to call an "event" book. Launched with huge razzmatazz, this weighty--at 350-plus pages--yet highly readable novel is a fitting conclusion to the story of the Manth people, and their long, dangerous and imaginative journey, Moses-like in scale, to a new and promised land. Highly-anticipated final books in big fantasy trilogies don't come much bigger than this and, reassuringly, William Nicholson's concluding instalment of his Wind on Fire sequence lives up to the immense expectation established by its excellent and award-winning predecessors The Wind Singer and Slaves of the Mastery.
The story picks up with the flight of the Hath family, and their crew of other willing Manth families and friends, away from the ruined Mastery. After the defeat of the Master, alone and displaced, they seek a new homeland but have no real destination and very little food. Ira Hath leads the way, prophesising their eventual success but also her own, sad demise. Bowman and Kestrel Hath, brother and sister, carry burdens of their own. Bowman, in particular, is anxious. He awaits a summons from the Sirene, and must make a great sacrifice for his people. The journey is long, and his preparation is tough--especially in the unforgiving hands of an unexpected teacher.
As with the previous two volumes, there are some wonderfully exciting moments of action, as well as vivid landscapes and colourful characters. Last time it was Mumpo in gladiatorial combat--this time it is the dramatic attempted rescue of the Manth women who fall into the grubby hands of a desert people.
So after all of this, the ending is definitely worth waiting for--and very emotional. There are some surprising twists and turns, and a truly satisfying conclusion. Yet, despite all three books being so immensely well-written and popular, it remains to be seen whether or not this author will continue to write novels for children as well as screenplays for Hollywood (his other job). Write to your MP if he doesn't, but make sure you read his next book if he does. (Ages 10 and over) --John McLayReview:
‘The first two volumes of the trilogy marked the arrival of a striking new voice in children’s writing... the warmth of feeling and touches of comedy make the trilogy a triumph.’ Times
‘The novel has the powerful imaginative energy and emotional force that are a hallmark of Nicholson’ screenplays.’ Sunday Times
‘Nicholson has won a devoted audience with his seeker fiction. His books are bestsellers...they are marketed as children’s books but are fast developing a following among adults too. Nicholson offers the potent combination of a gripping narrative and a questing intelligence...’ Daily Telegraph
‘Nicholson’s achievement is worthy of acclaim and should mellow into a classic.’ Times
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