Inheritance (Inheritance Cycle #4) by Christopher Paolini

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Release Date: 2011
Image Source: link
Other Titles in Series: Eragon (#1), Eldest (#2), Brisingr (#3)

Rating:
Characters- 20/20
Plot- 20/20
Writing- 20/20
Originality- 20/20
Recommendation- 20/20
Overall- 100/100 or A+

Synopsis: It began with Eragon. . . . It ends with Inheritance.
Not so very long ago, Eragon—Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider—was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now, the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders.

Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. And still, the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix. When they do, they will have to be strong enough to defeat him. And if they cannot, no one can. There will be no second chance.

The Rider and his dragon have come farther than anyone dared to imagine. But can they topple the evil king and restore justice to Alagaesia? And if so, at what cost?

This is the spellbinding conclusion to Christopher Paolini’s worldwide bestselling Inheritance cycle.


Review: Reading the Inheritance Cycle has been a journey like no other. Truly a phenomenal and capturing series, it has forever established a spot in my heart. I will never lose the memories of thoughts I garnered from my first time reading it. Inheritance, the final chapter of the series, was a bittersweet conclusion. Truly one of the best books I’ve ever read, the ending saddened me. I was terribly reluctant to finish it. I feel as if a dear friend has been lost. . .

Despite my evident nostalgia, the tremendous positive feelings I experienced during this recent read evaporate any melancholy that could be lingering. Inheritance brought about the excitement and stay-up-late-to-read nights that any reader worships and yearns for. Indeed, you may be wondering why I rated this book so perfectly. The same happened with Brisingr—my honest reviewing skills have fallen short. I could not and will not find anything wrong with this novel. I love it so.

One of the main things that really struck me about Inheritance was Eragon and Saphira’s round-world revelation. When the trio (Glaedr included) was traveling to Vroengard, the home of the ancient riders, they ran into a storm of colossal proportions. A description from page 471:

“Since dawn, the clouds had only increased in size, and up close, they were even more intimidating. Near the bottom, they were dark and purplish, with curtains of driving rain connecting the storm with the sea like a gauzy umbilical cord. Higher up, the clouds were the color of tarnished silver, while the very tops were a pure, blinding white and appeared as solid as the flanks of Tronjheim. To the north, over the center of the storm, the clouds had formed a gigantic flat-topped anvil that loomed over all else, as if the gods themselves intended to forge some strange and terrible instrument.”

The storm continues to give Saphira problems. The wind continually tries to push her off course, while the rain is blinding and threatens to completely diminish what remains of visibility. Forced to rise above the storm, Eragon uses energy from Glaedr’s eldunari to enact a self-preserving spell—one that preserves body heat and provides a stable atmosphere to breathe.

As they rise to a seemingly impossible elevation, the clouds thin and stars begin to appear. Eragon is enamored by the sheer beauty and colors of the twinkling lights. But even more amazing, as he finally lowers his gaze to the horizon, Eragon notices something unusual. Instead of the sky and sea meeting in a straight line—as they should—the juncture between them curved, like the edge of a huge circle.

“‘The world is round,’ he whispered. ‘The sky is hollow and the world is round.'”

This revelation was momentous, a true milestone in the character development of both Eragon and Saphira. Such illumination can only result in a drastic change of mind-frame. Throughout the remainder of the novel, readers should note the effects this had on the actions and thoughts of both, especially in the effort of finding their true names.

The paths of both Saphira and Eragon to finding their true names was another momentous event in Inheritance. Much introspection was put into the effort as they both struggled to uncover their aspects, even flaws. It was a joyous event when Saphira finally found hers, yet dampened by Eragon’s slight jealousy. Out of frustration from lack of insight, he decides to go for a walk.

Eragon is away for the remainder of the night. After clearing a rubble strewn courtyard in the ruins of Doru Araeba (the fallen city of the riders) he perches atop a stone pillar, simply ruminating. His ruminations lead him on an inner journey of self-reflection.

“Then, as the first rays of dawn brightened the eastern sky over the ancient island of Vroengard, where the Riders and dragons had once lived, he thought of a name—a name such as he had not thought of before—and as he did, a sense of certainty came over him.”

“. . . And then he gasped, and he found himself both laughing and crying—laughing that he had succeeded and for the sheer joy of comprehension; crying because all his failings, all the mistakes he had made, were now obvious to him, and he no longer had any delusions to comfort himself with.”

“‘I am not who I was,’ he whispered, gripping the edges of the column, ‘but I know who I am.'”

This is the ultimate personal enlightenment; finding who you truly are. All of your flaws, your mistakes, become evident when you truly realize your identity. After reading this, I wondered if it could happen in real life, an illumination of the highest. It is true that anything is possible.

All in all, reading Inheritance was a profound spiritual experience. Just as Eragon endeavored to find his true name, I delved into a deep state of introspection, finding comparisons in my own life to Eragon’s revelations. I gained much from this novel, probably the most I’ve ever received from fantasy. Realizations into the true nature of freedom, justified leadership, and fear were only a few. The greatest and most profound would have to be a new outlook of self. I understand now, that we are always changing. Our identity does not remain fixed. Actions and decisions of the past determine who we are now. To me, this is sacred knowledge. Who we want to be in the future can only arise by working on our actions now, at this very moment.

Overall Grade: A+ 
A truly remarkable conclusion to Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle, Inheritance proves to a be more than any reader bargained for. Not that it’s a bad thing. A thrilling, heart-grasping, and rich fantasy, Inheritance combines a fight for freedom and marvelous revelations of the self. Readers will enjoy the immense character development that took place in Eragon and his comrades. Indeed, finishing this series, understanding that it is finally over, may be a more than sad event for many.

     

Paolini, Christopher. (2011) Inheritance. United States: Alfred A. Knopf.

Stargazer (Land of Elyon #4) by Patrick Carman

Stargazer by Patrick Carman

Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: 2008
Synopsis Source: 
http://www.patrickcarman.com/enter/elyon/

Rating:
Characters- 20/20
Plot- 20/20
Writing- 19/20
Originality- 20/20
Recommendation- 19/20
Overall- 98/100 or A+

Synopsis: When we last saw Alexa Daley, she had defeated a threat in homeland and was sailing with Roland Warvold across the lonely sea. She had no idea what adventures awaited her until now. After a tragic attack by an evil force, Alexa and her friend Yipes are stranded in a strange community known as The Five Stone Pillars. Each pillar of rock has its own secrets and its own challenges. As darkness descends, Alexa must risk everything to defeat it, even if it means taking to the skies.

My Thoughts: Stargazer is the fourth and final installment of the Land of Elyon series. It concludes the story of Alexa Daley as she struggles to triumph over the forces of evil while finding her true destiny. There are particular reasons why this novel should be commended as an excellent read. It combines unique and strong characters with an intriguing plot. Patrick Carman incorporated a bit of his soul in this novel, as all good authors do. For long-time fans of the series, Stargazer is no disappointment.

The book starts out with Alexa, Roland, and Yipes traveling upon the Warwick Beacon. The majestic ship is traversing the Lonely Sea, on its way to a land other than Elyon. Alexa greatly anticipates what Roland has to show her. The prospect of a new adventure is one she hungers for the most. I can relate to this in the way that I hunger for a good book. Every story is its own adventure. Fantasy can truly bend reality in a way that only readers understand.

When the trio arrives at The Five Stone Pillars, disaster strikes. The Sea Monster, Abaddon, who escaped from his pit of a lair in Elyon, had secretly followed the ship across the sea. Sporting a massive body and tentacles that can electrocute, Abaddon is looking for a new place to call home. And Alexa, Yipes, and Roland led him to the perfect place. In a rage, the sea monster destroys the Warwick Beacon, although an even greater tragedy is soon to come.

Hope seems nearly lost as Alexa clutches the top mast of the sinking ship. She believes her time is up and grief, but not for herself, overwhelms her. Just as her feet near the water below, a figure swoops out of the sky upon a swinging vine and saves her from an almost certain watery doom. Now upon the Five Stone Pillars, Alexa must fight to save the people she has befriended. She must convince them to trust her, and take her word that their home must be abandoned. Making new friends and adventures is only part of Alexa’s life on the pillars. Her destiny calls to her from the sky.

A fantastic and beautiful storyteller, Patrick Carman weaves a tale of imagination and destiny. Stargazer promises much excitement and even more colorful characters than the previous novels. A unique way of writing dominates Carman’s talents: the ability to instill a positive and spiritual outlook on life. This shines most brightly out of Alexa:

“My strength was returning as we went on. It occurred to me than that it was in times of struggle that I found the best parts of myself — courage, loyalty, and an unexpected peace — and I always discovered what I needed to break through and go on.” 

Overall Grade: A+ 
 Stargazer is the fourth an final installment of The Land of Elyon series. It represents the best of Patrick Carman and what the essence of faith and destiny is all about. Readers should look forward to much excitement and beautifully crafted characters. 
Carman, Patrick. (2008) Stargazer. United States: Scholastic Press

Into the Mist (Land of Elyon) by Patrick Carman

Into the Mist by Patrick Carman

Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: 2007
Synopsis Source: Back of the book

Rating:
Characters- 20/20
Plot- 20/20
Writing- 20/20
Originality- 19/20
Recommendation- 20/20
Overall- 99/100 or A+

Synopsis- Before the walls went up. . . before the battle between Abaddon and Elyon. . . before Alexa Daley was born. . . there were two young brothers, Thomaas and Roland Warvold, whose pasts were as mysterious as their futures. Raised in a horrible orphanage and forced to escape into a strange, unknown world, Thomas and Roland found adventure wherever they turned–and danger wherever they looked. Their story is one of magic, exploration, fellowship, and secrets–all of which need to be revealed as the chronicles of Elyon unfold.

Review: Into the Mist is a fantastic inclusion to the Land of Elyon series. It brings veteran readers a much needed understanding of the plot and new readers an excellent introduction. I would label this installment a semi-prequel, as the book starts out directly after the events of The Tenth City, but the majority of the story is of Roland’s past as he tells his tale to Alexa. There are many interruptions in his tale (mainly by Yipes) and the story is brought back to the present-day events on the Warwick Beacon.

Into the Mist is a beautiful adventure of two brothers as they traverse a magical wilderness and make new friends. The magic of fantasy is evident in this book, along with the many qualities that contribute to a truly phenomenal story. It could very well be one of my favorite fiction novels of all time.

The story starts out with ten-year-old Roland and his eleven-year-old brother Thomas. Neither remember their parents, and they only have each other for family. Their earliest memories are of an orphanage, but their mischief and pranks eventually get them transferred to The House on the Hill. This cruel and horrible place is run by an even fouler woman by the name of Madame Vickers. The House on the Hill is run down and perched upon a town’s worth of garbage. Madame Vickers and her terrible son capture any unwanted orphans and force them to dig through the stinking, rotting garbage to find anything worth selling. The orphans are fed meagerly, and their sleeping quarters are located in the dark basement below the house. Roland and Thomas are in a nightmarishly grim situation.

One day, amid the rubble, Thomas and Roland find an old saddlebag that contains a strange piece of paper. The paper is inscribed with the words “Western Kingdom” and “Wakefield House”, plus an interesting symbol that matches a design on the brothers’ knees, a birthmark that resembles a tattoo. This is a calling for the boys to discover their true destiny. Out of curiosity (and maybe something greater) Thomas and Roland flee The House on the Hill to discover what the strange symbol means.

There are many reasons why I particularly favor this installment of the Land of Elyon series, but one is more prominent than all the others. During the story, Thomas and Roland are seemingly guided by curiosity throughout their adventures. One eventually learns that the godly force of Elyon has been the main influence on the lives of the brothers. He has been the drive that caused the boys to discover their destiny. Readers learn that Elyon has a plan for everybody and everything. Some people (Thomas and Roland for example) play a greater part than others in the grand scheme of things, but everybody has a part.

Into the Mist is both a fantastic prequel and continuation of the Land of Elyon series. This amazing fantasy is aided by its beautiful morals in creating a superb novel. After reading it, fans of the series should feel immensely satisfied and curiously thoughtful. It’s definitely a book that turns your attention to the more magical and philosophical aspects of life.

Overall Grade: A+
A beautiful continuation of the series awaits readers. A new outlook of the land of Elyon should arise after understanding the past of Thomas and Roland Warvold.  I highly recommend this book to those who like a good combination of adventure and morality. 

Carman, Patrick. (2007) Into the Mist. United States: Scholastic Press.

The Tenth City (Land of Elyon #3) by Patrick Carman

The Tenth City by Patrick Carman

Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: 2006
Synopsis Source: Amazon

Rating:
Characters- 19/20
Plot- 19/20
Originality- 19/20
Writing- 20/20
Recommendation- 20/20
Overall- 97/100 or A

Synopsis: This is it; the final battle. On one side is the evil Victor Grindall and his horrific leader, the imprisoned Abaddon. On the other side is a girl named Alexa, who holds the fate of Elyon in her hands. If good is to win, Alexa must find a way to overcome the Lonely Sea, rescue her friend Yipes, and unlock the mystery of the Tenth City. Along the way, she will be attacked from above, betrayed by someone close, and guided toward a final gambit where everything will be put at stake – and great secrets will be revealed. This is the moment for Alexa to become a true hero…and to discover her real fate.

Review: The third and final installment of the core Elyon trilogy offers a very satisfying continuation to the series. Perhaps the best yet, book 3 reveals many mystical truths about the Land of Elyon. Alexa’s destiny begins to unfold as she fights to rid the world of Abaddon, the source of all evil. She isn’t alone is this pursuit, although. With the help of of her friends aboard the ship, Warwick Beacon, the forces of good may triumph.

The Land of Elyon series is comprised of a core trilogy, a semi-prequel, and the concluding novel. The first three books detail Alexa’s adventures in the Land of Elyon, as she struggles to fight evil. The semi prequel (Into the Mist) takes place directly after the events in The Tenth City, but most of the story is taken up by Roland’s tale of his childhood. The final novel (Stargazer) is of Alexa’s adventure at the Five Stone Pillars where she discovers her true destiny.

Once again, Patrick Carman weaves his faith into his writing. The descriptions of the Tenth City being akin to heaven is the final confirmation of the Elyon-as-God analogy. It is the place where those who have left the realm of the living go to have new and better adventures in Elyon’s own city. Often, Alexa mentions returning to the Tenth City when her own adventures are complete. This gives the entire story an epic feeling.

Unlike the previous installment, Alexa’s character is much stronger. It undergoes a great deal of growth and development and she ends the book both wiser and sadder than she began it. She realizes and understands the power of Elyon as the greatest force of good in the world, and her destiny to be his agent. Alexa learns that the beauty of the Tenth City will be waiting for her. Most surprising, though, is the final revelation about Alexa’s true lineage. She finally learns where her love for adventure comes from. I don’t want to give away any big spoilers, so you will have to read it for yourself!

The third installment of the Land of Elyon series could very well be the best yet. I enjoyed this adventure immensely and will cherish the spiritual impact it’s allegories have had on me. Patrick Carman managed to create a tale that is infused with moral themes such as power, lust, and friendship. Contemporary issues such as respect for the environment also arise in the plot. His characters are very original, diverse, and definitely believable. They have both good and bad qualities. All in all, this a great book which I encourage anyone to read. Although, for the necessary flow of events, I recommend reading the series from the beginning.

Overall Grade: A
A fantastic adventure and diverse characters await readers. Moral allegories such as God and Heaven are infused throughout the writing. It is recommended that the series be read from the beginning.

Carman, Patrick. (2006) The Tenth City. United States: Scholastic Press.

Beyond the Valley of Thorns (Land of Elyon #2) by Patrick Carman

Beyond the Valley of Thorns by Patrick Carman

Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: 2005
Synopsis Source: Amazon

Rating:
Characters- 18/20
Plot- 20/20
Originality- 19/20
Writing- 19/20
Recommendation- 19/20
Overall- 95/100 or A

Synopsis: The second dazzling installment in Patrick Carman’s masterful Land of Elyon trilogy

Alexa thought her troubles were over when she defeated the man who had threatened to bring down Bridewell from within. But now that the walls around her land have fallen, a new, unexpected threat has risen from outside. Suddenly, Alexa is involved in a battle much, much larger than her own life . . . a battle in which she is destined to play a key role. In order to help good defeat evil, Alexa and her friends must venture farther than they’ve ever gone before — confronting giants, bats, ravenous dogs, and a particularly ghoulish mastermind in order to bring back peace.

My Thoughts: Beyond the Valley of Thorns, Patrick Carman’s sequel to The Dark Hills Divide, is a fast-paced, enjoyable, and much darker read than its predecessor. The Land of Elyon is a very mysterious place, and readers of the first novel are only too aware of this. Many of these mysteries are revealed in Beyond the Valley of Thorns, yet even more remain unsolved. Readers learn about the history, tragedies, and the balance of good and evil of this troubled land. As much as I am fond of the first book of the series, the second installment is obviously a richer fantasy.

While delving through this intriguing novel, I sensed a Lord of the Rings-ish essence in the plot. Indeed, the Dark Tower of Victor Graindall was reminiscent of the two towers in the second of Tolkien’s novels, save the second tower. Abaddon, the source of all evil in The Land of Elyon, could be compared to Sauron. Grindall could be seen as the counterpart of the wizard Saruman.   

Indeed, this a fine fantasy. The only criticism I have is the lack of character in Alexa. The Dark Hills Divide portrayed her as a free-spirited, independent, and adventurous girl, but all of these qualities fell flat during the majority of the second novel. Even though this may be true for one character in the book, Patrick Carman successfully incorporates an array of new characters into the plot. Odessa, the quiet and thoughtful wolf, and Arman, the proud yet gentle giant, are only a couple of examples.

Beyond the Valley of Thorns has a very dark nature. The presence of evil is much more evident than the previous book. What really struck me was the sad state of the people living in Castalia. These suppressed and downtrodden citizens harbor a valiant and persistent nature that I really admire. They are governed by a tyrant and policed by foul ogres. The ogres, in my opinion, are the worst of the Castalians problems. These giant, ruthless brutes have been infected by Abaddon’s evil and are literally rotting from the inside.  

For readers of The Dark Hills Divide, Patrick Carman’s second installment of the series will come as no disappointment. Though dark in nature, this is a very pleasant read that captures the spirit of adventure and the essence of faith its many allegories. Though the lack of character in Alexa is evident, this is an excellent read for fans of the series and fantasy alike.

http://www.patrickcarman.com/enter/elyon/ 

Carman, Patrick. (2005) Beyond the Valley of Thorns. United States: Scholastic Press.

The Dark Hills Divide (Land of Elyon #1) by Patrick Carman

The Dark Hills Divide by Patrick Carman

Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: 2005
Synopsis Source: I own this book

Rating:
Characters: 18/20
Plot: 19/20
Originality: 19/20
Writing: 19/20
Recommendation: 19/20
Overall: 94/100 or A-


Synopsis: Twelve-year old Alexa Daley is spending another summer in Bridewell with her father. She looks forward to exploring the old lodge where she stays each year, with its cozy library and maze of passages and rooms. She’s also eager to finally solve the mystery of what lies beyond the immense walls that ere built to keep out an unnamed evil that lurks in the forests and The Dark Hills–an evil the townspeople are still afraid of.


As Alexa begins to unravel the truth about what lies outside the protective barrier she’s lived behind all her life, she discovers a strange and ancient enchantment. Armed with an unexpected new power, Alexa exposes a danger that could destroy everything she holds dear–and change The Land of Elyon forever.

My Thoughts: I’m usually not a reader of middle-grade fantasy, yet The Dark Hills Divide is a novel I’ve enjoyed throughout my childhood. The book begins with twelve-year old Alexa Daley and her father. Readers will notice the strong bond between the two as the story progresses. To me, this is an important aspect of the book. Alexa proves herself a caring daughter, but also and independent adventurer. She deeply loves her father, yet she is not afraid to stray away from him at times to satisfy her curiosity and inquisitiveness. It is these characteristics that propel young Alexa to solving the great mysteries surrounding her home.

The spirit of adventure is obviously the prevailing theme of this fantasy. The demolition of the immense walls surrounding Alexa’s home signifies breaking away from safety and taking risks. Alexa herself takes many risks to save her home and in the process discovers a magical secret that will indefinitely change her life. I found her character bold, daring, loving, and a loyal friend. Her actions attest to her loyalty. Everything the does is for the benefit of somebody she loves or to help someone in need. The author did a fine job in constructing a suitable persona for her character.

The Land of Elyon is a very mysterious setting for the events happening in the story. The map provided in the front allows readers to foreshadow where Alexa’s destiny will take her next. It alludes to coming adventures.  

This is a fast-paced novel that I would deem most suitable for a middle-grade audience. Although the writing suggests such, an adult could still enjoy the shroud of intrigue and resourceful characters that fill its pages. Indeed, The Dark Hills Divide is a great introduction to a surely captivating series that anyone should like.

http://www.patrickcarman.com/enter/elyon/

Carman, Patrick. (2005) The Dark Hills Divide. United States: Scholastic Press.

Legends of the Light Bearer: The story left untold by L. M. Aldrich

Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: July 18, 2011
Synopsis Source: Amazon

Rating:
Characters:19/20
Plot: 20/20
Originality: 20/20
Writing: 19/20
Recommendation: 19/20
Overall: 97/100 or A

Synopsis: A transformational treatise on hate, greed and war, Legends of the Light Bearer: The story left untold is speculative visionary fiction that weaves politics, religion, ancient mysteries, conspiracy theories, physics, the paranormal and sci-fi into a fast-paced, spiritual thriller.

In the months leading up to 9/11, the newly elected Senator from Virginia is drawn into a nightmare that threatens her sanity, and then her life. She uncovers a secret so ancient, so complex and profound that it will take the combined efforts of a NASA scientist, a Biblical scholar, a government spy, a paleontologist and Heaven itself to unravel it. Based on ancient and forbidden scriptures, this is the story you were never meant to hear…until it is too late. Legends of the Light Bearer will challenge everything you thought was true, while offering a startling yet compelling new paradigm: Conspiracies and the supernatural are the only true reality, opposing forces in a spiritual war that uses humans as pawns on a chessboard. It is not mere happenstance that we find ourselves on the brink of extinction; economically, environmentally, or in terms of our inhumanity to one another. It is by design. And the one little thing they do not want you to know is that we have the power to defeat them.

My Thoughts: When L. M. Aldrich contacted me, requesting a book review, I was thoroughly excited. This is only the second time an author has asked me to review her book, and I am eager to share my thoughts. When I read a synopsis of Legends of the Light Bearer, my anticipation increased dramatically, for the topic of this novel is one I am greatly interested in. I hope I can harness the power of words once again as I try to justify the evident uniqueness and greatness of this book. 

Legends of the Light Bearer: The story left untold is an intriguing novel comprised of government conspiracies, possibilities of extraterrestrial existence on Earth, and religious mysteries. The combination of these aspects makes for an intricate and enthralling plot. It is evident that the extensive research required for this story was in-depth. The obvious passion L. M. Aldrich put into her work is highly commendable and shines throughout her writing.  
Texts such as the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Gnostic Scriptures provide a large segment of the story. This was one of the ingenious twists I discovered in the book; each chapter began with a line from one of many ancient scriptures. These texts included those that were omitted or excluded from the Bible. The sections that were prevalent in L. M. Aldrich’s novel often hinted at possible alien presence on Earth. Indeed, I found this interesting…
I believe L. M. Aldrich was hinting at something while writing this book. A curious theme seems to crop up in every corner of the plot and encompasses the entirety of the text; salvation can only be found in the true light of God. Spiritual enlightenment cannot be found in the realm of matter and earthly pleasures, only in the omnipresent spirit of the universe where true love resides. I hope I have not completely missed the point of the novel, as that would be embarrassing. This is what I received from reading the book and what I found truly beautiful. 

Legends of the Light Bearer: The story left untold is a book I am absolutely lucky to have read. The message and theme presented is one I completely believe in. I understand that not everyone will enjoy it as much as I have, but only because they will read it with their minds and not their hearts. This is a book I envelope with admiration and adoration. I hope to learn more about this fantastic author and her future works in a possible upcoming interview. Until then my dear readers, I highly recommend you check out this intriguing, unique, and truly mind-blowing novel. 🙂

Goodreads 

Aldrich, L. M. (2011) Legends of the Light Bearer: The story left untold

Fire World (Last Dragon Chronicles #6) by Chris D’Lacey

Fire World by Chris D’Lacey

Publisher: Orchard Books
Release Date: January 6, 2011
Other Titles in Series: The Fire Within (#1), Icefire (#2), Fire Star (#3), The Fire Eternal (#4), and Dark Fire (#5)

Rating:
Characters: 20/20
Plot: 20/20
Originality: 20/20
Writing: 20/20
Recommendation: 19/20
Overall: 99/100
Source: Library

Synopsis: David Rain, Lucy, Zanna, and the Pennykettle dragons disappeared after destroying a trace of dark fire.

In a world between Earth and Ki:mera, called Co:pernica, lives a twelve-year-old boy named David. He and his friend Rosanna spend their days in the librarium, a museum for books, with the curator, Mr. Henry, and the mysterious firebirds that roam the upper levels.

When the two friends accidentally injure one of the firebirds, David and Rosanna find themselves on a remarkable and dangerous adventure. The evil Ix have found a way to Co:pernica from their home planet and have taken over a firebird turning it to the side of darkness. The birds have a secret, though: They know about the existence of dragons.

With the help of David and Rosanna, the firebirds must reach across the universe to call on the dragons for protection. But will the dragons arrive before the Ix destroy everything?

My Thoughts: For one of the few times in my life I am actually nearly at a loss for words. Expressing the boundless veneration I have for Fire World and its author seems daunting and nearly impossible. This was one of those rare times where I actually chewed a book before swallowing it, instead of devouring it outright. I cannot pretend to do justice to this book through a review, but as I am a writer, I am compelled to make the attempt.

Fire World is the sixth and most recent installment of the Last Dragon Chronicles, ingeniously written by Chris D’Lacey. Throughout the previous books of the series, the storyline has evolved greatly, but generally retained the same overall character or essence. Amazingly, Fire World takes a drastic turn away from what readers would consider familiar about the story. Firstly, just understanding the fact that the events in the sixth installment are taking place in an alternate reality tells readers not to expect the ordinary.

Co:pernica is an alternate universe version of Earth, where all the familiar characters of the series appear – but not quite as they’ve been before. As the book starts out, readers of the previous novels may be confused. They may even say, “What the heck is going on?” I certainly had a similar reaction upon opening the book. There are several peculiarities throughout the novel that may also strike readers as odd or intriguing, including the return of Gwillana (known as Aunt Gwyneth on Co:pernica). The death of Gwillana in Dark Fire was one of the highlights of the series and to see her return, to me was an intense moment. Totally awesome, to say in modern teen words.

I have deduced that Fire World is by far the epitome of the series’ greatness, even if it borders on confusing at times. For that reason only, I cannot give the series a perfect 100/100 rating. Certain readers may find the novel a bit too “out there” and too dissimilar from the remainder of the series. I, myself found it superbly fantastic and worthy of being remembered and revered throughout the ages. Chris D’Lacey is truly a genius, hands down, and an excellent writer. I hope many young readers discover this series, as it can truly change someone’s perspective on fantasy.

http://www.icefire.co.uk/

D’Lacey, Chris. (2011) Fire World. United States: Orchard Books.

Dark Fire (Last Dragon Chronicles #5) by Chris D’Lacey

Title: Dark Fire
Author: Chris D’Lacey
Publisher: Orchard Books
Release Date: July 2, 2009
Other Titles in Series: The Fire Within (#1), Icefire (#2), Fire Star (#3), The Fire Eternal (#4), and Fire World (#6)


Rating:
Characters: 19/19
Plot: 20/20
Originality: 20/20
Writing: 20/20
Recommendation: 20/20
Overall: 99/100
Source: I own this book

Synopsis: Bestselling author David Rain was lost in the arctic for five years. Now, his daughter, Alexa, has brought him back, but a lot more has returned to Earth with him. Dragons are back as well. And with them is a hidden trace of Dark Fire, the deadliest force in the universe. Life hangs in the balance as David, Lucy, and the Pennykettle dragons must destroy the dark fire before it’s discovered and used to birth a darkling. Yet David’s success could come at a terrible price — the sacrifice of a beloved dragon.

Is David’s power strong enough to protect an entire world, including those he loves and all the dragons, from an evil older than time?

My Thoughts: The fifth installment of the Last Dragon Chronicles is assuredly the most action packed so far. There were quite a few events in this book left me excited, yet thoughtful. I find that Chris D’Lacey incorporates his rich stories with fantastical and sometimes mind-boggling ideas which give his overall writing style a unique twist. Indeed, Dark Fire is a perfect example of such.

Throughout the book, the plot of the series is obviously escalating, almost hinting at an extreme future climax. The excitement is almost tangible. For those who are not offended by spoilers; the most striking or riveting event for me in the entire book would be when the dragon Gawaine (yes it’s spelled with an e) was wakened by Lucy. This was intriguing, especially when the dragon’s urine was added to the mix. Don’t let this turn you down, the inclusion of such topics actually makes the book delightfully witty.

Overall, Dark Fire has definitely been the best of The Last Dragon Chronicles so far. D’Lacey’s writing just keeps getting better and better. He knows how to appeal to his audience, even while writing about confusing topics such as Dark Matter and the mechanics of physics. I also appreciate the fact that he is trying to instill a sense off environmental awareness in his readers. Truly, any fan of Chris D’Lacey will not be let down in the slightest by the stunning content just waiting to be read in Dark Fire. A fabulous author’s ingenuity has expressed itself once again. I must say, bravo Chris D’Lacey!

http://www.thelastdragonchronicles.com/

D’Lacey, Chris. (2009) Dark Fire. United States: Orchard Books.

The Fire Eternal (Last Dragon Chronicles #9) by Chris D’Lacey

Title: The Fire Eternal
Author: Chris D’Lacey
Publisher: Orchard Books
Release Date: 2007
Other Titles in Series: The Fire Within (#1), Icefire (#2), Fire Star (#3), Dark Fire (#5), Fire World (#6)

Rating:
Characters: 19/20
Plot: 20/20
Originality: 20/20
Writing: 20/20
Recommendation: 20/20
Overall: 99/100 or A+
Source: I own this book

Synopsis: Five years have passed since the mysterious disappearance of cult author, David Rain in the Arctic. Now, a number of strange events have come to pass – the Arctic ice is melting, polar bears are starving and the ghosts of Inuit souls haunt the skies. As the weather grows wilder and the icecaps melt, all eyes turn from the north to David’s daughter, Alexa. She may be the key to stopping it, but can one girl save the world from the forces of evil?

Review: The Fire Eternal is the fourth installment of the Last Dragon Chronicles. It takes place five years after the events of the previous book, Fire Star, where the protagonist David Rain mysteriously disappears. Now completely enthralled with the series, Chris D’Lacey’s way with words still manages to awe me. With each new addition the series progressively evolves, both in plot and in writing talent.

As with the previous installment, the fain play a major role in the story’s course of events. I am still befuddled by these mysterious beings, yet my veneration for them eclipses my confusion. I hope to someday understand just a tiny percent of the ideas that run through D’Lacey’s head. It would be both intriguing and mind-boggling.

Overall, The Fire Eternal comprises the best of the series (so far). Any dragon fanatic or lover of the Last Dragon Chronicles will not be disappointed. For those who are just beginning the series, I hope you look forward to book 4, as it is quite phenomenal. The steady evolution of the series should not be lost on you. It’s one of the major parts of reading it that I enjoyed.

http://www.thelastdragonchronicles.com/

D’Lacey, Chris. (2007) The Fire Eternal. United States: Orchard Books.