27 March, 2013

#BookReview :: The Fire Chronicle (The Books of Beginning #2) by John Stephens

After the tumultuous events of last winter, Kate, Michael, and Emma long to continue the hunt for their missing parents. But they themselves are now in great danger, and so the wizard Stanislaus Pym hides the children at the Edgar Allan Poe Home for Hopeless and Incorrigible Orphans. There, he says, they will be safe. How wrong he is. 
The children are soon discovered by their enemies, and a frantic chase sends Kate a hundred years into the past, to a perilous, enchanted New York City. Searching for a way back to her brother and sister, she meets a mysterious boy whose fate is intricately—and dangerously—tied to her own.
Meanwhile, Michael and Emma have set off to find the second of the Books of Beginning. A series of clues leads them into a hidden world where they must brave harsh polar storms, track down an ancient order of warriors, and confront terrible monsters. Will Michael and Emma find the legendary book of fire—and master its powers—before Kate is lost to them forever? 
Exciting, suspenseful, and brimming with humor and heart, the next installment of the bestselling Books of Beginning trilogy will lead Kate, Michael, and Emma closer to their family—and to the magic that could save, or destroy, them all

There’s a gap of time of a couple of weeks in between where book one ended and from where book two begins. After finding the Emerald atlas, the siblings, Kate, Michael and Emma are back at Edgar Allan Poe Home for Hopeless and Incorrigible Orphans. Kate has been having unusual dreams and has been trying to get in touch with Dr.Pym. Her gut feeling that something bad is about to happen comes true when the orphanage is attacked by screechers. Dr.Pym arrives just in time to rescue Michael & Emma while Kate time travels with a screecher in order to protect her siblings. From there on a new adventure begins as Michael and Emma journey to find the Second Book – The Chronicle or the Book of Life.

As the children of the Prophecy, Kate, Michael and Emma have a long way to go. The plot unfolds as Michael and Emma travel with Dr.Pym at the beginning. We find out a little bit more about their parents. Gabriel also accompanies them for most of the part of this book. As Michael and Emma travel together to find the Chronicle, we are introduced to another part of this world – a part that involves more about the Guardians, Elves and dragons rather than the dwarves from the first book.  
Kate on the other hand travels to a different timeline where she meets a dynamic young magician named Rafe. Their lives are somehow interconnected as it was no accident that Kate had ended up in that particular timeline. What does destiny have in store for Rafe and Kate? We also find out more about the antagonist – Dire Magnus who had only a fleeting appearance in book one. The history of Dire Magnus is interesting to discover. 

This book has a lot more action than the first book. I guess the reason being that in the first book the author had to set up a whole new fantasy world. While in the second book he has had to only add few more sides of it. But yes, the second book in the series is a perfect continuation to the first. While some mysteries are resolved, more are unveiled. We discover new characters and fall in love all over again with some of the older ones. For instance, in Kate’s absence Michael has to take over the ‘leader’ role and while he wants to do things the way Kate would have done, he soon learns to adapt.

The author has once again managed to enchant me with his world and his way of storytelling. Though it’s a series, the author gives us a summary of the first book in a paragraph in the second book. So anyone picking up the second book first, will be able to more or less follow the story. Simple language and keeping the characters true to their age make this world of Cambridge falls totally believable and loveable. The only drawback for me was that Dr.Pym and Gabriel’s actions in the book were at times predictable and gave me a sense of Déjà vu.

I am loving the way this series is shaping up to be and can hardly wait for the next book to release as its going to be Emma’s turn to claim her book and I just love her spunk!

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  1. Oh, that ending! I had forgot in between the release of the two books just how much I enjoyed the first book. I listened to the audiobooks with Jim Dale and he did a terrific job.

  2. The whole series sounds awesome.

    Anna @ http://emaginette.wordpress.com