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Between Two Fires Hardcover – October 2, 2012


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Between Two Fires + Those Across the River + The Necromancer's House
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Hardcover; 1 edition (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1937007863
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937007867
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 5.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #495,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Thomas was a knight in mid-14th-century France before war, betrayal, and the Black Plague reduces him to banditry. But his road to oblivion in a nearly dead world ends with meeting Delphine, a young girl speaking with the voice of what may be angels‚--ìshe could be a saint, or a witch. Thomas can't ignore his compulsion to join her quest to go to Avignon, home of the pope, undertaken for reasons unknown even to her. But they and their companion Pv(r)re Matthieu don't realize they're trapped in a cosmic battle between good and evil, God having withdrawn from the world and Lucifer bent on filling the vacuum. until nightmarish creatures rise up everywhere to stop Delphine. Buehlman's (Those Across the River) medieval world is detailed with both sweet-smelling air and the gory results of plague, brutal but where hard-won small victories may add up faster than vast defeats. Thomas is the perfect everyman whose virtuous and sinful sides war internally as much as his sword arm battles in the physical world; Delphine is equally well drawn, part prophet and part frightened child. Fans of historical fantasy and horror will find this epic darkly rewarding.

Review

"Cormac McCarthy's The Road meets Chaucer's Canterbury Tales in this frightful medieval epic...Buehlman...doesn't scrimp on earthy horror and lyrical writing in the face of unspeakable horrors...an author to watch."—Kirkus Reviews

 Praise for Those Across the River

“One of the best first novels I’ve ever read.”—Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“What a treat. As much F. Scott Fitzgerald as Dean Koontz. A graceful, horrific read.”—Patricia Briggs, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Beautifully written…with a cast of Southern characters so real you can almost see the sweat roll down the page. The ending is exceedingly clever.”—Boston Herald

“Wonderfully eerie from start to finish—a novel sure to enthrall readers of all stripes.”—Grant Blackwood, New York Times bestselling author

“An unsettling brew of growing menace spiked with flashes of genuine terror—do not miss this chilling debut.”—F. Paul Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of Fatal Error

“Lures you into a different era, seduces you with eloquent prose and sensual period details, then clamps down on your jugular…an outstanding debut.”—Hank Schwaeble, Bram Stoker Award–winning author of Diabolical

“Buehlman’s lyrical prose vividly captures a landscape made familiar by William Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor. A delightfully genre-bending juxtaposition of supernatural horror and gothic drama.”—California Literary Review

“A horror story that manages just the right balance between building dread and suspense and delivering action.”—The A.V. Club

More About the Author

Christopher Buehlman is a native Floridian and author of the literary horror novels 'Those Across the River' and 'Between Two Fires.' He is the winner of the 2007 Bridport Prize in poetry, and the author of several provocative plays, including Hot Nights for the War Wives of Ithaka. Many know him as comedian Christophe the Insultor, something of a cult figure on the renaissance festival circuit. He lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. His first novel, 'Those Across the River,' was nominated for a World Fantasy Award for best novel in 2012.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 58 customer reviews
I couldn't put it down the end had a little surprise twist as well.
d2disk3
I only just finished it, and after wiping away tears, thinking about it what it meant to me, I already know I will reread this book.
Desert Mambo
Where Buehlman truly has mastered the craft of writing, is his carefully plotted stories and his dedication to word.
Lukas Holmes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jason Golomb VINE VOICE on October 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This wonderful book by Christopher Buehlman is part fairy tale, part fantasy, part horror and part historical fiction. These individual parts blend to create a fulfilling whole in his Cantebury-an story of a fallen knight and spiritually lost priest who journey across France during the plague-ridden middle ages with an orphaned girl who's either an exceptionally special individual, a weird witch, or a gift (literally) from the heavens.

The emotional plot and backdrop is a beautifully diverse french countryside, absolutely decimated, both mentally and physically, by the Black Death. Humanity has been abused and tortured so completely and without relief that the very reasonable question of "is there a god, and if so, why is this allowed to happen?" rests on the lips of all but a few of the most hearty of souls.

The three travel across France to follow the girl's very singular vision that she must get to Avignon, seat of the Pope during the years the papacy was moved from Rome. Their travels provide Buehleman the momentum and opportunity to build his narrative through flashback-propelled backstory. They also face trials that range from the supernatural and celestial to the physical and emotional, which build the plot, relationships, and put flesh on the bone of each character.

Redemption and renewal, faith and love are all key themes throughout "Two Fires". The struggles that orbit these themes are not always obvious, and while sometimes dealt with metaphysically, they're often enlarged, and as real as any armored first to the jaw.

A beautiful, horrible and significant battle scene brings their journey to Avignon to an end: good v. evil, demon v. angel, dark v. light.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By florida reader on October 6, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This is an incredibly well-written book, and the imagery and descriptions of the time are among the best I've ever read. From the historical standpoint, it really shines. I loved the "hero", Thomas, as well as the girl and the monk. He writes strong characters that are flawed enough to be interesting. And his evil creatures scared the beejeezus out of me! The jousting/tourney scene in the castle at night was amazing.
Here's the "but"(and it surprised me so much): I got seriously bored about two-thirds of the way through. They travel a bit, and fight some demons, travel a bit, fight some devils, travel a bit, fight some monsters. I found myself skipping ahead to see if something else would ever happen, or if the story would ever involve anything besides fighting demons and devils--- scary monsters, but still..
I'll still seek out any of his other books, though; writing at this level in this genre matters a lot, and his imagination is matchless.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Teri in FL on October 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
OK, I'm a fan of Chris Beuhlman for many reasons, but honestly, this book is amazing. As a medieval history buff, I can say that the research and details he put in it were remarkable. The elements of the angels and demons grappling for control of the world were so enthralling that I couldn't wait to learn more about them... Heck, I wanted to go read up on my history and religion afterwards, just because he'd piqued my interest. The book feels effortlessly written, and you learn the characters' backstories in such a smooth, seamless fashion that you transition back into the main storyline with nary a bump. And the storytelling! Oh! I fell in love with the tragically flawed Thomas, the delicately rendered Delphine, and this beautiful, frightening, totally original rendering of the Black Plague and the fight for humanity's soul. I wish I could say anything about the ending without giving it away, but unpredicted and brilliant are the only words I can use. Enjoy this book - it will terrify and entertain you, make you think, and touch something unexpected inside.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By V.L. Mason on October 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Those Across the River was excellent so I thought I'd try this new book of Mr. Buehlman's and I've got to agree with the other reviewers who said Between Two Fires is even better.

It's a great,fresh,look at the battle between God and Lucifer,Good and Evil, The Sacred and The Profane and you're not so sure exactly which side the main character, (a young French girl)is on.

This is a gifted young man and both his books are extremely well done but, like good wine, Mr. Buehlman is just getting better and better.

If you are thinking about buying this book...do it!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Cochran Davis on October 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I do not believe a review for a book needs to include a synopsis; Professions write those, but I am full of opinions. I would like to say that I loved this book cover to cover. It was filled pure and beautiful moments that made me weep, and others that made me clutch my covers in delicious terror. This author is really capable of creating scenes that you have to think about and become more engrossed to pick up all the subtleties involved. And creepy! Christopher Buehlman is amazing at creepy.

A very fun ride through medieval France. I highly recommend adding it to your literary horror library. Go! Read it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Avid reader on July 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Whats so unusual about this book is that it's so very good in every aspect. And an excellent and interesting story that reminded me somewhat of Bernard Cornwell's reluctant heroes and almost a counterpoint to Thomas of Hookton
How rare these days to pickup a book and like everything about it.
first - the story is engaging, characters are well developed, almost sculpted. Beautiful stylized to the times language, creepy mystical reality of the events. This is one of the books where you don't doubt whats going on, there is nothing of fantasy in this fantasy. I mean that you know that its fiction, but its real.
All in all, very happy with the author and the book, he well deserved his nomination for world fantasy award. My thanks to the author, looking forward to his next book
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