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Firebrand (Rebel Angel Series) Hardcover – February 19, 2013


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Product Details

  • Series: Rebel Angel Series (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st Printing edition (February 19, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765333228
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765333223
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,532,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Once a year, a new novelist really blows me away. Last year it was Suzanne Collins with The Hunger Games…. This year it's Gillian Philip's Firebrand…. A fantastically violent, utterly thrilling tale.... Firebrand is one of the very best...Philip’s clear prose is as fiery as whiskey…. The best fantasy novel of 2010."
The Sunday Times

"Philip has created an utterly believable other world, where male and female are equals in arms. It is often stark and brutal but with moments of heartbreaking beauty."
The Guardian

About the Author

GILLIAN PHILIP was born in Glasgow, lived for twelve years in Barbados, and now lives in the north of Scotland with her husband, twin children, three dogs, two sociopathic cats, a slayer hamster, three chickens, and a lot of nervous fish.


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Customer Reviews

The action is pretty interesting and the plot is well written.
Roger Bagula
Headstrong Seth MacGregor, bastard scion of a great Sithe captain, and his idolized brother Conal have come into inheritance of their father's fortress.
Kevin L. Nenstiel
Philip may have had an idea, but it is one he pretty much just tossed down and never bothered to go over it again.
Emily J. Morris

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kevin L. Nenstiel TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Headstrong Seth MacGregor, bastard scion of a great Sithe captain, and his idolized brother Conal have come into inheritance of their father's fortress. But the Sithe queen, Kate NicNevin, has strange ambitions that extend beyond her domain. When the brothers MacGregor cross their queen, they find themselves exiled to a land more strange and savage than anything their undying eyes have ever seen: Scotland.

Gillian Philip's first novel, published in Britain in 2010 and now making its American debut, reverses the expectations of urban fantasy. Instead of the fantastic intruding on ordinary life, the banalities of human life intrude on the Sithe (pronounced "Shee"). By changing the direction of the portal, beloved of writers like CS Lewis and Madeline L'Engle, Philip creates a fantasy world not vast and prodigious, but cramped and limiting.

Because they are long-lived, Philip's Sithe rely on politics and trust in a way humans cannot. They have built a long-standing and elaborate system of mutual debts that keeps their people stable, if feudal. But it also keeps them completely unprepared for contact with humans, who think in what they consider short terms, and who die so easily and love so little. These Sithe are not the fae and sprites of myth, but very human, and shackled with human limits.

Philip's otherworldly domain is at once innately Scottish and historical, and modern and transnational. Because her setting is specific, and not some ill-defined fairyland where everything is vague and equal, her words convey more power, and her ideas resonate across cultures. Her use of specific terminology of the Scottish Reformation gives her setting a concrete structure that is truly universal.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By ashertopia TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Two worlds separated by a magical Veil collide in a dazzling mix of fantasy and dark ages, where demonic fairies impersonate priests who burn "witches" to sate their blood lust, where witch queens rule immortals through threat of death or banishment, and where a young boy filled with anger and hate wants only to be feared and respected.

Seth MacGregor is rejected by his mother, a powerful witch, and ignored by his father, a lord of a small village. His only friend, although not at first, is his half brother Conal. The same Conal in the opening pages of this book is about to be burned at the stake if Seth doesn't put him out of his misery first with a well placed crossbow shot.

Without giving anything away this is the story of Seth and Conal and their growth and impending conflict with the forces of darkness in the real world (16th Century Brittish Isles,) and in their land beyond the Veil. There is political manuevering, battles, magic, war, court intrigue, love - everything a good fantasy novel should have. And Gillian Philip does it well.

From start to finish I was hooked by this story and by this broken young boy who we all know is so much more than we find him. This is only the first book in the series and I'm in line to get the next two. It's been a long time since I've enjoyed a fantasy author's creation this much.

I highly recommend it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Heather on November 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
For once, I was glad to have read this as a paper book instead of on my Kindle, because it's one of those rare books I just had to hug to my heart when I finished reading! FireBrand is a fabulous story, from beginning to end- no slow areas, nothing is over-explained- great plot twists and plenty of action. Gillian Philip has worked a masterpiece of story-telling that will make you care deeply about Seth, Conal, their world... and will make you think about your own history, and your own family. (I can't wait for further adventures to come!) Read this book, and you'll take it to your heart!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By TSSmith on February 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Sithe Queen Kate NicNiven thinks the Veil that separates the long-living Sithe's world from the full-mortals' world is failing, and wants to destroy the Veil now, while she thinks the balance of power is in her favor. Clann Chief Griogair MacGregor and his witch wife, Leonora, think the Veil can still be saved and should not be destroyed because it serves a purpose.

Seth MacGregor is Griogair's half-feral son by another woman named Lilith, who after becoming Kate's advisor, sends Seth back to Griogair, because she thinks of Seth as a growing embarrassment.

Ignored initially by almost everyone in Griogair's dun, including Griogair himself, Seth keeps to himself until Conal, his much older half-brother and Griogair's first-born by Leonora, arrives back at the dun after completing an assignment with another clann. Conal takes Seth under his wing, teaching Seth how to ride a horse, use a crossbow and a sword, control his anger, and hone his ability to read minds and block others from reading his.

Conal is soon called to Kate's service as one of her Captains. In Conal's absence, Griogair is ambushed and killed. Kate allows Conal to take his father's place as his clann's Chief with conditions, later claiming that Conal has displeased her and exiles him to the full-mortals' world as punishment, the first of many acts of cruelty that Kate will inflict upon Conal and Seth for no apparent reason other than she can. Near the novel's ending, Queen Kate's megalomania is on full display, and after enduring so many of Kate's acts of cruelty on them for the safety of their clann, Conal and Seth decide that enough is enough.
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More About the Author

Gillian Philip was born in 1964 in Glasgow, Scotland. She has worked as a music store assistant, wine sales rep, radio presenter, theatre usherette, barmaid, hotel wrangler, typesetter, and political assistant. She lived for twelve years in Barbados, where to avoid spending her entire life in a beach bar she took up writing seriously. In the evenings she worked as a singer in a band in an Irish bar, playing a combination of Celtic folk rock, reggae and calypso.

Her books include Crossing the Line, Bad Faith, The Opposite of Amber and the Rebel Angels series - Firebrand, Bloodstone, Wolfsbane and (coming in 2014) Icefall. She has written the Survivors series (as Erin Hunter), two Beast Quest instalments (as Adam Blade), and the Darke Academy series (as Gabriella Poole). She has toured widely in the United States as Erin Hunter, promoting the Survivors series for Harper Collins.

She has been nominated and shortlisted for awards including the Carnegie Medal, the Royal Mail Scottish Children's Book Award and the David Gemmell Legend Award.

She now lives in a beautiful valley near Dallas (the tiny one in Scotland), with husband Ian, twins Lucy and Jamie, and a fluctuating population of animals: currently Cluny the Labrador, Milo the Papillon, Otto the half-Papillon, psycho cats The Ghost and The Darkness, chickens Mapp, Lucia and Honey Boo Boo, and a lot of nervous fish.

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