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Reflecting Fires Paperback – May, 2001
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Does this sound familiar? I recently completed "The Arm of the Stone" by Victoria Strauss, which was a similarly themed fantasy. Of the two, I think "Reflecting Fires" has the edge in philosophical soundness and character credibility.
Tom Claburn is a new, lyrical voice in the clichéd realms of fantasy. His inventive use of language and symbols reminds me of Gene Wolfe's creative word-play in his multi-volume series, "The Book of the New Sun."
Wolfe says in "The Shadow of the Torturer," "We believe that we invent symbols. The truth is that they invent us; we are their creatures, shaped by their hard, defining edges."
Claburn creates a whole new religion in "Reflecting Fires," along with the necessary accouterments of ritual, vocabulary, and symbolism. It demands a careful reading, but the author rewards us by logically evolving his characters within the `hard, defining edges' of his theology.
The magic in "Reflecting Fires" tends toward subtlety. In the following scene, Cardinal Skye begins to teach his new apprentice, an almost blind boy named Flux, the rudiments of magic:
"Skye smiled almost imperceptibly. `Then let this be your first lesson. Listen: `Flux killed the spider,' `Flux caused the spider to die.' Which is the stronger phrase?'
"Flux thought for a moment. `The first one?'
Skye nodded and reached down to pick something up. `But why?'
"'I do not know.'
The Cardinal placed a spider on Flux's hand. Flux shivered and tried not to squirm.
"...Read more ›
I think this novel could make an interesting film, though it would require a "cast of thousands." I see from his website that the author has made films in the past, and I suspect this work was written with that in mind. Read Reflecting Fires and see if you don't agree.
I think this novel could make an interesting film, though it would require a "cast of thousands." The author has made films in the past, and I suspect this work was written with that in mind. Read Reflecting Fires and see if you don't agree. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.