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Reflecting Fires Paperback – May, 2001

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Xlibris Corporation (May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738866229
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738866222
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,907,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
The theme of technology versus magic in "Reflecting Fires" is played out in a distant future where machines from the Dim Age have just begun to creep back into a world ruled by a magic-wielding, religious hierarchy.
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.
"...
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Format: Paperback
I'm not a devotee of future-fantasy fiction, but both aficionados and non- of this genre should appreciate Reflecting Fires. The novel is a nicely compelling read, and yet is quite thought-provoking. In this far future age, magic (the 'bright mechanics') appears to be fading as technology (the 'dark mechanics') gradually regains favor with the people and the ruling classes. However, this magic vs. machines question is not debated, it merely serves as a vehicle for the story. Mr. Claburn has an economy in his style of writing that I appreciate in this computer age, where novels tend to have about twice or triple the number of words they actually need.
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.
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Format: Paperback
I'm not a devotee of future-fantasy fiction, but both aficionados and non- of this genre should appreciate Reflecting Fires. The novel is a nicely compelling read, and yet is quite thought-provoking. In this far future age, magic (the 'bright mechanics') appears to be fading as technology (the 'dark mechanics') gradually regains favor with the people and the ruling classes. However, this magic vs. machines question is not debated, it merely serves as a vehicle for the story. Mr. Claburn has an economy in his style of writing that I appreciate in this computer age, where novels tend to have about twice or triple the number of words they actually need.
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.
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By A Customer on August 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Claburn takes a pretty cool look into a future where technology and magic do battle -- not terribly unlike the present day battle between the technology-obsessed and religious nuts. Great writing, and I'm not even a big sci-fi fan! Highly recommended.
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