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Rise of a Hero (Farsala Trilogy, Book 2) Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 2006

20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-10 -War has changed everything in Farsala. The ruling Deghans, with few exceptions, are dead and the conquering Hrum are in charge. The three young people around whom the first novel revolved must now decide how they can take back Farsala. Perhaps the most interesting turn of events for this book is the decision to change the name of the trilogy and rename the first novel. Originally, the trilogy was to have been called "The Book of Sorahb" and the first installment was Flame (now titled Fall of a Kingdom). This makes it all a bit confusing for readers who looked forward to the continuing saga. This second book begins immediately after the first, but there is no attempt to recap information central to the story, making the motivations of the three main characters-Soraya, Jiaan, and Kavi-difficult to discern. The first book was closely interwoven with a retelling of the epic Persian poem about Rostam and Sorahb and, while the name of Sorahb is heavily invoked in this novel, it's impossible to know who he is without having read Flame. Important details about the Hrum are also found only in the first novel and this makes them little more than cardboard conquerors here. Standing alone, Hero is not as successful or satisfying as the first book, but those who have been waiting to find out the fate of the Farsalans will want to read it.-Sharon Grover, Arlington County Department of Libraries, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Gr. 7-10. The dynamic follow-up to Fall of a Kingdom (entitled Flame in its 2003 original hardcover edition) is a strong middle book in the Farsala trilogy. Separated after Farsala falls to the invading Hrum, the three young protagonists work to defeat and expel the enemy: Soraya, daughter of the slain high commander of the Farsalan army, gets a lowly kitchen job in the Hrum army camp, where she searches for information about her mother and younger brother; Jiaan, bastard son of the high commander, reluctantly becomes high commander of what little is left of the Farsalan army and begins recruiting and training peasants and farmers; itinerant peddler Kavi, a double agent, works for both the Hrum and the Farsalans, though his heart is with the Farsalans. Despite the brave endeavors of the young people, what Farsala needs is a champion. According to legend, the hero Sorahb, slain centuries before, will return when Farsala most needs a leader; it seems the time is now. The characters maintain their distinctive identities here, class differences in the societies are indelibly rendered, and the importance of preserving values and making good choices comes across clearly. With a palpable sense of danger and an ending that promises much to be revealed, this is a sequel that will fly off the shelf. Sally Estes
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 930L (What's this?)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse (June 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068985417X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689854170
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.6 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,011,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Me the writer--a loose, not-really-biography of Hilari Bell.

A lot of writers will tell you that they've been writers from the time they were children--well, I'm not one of those people. I was always a reader. There's nothing better than falling into the world of a book and just living there till the story's over...and even then, it stays in your head and heart. At least, the best ones do. But writing came a lot later, in school assignments--which I enjoyed, but still, assignments. Homework no less.

I started writing seriously when I first got out of library school. I'd been reading picture books preparing to do storytimes, and I thought, "Picture books. They're short. They're for little kids. How hard could it be?" Several years and dozens of unsold--and unsalable--picture books later I'd found out how hard they could be! Picture books are harder to write (a good one, anyway) than anything except poetry. And they're harder to sell than anything but poetry, too.

One of the things I've learned about writing over the years is to never say never, because whenever I've said "I will never write XYZ" within a few years I end up writing it. Some true examples: I could never write a novel. I could never write a young adult novel. I could never write science fiction. I could never write an adult novel. I could never make those books a romance. (OK, so I haven't actually made them into a romance, but a lot more romantic elements are creeping into my writing.) I should probably say, I could never write a best seller, just to see what would happen... Hmm. I could never write a best seller!

OK, Murphy's Law being what it is, that probably won't work. If for no other reason than that, primarily, I write for me. This is something I probably shouldn't admit, but I don't really care that much about my audience. (Sorry, audience.) I write the books I want to read. I tell the stories that I want to tell. And I write to make the story the best it can be...because the story is what I care about it. I love it when other people care about my stories too, but that's not my primary motivation. Which is the other reason "I could never write a best seller."

(I know it probably won't work--but it doesn't hurt to try, now does it?)


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Tamora Pierce on April 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I liked RISE OF A HERO even more than FALL OF THE KINGDOM, and that's saying a lot! All three of the young heroes in this book are now struggling to deal with the collapse of their old world and the building of a new one under the conquering Hrum. Soraya, who was my least favorite character in the first book, is finally starting to grow up as she searches for her family and discovers the reality of how the nobles of her class ruled Farsala. Jivan is trying to create a new style of fighting with nobles who are married to the old way, and the old prejudices. And Kavi, who thought the Hrum would be so much better than the old nobility, is discovering they bring a new set of injustices with them. They have a chance to get their country back from the Hrum--but how can they get their fellow countrymen to rise up against the invaders? How can they inspire frightened and beaten people to fight back? They need a hero, and if they can't find one, they'll have to invent one. And since they aren't working together, none of them know they're all dealing with the same problem.

The suspense is wonderful as each of the three heroes plunge from danger to danger, scrambling to escape in one piece. The characters catch you up in their struggles to keep the people they care about--and themselves--alive. The Hrum officers we get to know aren't just simple bad guys, but people who are trying to do their duty by their own country. And the pace keeps you turning the pages. I can't wait to read the next book!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Ulyyf on April 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I have a real problem explaining why I like things. It's easy for me to explain, in detail, if I dislike something, but liking it? Not so simple. So let's cover, instead, a short list of "what this book caused me to do".

1. It caused me to miss going to see H2G2 with my sister. Yes, I did NOT see the new Hitchhiker's movie, even though I wanted to.

2. It caused me to put back a lot of books I'd planned to buy my niece. Sorry, Ana, you're not as important as my reading pleasure.

3. It caused me not to get the Diana Wynne Jones book I've been waiting for for years.

4. It caused me to buy a hardcover book without even finishing reading it. I only ever by paperback.

5. It caused my family to spend a few hours thinking I was dead because I didn't call them after missing the movie. I was too busy reading.

Does this give you an idea of how engrossed I was by this book?

I know this isn't a very well-written review, and I apologise. I also suspect that nobody is going to read this review, since those who read the first book in the trilogy are just going to automatically buy the second.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cheesehead on October 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Blew me away. It...Just.....Blew me away. The first book was a bit choppy and could have used a good sequel to help it, but this was far beyond anything I had hoped for. The heroes became extremely believable and had dimensions not seen in more amateur writing. I found myself loving and hating each character numerous times in this book. However, Bell just had to leave me waiting for the third book, wondering if it would live up to my now lofty expectations. That is my only criticism. There is only one.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By MooShoo Pork on March 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I read the first book (Why was it called "Flame?") and enjoyed it but was not particularly engrossed. I read the second one to find out what happens to the characters, and I was HOOKED!!!

There isn't a dull moment in this book. The characters continue to develop, and a whole nother dimension is added as the reader is slowly introduced to Sorahb and his story. Possibly the most interesting part are the small italicized sections in which the actions of Sorahb are described . . . only these actions are done by the characters! It really leaves you wondering about the real Sorahb. If there a real Sorahb? HA!

As I said, this book didn't drag at all, whereas the other book was a little bit slower. It focuses on one single town, one of the last free places in all of Farsala. All elements of warfare are included in this book, and while I'm not really a violent person (my brother might disagree, but no one asked him), I found the strategies and actions of the characters fascinating.

The only problem is that Book Three isn't here! I've been waiting and waiting, but nothing is coming! I really really hope that there will be a conclusion to this trilogy because I, for one, would be very sad if I don't find out what happens to Farsala.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Thern on October 11, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read "Fall of a Kingdom" several years ago, and while I did enjoy it, I felt it dragged a bit and didn't really stand out among all the young adult fantasy books available. For this reason, I wasn't sure I would get around to reading the rest of the trilogy. However, once I started "Rise of a Hero" I was immediately sucked back into the story.

Soraya, who started out as a spoiled and stuck-up brat, now learns to empathize more with other people and becomes quite resourceful as she tries to find out where her mother and brother were sent as slaves so that she can rescue them. Jiaan is now assembling a resistance army made up mostly of untrained peasants. Kavi, the character I found most hard to like (in the first book, his personal convictions could be described as "running hot and cold") is now dedicated to holding the Hrum off from fully conquering Farsala through sabotage and other crafty plans. The intertwining plot threads are interesting and the characters have become better developed.
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