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Secrets of the Fire Sea (Jackelian World) Hardcover – March 27, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


Mind-boggling invention ... explosive. (Kirkus Reviews)

Steampunk and horror fans will enjoy the omnipresent sense of danger and horror in Hunt's ... latest adventure. (Library Journal)

A roller coaster of an adventure… A dash of earth magic and a dose of environmental angst make this an enjoyable ride. (Publishers Weekly on The Rise of the Iron Moon)

A swaggering, eye-filling, brain-swizzling extravaganza! (Kirkus Reviews on The Rise of the Iron Moon)

Compulsive reading for all ages. (Guardian (UK) on The Rise of the Iron Moon)

All manner of bizarre and fantastical extravagance. (Daily Mail (UK) on The Rise of the Iron Moon)

About the Author

Secrets of the Fire Sea is Stephen Hunt's fourth novel set in his fantastical steampunk universe. In addition to being a novelist, Stephen Hunt has worked as a writer, editor, and publisher for a number of magazines and national newspaper groups in the UK, and is currently employed on an artificial intelligence project. He is the founder of Born in Canada, the author presently lives in London and spends part of the year with his family in Spain.


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Product Details

  • Series: Jackelian World (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First U.S.A. Edition edition (March 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765327678
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765327673
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,062,864 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sign up for Stephen's New Books Mailing List at ... (cut and paste this address into your browser).

Stephen Hunt is a fantasy, science fiction, crime and thriller author who lives in Spain and the UK. His current fantasy works are within the 'Far-called' series, published by Gollancz (the genre imprint of Orion/Hachette) . . . with adventures set on Pellas, a massive and fascinating planet where radio signals take centuries to be passed along a chain of guild stations, and merchant caravans can travel for millennia without retracing their steps.

The first two exciting novels in this series are 'In Dark Service' and 'Foul Tides Turning', and focus on the Carnehan family, whose lives are torn apart in a terrible slave raid on the town of Northhaven.

Hunt is arguably best known for his best-selling Jackelian series of novels from HarperCollins, also the publisher of J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis in the UK, the success of the first of which, 'The Court of the Air', gave rise to a genre called steampunk.

The Jackelian world is a fantasy adventure set in a far-future Earth where the passage of time has erased almost all memory of our current world from history. Electricity is now unreliable and classed as a dark power, with many of the nations of the world existing at a Victorian level of development and relying on steam-power, mechanical nanotechnology and biotechnology to survive and prosper.

It is an age of strange creatures, flashing blades, steammen servants, airship battles and high adventure.

Each novel is written as a stand-alone work, but share the same world and many of the same characters who criss-cross between the novels (a technique shared with fellow British fantasy author Terry Pratchett and his Discworld series).

Foreign language and international editions of the six novels of the Jackelian series have been sold to Tor Books (USA), Albin Michel (France), Verlagsgruppe Random House (Germany), Enterbrain Manga and Anime (Japan), Edições Saída de Emergência (Portugal), Paidós (Spain), AST (Russia), and the Anhui Literature and Art Publishing House (China).

Stephen maintains his own web site over at and when he is not writing, he can be found indulging in such interests as cooking, gardening, collecting comic-books, and building his collections of genre novels.

He still sometimes writes for the magazine he helped to found,, the first science fiction web site.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The fourth novel in the Jackelian series by Stephen Hunt, is here, and it is one of the best in the series. And I use the word "series" loosely. Each book in the Jackelian series is a stand alone adventure. In this installment, we are transported to the island of Jago. Jago is not a normal island, but an island continent surrounded by flowing magma. The plot follows the adventures of young Hannah Conquest and also the exploits of dark, grimy, detective Jehtro Daunt and his steam-man assistant Boxiron.
Like a modern day Jules Verne, Hunt's world is that of steam-powered fantastic machines while still having an antiquity feel to them. This book does not fail to deliver great settings, odd machines, and amazing characters. It is the characters that really shine in this book. Everyone is well defined and has their own motives and flaws. Hunt's biggest flaw is his pacing. While it can be be sluggish from time to time, the wild twist and turns helps in adding intrigue. In a way, they both cancel each other out to make for a pleasant read. As a fan of Stephen Hunt, I would have to say that Secrets of the Fire Sea is the best out of the series and a great book to read.

*Originally published for San Francisco/Sacramento Book Review*
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By .com on April 26, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is the best besides Court of the Air, interesting characters, bizarre world, plenty of inventions and broad range of philosophies and religions. The main dilemma of the book is its scope is too large for novelization. Even though a certain in depth perspective is not available, that is simply a matter of the variety needed to be explored. Despite the lack of specific focus, I found the story to have a unique and understandable flow, maintaining the S.H. style
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent plot....incredibly scary bad guys, almost impossible rescue and I couldn't put it down until I found out how they were going to survive. With Hunt, sometimes they die.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on April 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The island continent Jago is a forbidden place with few habitable locations as much of the land is covered by a thick tundra and the magma sea surrounding the continent adds to the horrid environment. Finally no one is allowed to emigrate.

Circlist Church Archbishop Alice Gray adopts orphaned Hannah Conquest, as her ward because her parents who were archeologists died allegedly in accident just after her birth. When the Guild of Valvemen's leader Vardan Flail drafts Hannah, an upset Alice can do nothing. Soon afterward someone brutally murders Alice and tries to kill Hannah. In the Kingdom of Jackals, the Circlist Inquisition asks former parson Jethro Daunt, a private investigator, to investigate the murder. Knowing a request from the Inquisition denotes do it or else, he gladly accepts the case. With his sentient-robot steamman Boxiron, he travels to the Isle of Jago to probe the archbishop's homicide.

The latest steampunk Stephen Hunt thriller (see The Kingdom Beyond the Waves, The Court and The Rise of the Iron Moon) is a terrific sleuthing entry as the harsh locale where electricity actually works enhances the suspense. Although the pacing can slow down with the vivid details, fans will enjoy the escapades of the professional, the sidekick and the amateur as they investigate who murdered Alice and what secret does the culprit believe Hannah inherited from her mentor that she must die too.

Harriet Klausner
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