Industrial-Sized Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Black Friday egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Get Ready for the Winter Gifts Under $50 Amazon Gift Card Offer minions minions minions  Amazon Echo Starting at $84.99 Kindle Black Friday Deals Shop Now HTL
Stewards of the Flame (The Hidden Flame Book 1) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $17.50
  • Save: $1.35 (8%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Stewards of the Flame has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Book is in very good condition with minor wear to cover, tight binding. Text is clean of any markings, writing, or highlighting.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Stewards of the Flame Paperback – August 24, 2009

69 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Hidden Flame Series

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$12.99 $7.95

Between the World and Me
2015 National Book Awards - Nonfiction Winner
Get your copy of this year's National Book Award winner for nonfiction, "Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Hardcover | Kindle book | See more winners
$16.15 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Stewards of the Flame
  • +
  • Promise of the Flame
Total price: $33.65
Buy the selected items together

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more

Editorial Reviews


"The story is compelling, and drew me in from the first few pages. . . . I recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading genre fiction with some substance to it."  --Blogcritics

"A brilliant twist on dystopianism. . . . The book builds just the right amount of tension, and shows the stark reality of benevolent tyranny, one that any so-called democracy could creep towards quite easily."  --Prometheus

"A chilling look at what extreme socialized medicine could become in the hands of a dictatorial medical regime. . . Would make an excellent discussion topic for a book club."

"A suspenseful and thought-provoking novel that seems so plausible that it sends chills up my spine . . . truly a masterpiece of parapsychological science fiction."  --Rebecca's Reads

"Grips the attention with the raw immediacy of the problems. . . . It asks the sort of questions only SF can pose, and paints a vivid picture of where failing to answer those questions might lead. . . . Stewards is the kind of SF I've been craving!"  --Jacqueline Lichtenberg, Monthly Aspectarian

From the Author

This series, which was originally called a trilogy, has been split into two series because there are now four books and Defender of the Flame begins a separate story set two centuries later than the preceding ones that has a different hero and doesn't depend on having read them. Readers who don't agree with the controversial ideas in Stewards of the Flame, or who want more science fiction action, often like it better, and it is also more closely connected to my earlier novels Enchantress from the Stars and The Far Side of Evil--yet no one wants to begin with a book labeled Number 3.  So now the Hidden Flame series consists of Book One, Stewards of the Flame and Book Two, Promise of the Flame,  while the Rising Flame series consists of Book One, Defender of the Flame and Book Two, Herald of the Flame. The only disadvantage to starting with the Rising Flame series is that the included backstory would spoil some of the suspense of the first series if you plan to read both.

For extensive background material on the topics dealt with by this novel please visit my website.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle Edition for FREE. Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.

Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Ad Stellae Books (August 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615314872
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615314877
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,395,731 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sylvia Engdahl is the author of ten science fiction novels, six of which are Young Adult novels that are also enjoyed by adults. The one for which she is best known, "Enchantress from the Stars," was a Newbery Honor book, winner of the 1990 Phoenix Award of the Children's Literature Association, and a finalist for the 2002 Book Sense Book of the Year in the Rediscovery category. Her four latest novels, "Stewards of the Flame," "Promise of the Flame," "Defender of the Flame," and "Herald of the Flame," are for adults. Recently, she has published an updated and expanded edition of her nonfiction book "The Planet-Girded Suns," now subtitled "The History of Human Thought About Extrasolar Worlds." She is a strong advocate of space colonization and in addition to a widely-read space section of her website she created the site, which contains quotations about why humankind must expand into space. From her home in Eugene, Oregon she now works as a freelance editor of nonfiction anthologies for high schools (most of the nonfiction books that appear in Amazon's catalog under her name are those edited by her in this capacity). She welcomes visitors to her website at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Prof50000 on September 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't like writing negative reviews but I had very mixed feelings about this book and it might actually be dangerous for some people, so treat it with caution.

On the positive side, the author has a smooth writing style, and the last 200 pages or so have a skillful and action-packed plot. I cared about what happened to the characters and there were a lot of surprise twists.

But the first part of the book is extremely didactic, with many pages where characters don't converse so much as give long lectures to the main character. It is reminiscent of parts of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged in that sense, even if not completely Randian in philosophy, so a reader's tolerance for that type of writing will affect his or her enjoyment of the book.

(Some potential spoilers in next part.)

Also, in a lot of ways the main character is being inducted into a cult - a loving group of people, led by a saintly and infallible and mostly behind-the-scenes leader, who isolate the main character and teach him the "Truth." The characters also give away all their money to further the purposes of the group, among other things. Some of the cult-like aspects are played down as the novel goes on, and the author is at pains to emphasize "don't try this at home" with the rituals, but it was still mostly treated in an admiring way, which was disturbing.

And the philosophy being taught is quite controversial. The book takes a very libertarian view towards medicine and is highly skeptical of conventional medical treatment. What I personally found objectionable was the idea that pharmaceuticals to treat mental illness cause "brain damage" and people should go off their meds. Yes, people may be over medicated today, but this advice could be very dangerous for some people.
Read more ›
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Birns on November 28, 2007
Format: Paperback
This novel is very different from Sylvia Engdahl's previous novels, which were, somewhat misleadingly, marketed as young adult fiction. yet fans of the earlier works, especially the Children of the Star trilogy, will find some commonalities. In both fictional universes, a man finds himself seemingly alone facing an unjust system. Unlike the trilogy, though, in STEWARDS the system is not revealed to be a benign oligarchy doing what it has to do in order to save mankind, but a malignant surveillance society intent on controlling people and depriving life of its spontaneity and hope by enforcing a state of mandatory 'health' on all people. Jesse Sanders, threatened with being another passive victim of this monitoring regime, becomes determined to resist this evil by any means possible.

STEWARDS also joins the earlier trilogy in seeing space colonization as humanity's only hope, although just what `space colonization' consists of is defined far more elliptically in the current novel, and in seeing ritual as an important way to strive towards this hope.

Readers may have certain procedural issues with the book: the love of Jesse and Carla seems to flower too early (although revelations about Carla's past later somewhat explain this), female minor characters like Kira and Michelle sometimes seem interchangeable, the crucial Zeb subplot is introduced without adequate preparation, and the character of Ian is under-sketched. This is important as ian is a crucial precedent and inspiration for Peter, the compassionate, self-abnegating leader of the group, dedicated to the paranormal, that Jesse, joins after he realizes the totalitarian nature of those who control the planet Undine.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
It's been more than twenty years since Sylvia Engdahl last published a new novel, although her older ones have popped up more recently.

But she reenters the world of contemplative sci-fi again with "Stewards of the Flame," a slow-moving but rewarding novel about the power of the human mind and spirit. It takes a long time to really get moving, but it's pretty brilliant once it revs up -- an intense journey of impressive proportions.

Jesse is a newly-promoted starship captain... until he gets drunk on the planet Undine, and is imprisoned in the vast, dictatorial Hospital. On Undine, illness is a crime, and the doctors rule everyone. Jesse is forced through alcohol and psychiatric treatment, and used as a student guinea pig.... until a young technician, Carla, smuggles him out to a gathering of her friends, known as the Group.

The Group turns out to be more than just a collection of friends -- they are rebels, who have expanded their paranormal powers, and undermine the Hospital's attempts to put the dying into eternal stasis. Soon Jesse is involved deeply in their quiet rebellion, and acquiring the same powers. But he doesn't yet know how important he is to the Group's future...

"Stewards of the Flame" isn't your typical sci-fi novel, since the future here isn't too far ahead of our own, and little of the plot is spent in space. Instead, it's about a medical dystopia, and its story overflows with psychic explorations, true love, quiet rebellion, holistic healing, and a bit of Joseph Campbell.

It sounds a little dull, and admittedly it moves at a slow pace for awhile, as Jesse learns and explores his new powers.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Stewards of the Flame
This item: Stewards of the Flame
Price: $16.15
Ships from and sold by

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?