Stewards of the Flame (The Hidden Flame Book 1) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $17.50
  • Save: $2.62 (15%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In stock but may require an extra 1-2 days to process.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Connecting readers with great books since 1972. Used books may not include companion materials; notes or highlighting may be present.
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 this image

Stewards of the Flame Paperback – August 24, 2009


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$14.88
$12.99 $11.13
Best%20Books%20of%202014


Frequently Bought Together

Stewards of the Flame + Children of the Star
Price for both: $34.26

One of these items ships sooner than the other.

Buy the selected items together
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Year
Best Books of 2014
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2014's Best Books of the Year in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much 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 (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,260,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"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."  --MyShelf.com

"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 Defender of the Flame is a separate story set two centuries later that has a different hero and doesn't depend on having read the preceding books. 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 (a forthcoming book to be published late in 2014). 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.

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 www.spacequotes.com, 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. She welcomes visitors to her website at www.sylviaengdahl.com.

Customer Reviews

I do look forward to reading the next book in the series.
Extreme Reader
This book will make you uncomfortable as it forces you the reader to address some of your accepted feelings about illness and treatments.
Kathryn E. Adams
Too many medical issues,too much character analysis and description of mundane tasks.
Dyer brook

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 36 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. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
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. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By E. A 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. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?