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The Fire Chronicle (Books of Beginning) Paperback – August 27, 2013


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The Fire Chronicle (Books of Beginning) + The Emerald Atlas (Books of Beginning) + The Black Reckoning (Books of Beginning)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 780L (What's this?)
  • Series: Books of Beginning (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling (August 27, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375872728
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375872723
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,687 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4-7-Fifteen-year-old Kate, almost 13-year-old Michael, and 12-year-old Emma don't know why Dr. Pym sent them back to the dreadful orphanage at the end of The Emerald Atlas (Knopf, 2011), but Kate, who learned to control the power of the Atlas to travel through time, knows they need to leave as soon as possible. In the first chapter of Chronicle, a monstrous Screecher attacks, and Kate lures it into the past at the exact moment Dr. Pym appears to retrieve Michael and Emma. While Kate deals with the Dickensian world of 1899 New York on the eve of Separation, when the magical and mundane worlds will split for good, Michael, Emma, and Pym search for information about the other two books in a variety of unlikely places. This is a roller-coaster ride of a story, which includes old friends and new, a visit to Antarctica, the rescue of an Elf Princess (who is sometimes a dragon), a touch of doomed romance, a generous leavening of humor, life, death, betrayal, and (just a warning) a nasty little cliff-hanger of an ending. It is really Michael's story-he deals with unimaginable challenges with humor, courage, and insight. Knowledge of the first book is suggested; readers who start with this one will definitely want to backtrack. Fans of the first book won't be disappointed, and will eagerly anticipate the next one. The Emerald Atlas was very good. This one is even better.-Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Libraryα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

After saving the town of Cambridge Falls during their adventure in The Emerald Atlas (2011), Kate, Michael, and Emma have little time to enjoy their victory. Caught between warring factions, the children are hidden in a Baltimore orphanage to keep them safe, but they are discovered. While luring their enemies away, Kate finds herself stranded 100 years in the past in a fantastical New York City. Meanwhile, Michael and Emma set off to find the second volume in the Books of Beginning, and their search takes them deep into a dangerous world hidden at the bottom of the earth. The action alternates between Michael’s and Kate’s compelling stories, and cliff-hanger chapter endings keep the suspense high. Stephens builds on the humor and character development established in the first book, and all three children become more fully realized, especially Kate and Michael. An initial summary introduces the plot to newcomers without slowing down the story for Atlas readers who have been waiting for the adventures to continue. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Fans of the New York Times best-selling Emerald Atlas are already lining up for this sequel. Grades 4-7. --Lynn Rutan --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 108 customer reviews
Bottom line: These books are as good as the Harry Potter series.
Bookworm76
This was a very good book packed with suspense and kept me on my toes.
Kelly Mauck
Great followup to the Emerald Atlas, can't wait for the next book.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For those who have yet to read the Emerald Atlas, that book is well worth getting as not only was that book very enjoyable but I now think it is safe to say the whole series will be enjoyable.

This book was deftly done with a good examination of the internal lives of the characters and a whole lot of action (perhaps a bit too much action for my tastes). It is also one of those rare books where the villian is being really well fleshed out. In fact I would say the author does that better than 95% of 'adult books'. That really adds a welcome additional layer to the book.

This book concentrates on Michael and the second of the three Books of Beginning the children come in contact with. Mr. Stephens does a very good job further exploring some of the lingering emotions from the first book and Michael's even further forced thrust into responsbility and decision making. You also as mentioned above learn a lot more about the Dire Magnus.

Not only is the story enjoyable and action packed but I think for younger readers, especially those with a lot of challenges in their lives, very empowering. As in the Harry Potter series while life is certaintly not fair, it is what you make of it. A valuable lesson for all of us. This book is easily five stars but I did feel at times Mr. Stephens was perhaps writing a little bit for a movie. The action felt a bit staged at points. But it was mostly compelling so he is forgiven.

I also liked the at times very humorous look at Elves. While it might not register as much with kids reading the books it was an additional layer of writing that adults can enjoy. I would say 8 if your child is very advanced and emotionally ready. I'd actually say the target age is more around 11 to adult. Overall though highly recommended as is the Emerald Atlas. Adult fantasy fans, don't pass on this. You will enjoy it.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Frances Bender on October 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I started reading The Fire Chronicle anticipating that it wouldn't be as good as the first book. I was completely wrong! It was better then the first book, The Emerald Atlas! I love how each book focuses on a different child and his or her search for a different book. As a bonus, I met John Stephens today at a book signing and he is wonderful! Very funny and he charmed the 3rd through 8th graders with his stories. I absolutely cannot wait for the third book!!!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Aunt Deb on November 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just loved the Emerald Atlas. This 2nd installment does not disappoint. At first I think I didn't really like where the story was & thought I wasn't going to like it as much but was I ever wrong. It reached the point where I didn't want to put it down. And surprise...this one has a twist ending just like the first did ! I think Mr. Stephens wasted some time doing all that television because he is a great children's author !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Phillip Savasta on December 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a nice change from all of the Vampire stuff on the market today.

Try it an see if you like it
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By silverfoot on December 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I think I discovered this series too soon. The Fire Chronicle was a great follow to The Emerald Atlas. The story is just as tight, the suspense is great, and it struck an emotional chord very nicely, but... Now I'm stuck waiting for the next book! I'm so impatient! I almost wish I had't found the series before the next book was written.
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Format: Hardcover
There's a gap of time of a couple of weeks in between where book one ended and from where book two begins. After finding the Emerald atlas, the siblings, Kate, Michael and Emma are back at Edgar Allan Poe Home for Hopeless and Incorrigible Orphans. Kate has been having unusual dreams and has been trying to get in touch with Dr.Pym. Her gut feeling that something bad is about to happen comes true when the orphanage is attacked by screechers. Dr.Pym arrives just in time to rescue Michael & Emma while Kate time travels with a screecher in order to protect her siblings. From there on a new adventure begins as Michael and Emma journey to find the Second Book - The Chronicle or the Book of Life.

As the children of the Prophecy, Kate, Michael and Emma have a long way to go. The plot unfolds as Michael and Emma travel with Dr.Pym at the beginning. We find out a little bit more about their parents. Gabriel also accompanies them for most of the part of this book. As Michael and Emma travel together to find the Chronicle, we are introduced to another part of this world - a part that involves more about the Guardians, Elves and dragons rather than the dwarves from the first book.
Kate on the other hand travels to a different timeline where she meets a dynamic young magician named Rafe. Their lives are somehow interconnected as it was no accident that Kate had ended up in that particular timeline. What does destiny have in store for Rafe and Kate? We also find out more about the antagonist - Dire Magnus who had only a fleeting appearance in book one. The history of Dire Magnus is interesting to discover.

This book has a lot more action than the first book. I guess the reason being that in the first book the author had to set up a whole new fantasy world.
Read more ›
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By Dorine White on December 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The Fire Chronicles, book 2 of The Books of Beginnings, written by John Stephens, is now in stores!

The Story- We take up where The Emerald Atlas left off. We find that the wizard Pym has hidden the children at an orphanage, hoping they'll be safe, while he sets off on a mysterious journey. Unfortunately, they aren't safe for long, and during a battle, Kate is sent spinning back 100 years into the past. Michael and Emma are saved at the last minute by Pym, and continue on with him to find the second book of beginnings.

Back in the past, Kate finds herself in New York City, before the time of the great magical split, a time of violence against all magic and magical creatures. There she falls for a young man leading a group of magical orphans.

Kate is stuck in the past, unless Michael and Emma can find the second book before he Dire Magus, and use its powers to bring her home. But, will she leave her new found love behind?

My Thoughts- Another home run. This book is action packed. You start off with the attack on the orphanage and keep on going. Kate's storyline in the past is simple, with a little romance thrown in. The reader does not recognize the seriousness of her time journey until the end of the book. A well done twist from the author.

The exciting story is the journey of Michael and Emma as they hunt for the second book, the book of the dying. It turns out to be a really creepy book with a major painful side-affect when used. We get to visit graveyards, fairy lands, and fight with a dragon. All fun and adventurous activities.

I can't wait for the third book in the series, especially now that I know how Kate's time traveling has added a very unexpected development to the story.
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More About the Author

JOHN STEPHENS spent ten years in television, and was executive producer of Gossip Girls and a writer for Gilmore Girls and The O.C. He holds an MFA from the University of Virginia and was inspired to write novels for children after reading Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy.

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