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The Wandering Fire: Book Two of the Fionavar Tapestry Paperback – May 1, 2001


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The Wandering Fire: Book Two of the Fionavar Tapestry + The Darkest Road: Book Three of the Fionavar Tapestry + Summer Tree, The: Book One of the Fionavar Tapestry
Price for all three: $38.73

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Product Details

  • Series: Fionavar Tapestry (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Roc Trade; Reprint edition (May 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451458265
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451458261
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #377,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In the second book of Kay's Fionavar Tapestry, the five protagonistsordinary Toronto college studentsreturn once more to become warriors and wizards in the beleaguered fantasy world of Fionavar, now suffering an unnaturally prolonged winter. To combat dread Rakoth Maugrim, King Arthur and Lancelot are revived and the Wild Hunt summoned from its long sleep. Together they vanquish the attacking wolf packs and shatter the cauldron of power. As the book ends, though, they are still deep in danger and hopelessly mired somewhere in mid-story. This elaborate, lore-filled fantasy, smelling of dusty library stacks and perfumed prose, will doubtless please those who enjoyed the first volume, The Summer Tree. Both are striking as unconscious but almost clinical catalogues of an adolescent world view, full of self-dramatization and self-pity, a desperation for instant status or celebrity, a preoccupation with lost love and death (which become equivalent totems) and a general lack of humor or perspective. SF Book Club Main selection.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Praise for The Fionavar Tapestry

“A remarkable achievement…the essence of high fantasy.” —Locus

“Certainly this is one of the very best of the fantasies which have appeared since Tolkien, and I trust it will be recognized as such.” Andre Norton

“Kay has delivered such a magnificent…volume that I can’t praise it enough. The Fionavar Tapestry is a work that will be read for many years to come. It is a book that makes one proud to be working in the same genre as its author.” —Charles de Lint

“I’m overwhelmed…The Summer Tree is one of those books that change your perception of the world forever afterward.” —Marion Zimmer Bradley

“Kay’s intricate Celtic background will please fantasy buffs…in the manner of The Silmarillion, the posthumous Tolkien work that Kay helped edit.” —Publishers Weekly

“Immense scale, literary richness and dazzling heroes.” —Toronto Star

Customer Reviews

I remember the first time I read this series.
S. Potter
His ability to weave a plot and create complicated characters is astounding.
C. Welch
I recommend it to all fantasy lovers out there.
C. S. Timblin Stewart

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Keith Fraser on January 7, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have now read this and its prequel, The Summer Tree, and am earnestly searching for Book Three, The Darkest Road (as usual with trilogies and suchlike, bookshops never have the one you're looking for!). When I read about the Fionavar Tapestry at the back of The Lord Of The Rings, of all places, I was immediately attracted by the idea of people from our world becoming characters in a fantasy epic.
Very frequently I have seen the Fionavar Tapestry compared to the works of Tolkein. In my opinion it is hard to compare them as they are very different. Tolkien's is a created mythology, supposedly preceding recorded history; Fionavar is a parallel world, and our own modern world is involved in the story by the use of the five protagonists. The characterisation is also different: Kay develops the relationships between his characters far more, at the expense of the much more complex and richly developed world of Tolkien. This is not to say that either is superior to the other, they are simply different, possibly because of their differing times of writing: Tolkien reads like classical epic or tragic poetry, whereas the Fionavar Tapestry is more modern in its treatment of characters and events, though the themes in both are the same.
Comparisons with Tolkien aside, I feel that the glowing reviews of the Tapestry are well deserved. The characters, particularly the five people from our world, are believable and easy to sympathize with. The story rarely descends into cliche (I say rarely - there are one or two moments which I thought could have been more originally handled, but they were still enjoyable and it is almost impossible to avoid cliche entirely, as I have just discovered - _descends into cliche_ is itself a cliche!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By S. Potter on October 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
I remember the first time I read this series. It took me four days (it would have taken three, but there was a delay in getting the last two from a friend). I was moved more deeply than any other work in fantasy I had read. I remember staying up until 6 AM (I was in theater at the time) reading them, and weeping my way through the last third of the last book in the series.

Without doubt, Kay invokes all that is deep in us as people who have created mythos and myths to carry us. He evokes all that is strong in us, while showing that even the mythic have their weaknesses. While later works of Kay's may be more polished, this is the raw material that he still works from.

As with every reading, when I finished my recent re-read I was almost traumatised to leave the world that had been so well crafted. The end leaves all satisfied, but there is a bittersweet flavor to it, since the people he has created are no longer accessable to the reader.

This is the series I would want while stranded on a desert island. And I cannot think of anything more to say than that.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Sabra on August 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
Sigh. I really had hopes for this series. Unfortunately, after trudging through two mediocre novels, it remains to be seen whether I will bother with the third.

The Wandering Fire, the second book in the Fionavar Tapestry series picks up not exactly where the first book, The Summer Tree, left off. Some time has elapsed since Kim's rescue of Jennifer from Starkadh, and the five are back in their own world, waiting for something to bring them back to Fionavar. That something is a dream from Seer Kim Ford, which will tell them what their next move should be. We also find out that Jennifer is carrying the child of Rakoth Maugrim, which she intends to keep. Eventually Kim has her dream and the five are sent back to Fionavar through the power of Kim's ring, the Baelrath. Kim also summons King Arthur (yes, THAT King Arthur) to help them in their quest. Soon all five are involved in their own paths in the war against the Unraveller. The novel chronicles the struggle to find out how Maugrim is creating the perpetual winter that is crushing Fionavar, and then how to defeat it when they finally do find out.

The Wandering Fire is plagued by the same problems of the first novel- too much melodrama, not enough character development, and several rather silly things. I spent much of the first half of the book rolling my eyes, especially at the appearance of King Arthur. I mean, come on, can't you even think up your own heroes? I also spent a lot of time rolling my eyes over the ludicrous amount of sex in this novel. GG Kay uses sex as as such and important plot device that it left me wondering just where he was drawing inspiration from. I don't have a problem with sex in a novel if it's used correctly, but GG Kay dramatizes it to the point where it's sickening.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 9, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As I mentioned in my review of The Summer Tree (first in the Fionavar Tapestry), Mr. Kay is the one and only reason I read fantasy now! This book just reinforced what I learned about his writing ability while reading The Summer Tree.
The Wandering Fire picks up where The Summer Tree left off, taking the reader further into the development of five former college students and their encounters in a beautifully depicted world of magic, mythology and Arthurian legend.
I knew the basic story of King Arthur, Lancelot and Guinevere, but Mr. Kay's incredible ability to convincingly combine his created world of Fionavar with Arthurian legend and mythology made this second book even more interesting, exciting and rewarding than The Summer Tree. The story never slips and the characters are even more engaging this time around.
Anyone who immerses himself/herself in this Trilogy will wish it would never conclude. Thank goodness Mr. Kay continues to write more fabulous stories!
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