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Crown of Fire (Firebird Trilogy, 3) Paperback – November 1, 2000
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The tales of Lady Firebird conclude with Tyers' Crown of Fire , sequel to Firebird (1999) and Fusion Fire (2000). Firebird, from the decadent planet Netaia, was born a wastling, doomed to a glorious death in combat against the Ehretan Federate. But she's captured and falls in love with General Brennen, a telepath and leader of the Sentinels--the good guys. Firebird joins the Sentinel cause to subdue a renegade band of powerful telepaths called the Shuhr, whose defeat is also desired by the "Eternal Speaker," or God. Tyers is a busy writer with a confusing array of characters and settings, and she leans heavily on Star Wars . Firebird's rejection of Netaia's rigid religion and the idea of a culture based on ruthless eugenics prove intriguing, as do certain minor characterizations, such as that of Terza, a young eugenics technician who, in support of the war effort, is forced to bear a child the old-fashioned way. John Mort
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Several plot twists and turns, terrific writing and larger-than-life characters make this an excellent page turner for fans. -- Romantic Times, November 2000
[Frank] Peretti has nothing on Tyers. -- Breakpoint Online (Peter L. Edman, Editor)
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The edition of the book that I have includes a very helpful Author's Note at the end, explaining how "Crown of Fire" has a dual theme of pride and atonement. While her desire to serve the One is noble, Firebird is tempted to be remembered for the wrong reasons, and to rely on herself. In this way Kathy Tyers offers some clear lessons for the need for our own proud hearts to be broken. The theme of atonement is also evident in how Firebird is saved by a sacrificial death. While not intended as an allegory, Tyers explains that the apparent death and resurrection that this involves is geared to function as a parable for Firebird's enlightenment. As the author points out: "At this point in Firebird's story, she understands mercy, her flawed nature, and the necessity of dying to pride and herself. In her universe, true atonement lies in the future ... but she grasps the concept only when Brennen acts it out. His action saves her from being destroyed simply for who she is. Similarly, Christ submitted to death in our place, rescuing us from the inevitable consequences of who we are: His flawed but beloved children, created in the divine image, but tainted by our propensity to sin."
Once again Kathy Tyers offers an exciting read, and a thoughtful spiritual story, which is both engaging and upbuilding. While at times it seems to be a little weighed down by sci-fi mumbo jumbo, with references to technological jargon and concepts that we are meant to imagine without having much of an idea how they function, overall it is a well-imagined and convincing universe, and the action carries the story well. While not quite as good as the second in the series, this book will satisfy by far the majority of readers who have come to love Firebird and the world around her. Even without the two later books that were added to this series, this book does round off the main story nicely. Note that the final two books deal with Firebird's twin boys (Book 4), and it's in the final book that the Messiah finally arrives (Book 5). - GODLY GADFLY (February 2017)
The spiritual elements of this trilogy have been criticized because the first book in the series was originally written as a secular novel. I find it hard to understand why someone would criticize Kathy Tyers for writing about her faith. Christian art, in all forms, is meant to either to glorify God or present ideas about the faith. In all three books of this series, this is done rather subtly. You could remove every mention of faith and religion and all of the stories would still work. But, within the stories faith, the lack of it, or the search for it, adds another facet to various characters motivation and complexity.
None of the books in this trilogy, Firebird Fusion Fire and Crown of Fire are hard science fiction. They are stories of war, faith and romance in a science fiction setting and within that context, they are all superior stories told by a talented writer. I recommend them all.