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Dandelion Fire: Book 2 of the 100 Cupboards Library Binding – February 24, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 125 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the 100 Cupboards Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–8—In this dense and worthy sequel to 100 Cupboards (Random, 2007), Henry York, having discovered that he, like his uncle Frank, actually comes from a world beyond the magic cupboards in his attic room, decides to enter it again. This is a last-ditch attempt to learn more about his origins and about the strange dandelion magic that has recently seared its way into his body. Henry, his cousin Henrietta, and the rest of his Kansas family end up scattered in different parts of the world from which both Henry and his uncle came, struggling against an evil witch and her powerful minion. The plot is complicated, and readers not familiar with the first book will be hopelessly confused. The shifting locations and the many characters and factions are bewildering, but most of the characters have such deliciously flawed and fascinating personalities that fans of that book will go with the flow, waiting to see what the next bend of plot might bring. A quiet and quirky humor warms up the proceedings as well, leavening even the most intense scenes. The ending is satisfying enough to serve as a series closer, but luckily for fans of this challenging but rewarding trilogy, there is still one more installment to come.—Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Well crafted and gratifying." —School Library Journal

"A highly imaginative tale." —Kirkus Reviews

"This is my favorite kind of fantasy, combining the secret and the ordinary." —Tamora Pierce, New York Times bestselling author
"One of the most fascinating new fantasy worlds grown on American soil since Oz." —MuggleNet.com
"Highly appealing characters whom readers will want to encounter again." —The Horn Book Magazine
"Henry becomes a stronger and more resourceful kid as he tests his mettle against the creatures in the cupboards." —The Bulletin

"The story is chilling, but the creepy quotient never exceeds the book’s target audience." —Booklist

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 0680 (What's this?)
  • Series: The 100 Cupboards (Book 2)
  • Library Binding: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (February 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375938834
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375938832
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,828,859 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Book two in the "100 Cupboards" trilogy (with book three, The Chestnut King due out early-to-middling next year), Dandelion Fire is masterful, glorious, breathtaking, dark and charming all at once. This is fantasy worthy of the name, and stands starkly in the same stream that Tolkien and Lewis stood in, if a bit downstream and only up to its knees.

Dandelion is much richer, both as a narrative itself and in its themes and messages, than was 100 Cupboards. As a necessity then, the situations are a bit more intense, the quest is a bit more serious and life-threatening, as is typical of the middle book of a trilogy.

The writing too is richer and has more depth; Wilson's charm is in his use of language and part of that involves his staggeringly fine prose. He relies heavily on metaphor, not in a strictly English-major sense, but in the broad sense of letting the mind of the reader assemble the picture via some back-ended sentences that seem to go around the block to get next door. That is an intentional and magnificent way of using not merely the words but the spaces between the words, to create meaning. It is not merely in what he says, but also in what he does *not* say that the reader finds meaning. His method of writing is associational rather than flatly literal and subtractive; instead of spoon-feeding he allows meaningful associations to cluster together. But do not fear; it is not difficult reading either and he is careful not to overwhelm the reader with that sort of thing.

But by far the best thing about this book is the thematic message, which is why I was surprised to see a couple of reviews claiming there was none; it is rather like God in The Lord of the Rings. It is everywhere present but nowhere mentioned.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Loved 100 Cupboards but the sequel, Dandelion Fire, kept me up all night! The influence of Chesterton, Lewis, and Tolkien cannot be missed in his writing. Like all of Wilson's books, I find them most enjoyable read outloud, so go find someone to read to!
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Format: Hardcover
The wonderful novel 100 Cupboards--to which this is a sequel--set up the magical cupboard that leads to other worlds. Our hero Henry, of Henry, Kansas, discovers the cupboards in that book and discovers the mystery of his own origins. I loved that book and was thrilled to read Dandelion Fire, but though WIlson shows that his next books will move easily into high fantasy, I was disappointed that the worlds he set up are not more thoroughly explored and the charming situation set up in 100 Cupboards was swiftly transformed into a very dark fantasy. As I note in the title of this review, kids will enjoy this book, but be warned it's much, much darker than the first volume and not a little disturbing. That said, I'm looking forward to following Wilson's career. He's going interesting places as he finds his voice and subject matter of choice. Leepike Ridge made allusions to alternate history; 100 Cupboards opens the door to full-fanstasy; and Dandelion Fire moves through the cupboard...
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Format: Hardcover
Our family blazed through Dandelion Fire. Not because we were in a hurry but because we couldn't put it down. Ranging from ages 5 to 40, we all loved it. Our youngest boy loved the creepy factor, our 10 year old daughter loved Henry's (and Henrietta's) character growth, our oldest son loved the power Henry gained and the quirkiness of Frank the Fat Fairy. My husband and I enjoyed all of the above as well as the fun Biblical allusions, being reminded of the magic in the everyday, and the "family vacation" that we all experienced in our living room.
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Format: Hardcover
Only a couple of weeks have passed since Henry York and his cousin, Henrietta, had their adventure in the mysterious cupboards adorning the wall of Henry's attic room.

Since he'd come to live with his aunt, uncle, and cousins in Kansas, Henry discovered the hidden wall of cupboards accidentally, and learned that each one leads to a different time and place. Built by their grandfather, who listed the combinations to the different worlds in his journal, the cupboards can only be traveled through via the large cupboard in Grandfather's room, which had been locked tight until the battle with the witch of Endor.

Henry's aunt and uncle receive a letter from his parent's lawyer saying that Henry must return to Boston in two weeks. Henry can't stand the thought of going back, especially now that he might have more of a history in one of the cupboard worlds than he'd ever imagined, and he grows desperate to escape through the door to Badon Hill, which calls to him in his dreams.

Henrietta, who'd stolen the key to Grandfather's bedroom so that she could explore the cupboards on her own, finally relents, and she and Henry go behind the barn to retrieve the key. While Henry keeps watch in the growing storm and Henrietta digs, he spots a curious dandelion that appears to glow. Reaching for it, Henry sees a flash of light and is knocked unconscious, with only a dandelion shaped burn on his hand to indicate what happened.

After a stranger visits him in his dreams, and he awakens blind, Henry knows that he must escape into the cupboards to find a better explanation of what's happening to him. Unfortunately, less compassionate forces are already interested in his growing abilities...
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