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Firebird Hardcover – May 16, 2006
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Garcia y Robertson (White Rose) opens his dazzling stand-alone with the words "Once upon a time" and spends the rest of the book crafting a true fairy tale. In the cursed land of Markovy (which resembles medieval Russia), Aria, a "witch-girl" raised to young womanhood by the powerful Bone Witch, is out gathering herbs when she hears the fire jay calling her name. Following the call, Aria sees an injured knight riding away from the burning town of Byeli Zamak. By ministering to the knight's wounds, Aria begins a wondrous journey that will take her far from her quiet sylvan abode. To remove the curse on Markovy, Aria and her knight, Sir Roye de Roye, must return the "Firebird's Egg," which was stolen by the late King Demitri, to its nest atop Burning Mountain deep in the Iron Wood. Bawdy and bloody, magical and mythic, this joyous novel is sure to please heroic fantasy fans. (May)
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"Like Philip Pullman or George R.R. Martin, Rod Garcia has created one of those genre-transcending works that will thrill and move even readers who don't normally care for this sort of thing. It's one of the few heroic fantasies I've read which takes notice that we're not living in the 19th Century any more, a sophisticated, often erotically charged story about adult human beings in a harsh world. This was my first Garcia novel, but it won't be my last."
--Spider Robinson, author of Very Bad Deaths on Firebird
"Full of marvels, and irrepressibly joyous, it is an exhilarating fantasy story." --Yves Meynard on Firebird
"A rollicking adventure yarn, by turns stirring, touching, undignified, funny, raunchy, and grim."
"Like Philip Pullman or George R.R. Martin, Rod Garcia has created one of those genre-transcending works."
"Full of marvels, and irrepressibly joyous, it is an exhilarating fantasy story."
Top customer reviews
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The book actually is pretty good. I was close to not giving it a chance from the wistful writing at the begininng. It's primarily told through the eyes of a seventeen year old girl and it was reading like a teen novel. I gave it a chance and it got more adult in nature, right down to the gratuitous sex scenes. It was nothing too vulgar or graphic, but some of the scenes read like a romance novel.
The main characters are engaging and likeable, and the story is solid. While there isn't a real concrete villian, the story is more about the journey of the main charatcers to deliver the firebird's egg. They go through enough trials to make up for the lack of a real engaging storyline and a hated villian.
I wouldn't recommend a full purchase at 30 dollars though. The story is short, and not very epic. It's worth a price at paperback or a rent from the library though.
The Bone Witch knows all about Aria and Roye's attraction for one another and the need to get the egg back to its nest on Burning Mountain in the Iron Woods, a place more frightening than the North Woods. Aria is freed from slavery and she and her knight start for Burning Mountain but they are captured by Tartars. Roye fixes it so Aria escapes and he joins the Tartars in their conquest. Aria, thinking her love is dead, finds herself rescued by Persephone and Eros when the powers that be want to take her into custody so they can find the egg. She has many adventures and so does Sir Roye before the two are finally reunited in the Kremlin where the Firebird Egg is kept. Somehow they must steal it and put it back where it belongs without getting killed by their many enemies.
This stand alone fantasy epic is one of the best quest books written in some time. The storyline takes place in a land that would be considered Russia in our world except for creatures of mythos and legend. R. Garcia Y. Robinson has written a wonderful romantic fantasy that will appeal to the fans of Mercedes Lackey and Judith Tarr.
It tells the story of a teenage "witch girl" and her knight in shining armor on a quest to return the firebird's egg to it's nest. There is romance, gore and best of all...humor! I laughed out loud several times while enjoying this book. There is also quite a bit of sexuality in this story. It might be a little too much for you if you are a bit of a prude. But I am not, so I loved the bits of raunchiness thrown in to the story. It made it feel more modern to me, although it is set in medieval times.
I would give it 5 stars, except I got a little stuck around the middle of the book. I can't really say why. Maybe too many characters were being introduced? But I pushed through and ended up finishing the rest in one sitting. I would recommend this to fantasy lovers with a good sense of humour.
(Proceed with caution: Spoilers ahead)
The writing itself is actually really good, and before long I was flying through the pages and surprising myself at how often I'd laughed. Still, once I got to the sexual parts, my enjoyment was taken down a few notches.
That's not to say I'm prudish, but the way it was portrayed in the book seemed silly to me. I realize the sex was supposed to be a big part of what the author wanted to write about, but it would have been perfectly fine without much of it, I think. And it wasn't only how often it came up, but how consistently great it was. Sure, this is a fantasy novel, but having it be a bit more realistic wouldn't have hurt. (And of course, at the end, the heroine loses her virginity and it was nothing short of amazing. In a perfect location, no less.) That sort of thing yanks me out of my suspension of disbelief and sends my eyes rolling almost out of their sockets.
The plot was also sort of meandering, especially around the middle, and the ending felt somewhat rushed. It came as no surprise that Aria was a missing princess, or that she'd be reunited with her long-lost lover, or that she wouldn't end up becoming a sacrifice and instead was saved by Persephone and almost got laid by Eros. The actual nitty-gritty parts of the story were great, but it seems like, as a whole, it was only a so-so book.
And for some reason I thought that the author was a woman the whole time I was reading Firebird. It actually wasn't until I had finished the last page and flipped to the author bio that I realized otherwise. At least all the stuff about the sex makes more sense now.
A pretty fun read overall, but not really satisfying.