- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (October 16, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765315939
- ISBN-13: 978-0765315939
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 79 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #357,242 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Phoenix Unchained (Enduring Flame, Book 1) Hardcover – October 16, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
This entertaining series opener takes place more than 1,000 years after events depicted in the Obsidian Trilogy. The city of Armethalieh is no longer ruled by mages, and High Magick itself is forgotten. Elves and dragons are known to exist, but live in distant lands and are never seen. Wielders of Wild Magic are extremely rare. Characters familiar from earlier books have become legends from a dim past. Then Tiercel Rolfort, the scholarly son of lower nobility, rediscovers High Magick. Beset with visions and physically weakening, Tiercel decides his best hope is to take a journey to find a Wild Mage. Meanwhile, Wild Mage Bisochim has become convinced of his calling to set the balance aright by bringing darkness back into the world. Having found and bonded with the dragon Saravasse, he plans to draw on her power to further his dark goals. This beguiling beginning promises a highly readable epic combining vivid characterization with an interesting exploration of how past heroics are twisted over centuries into something both more and less than they were.
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--Publisher's Weekly on When Darkness Falls
--VOYA on When Darkness Falls
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That being said, ‘The Phoenix Unchained’ is a very different book from the original triology. The first book of that series, ‘the outstretched shadow’, was pretty much a self-contained story with a clearly defined treath, a well-executed exposition of the world and magic system, and an identifiable climax. In contrast, this book has frequent callbacks to the last series and even the appearance of some of its characters, focusing mainly on laying the groundwork for future volumes. This allows for a much more nuansced, subtle storyline, but also one that is somewhat more slow-paced than the first book. Nevertheless, I recomend it wholeheartedly. The richness of the characters- and the writting- makes this an infinetly enjoyable read.
This book starts out with even less to like than the third "Obsidian" book. The plot is too simple and the characters are too shallow. I found myself wondering when something interesting would actually happen.
The writing time would have been better spent on the third "Obsidian" book than this very weak follow on.
But, silly me, this is Mercedes Lackey we are talking about and when I finally bought the book and then actually opened it two months later (I didn't believe for a minute it would be as good as the Obsidian Trilogy), I was almost immediately sucked into the story.
Wild Magic and Centaurs and Knight Mages, oh my. And Jermayan and Idalia and Ancaladar!! Completely compelling right down to the last sentence when Harrier says, "I thought we were in trouble. But if the Wild Magic is making me a Knight Mage, then we are really in trouble."
And, as usual, I can't wait for the next installment.
I hope the third Phoenix book is a bit better when it comes out. I must admit, the last third of the second Phoenix book was starting to get my attention. The first book and first 2/3 of the second book were pretty much relegated to developing the characters and setting up the story. That, too me, is an awful lot of time spent getting up to speed.