Earth - Air - Water - Fire
These elements have sustained the peaceful people of Shaftal for generations, with their subtle powers of healing, truth, joy, and intuition. But now, Shaftal is dying. The earth witch who ruled Shaftal is dead, leaving no heir. Shaftal's ruling house has been scattered by the invading Sainnites. The Shaftali have mobilized a guerrilla army against these marauders, but every year the cost of resistance grows, leaving Shaftal's fate in the hands of three people: Emil, scholar and reluctant warrior; Zanja, the sole survivor of a slaughtered tribe; and Karis the metalsmith, a half-blood giant whose earth powers can heal, but only when she can muster the strength to hold off her addiction to a deadly drug. Separately, all they can do is watch as Shaftal falls from prosperity into lawlessness and famine. But if they can find a way to work together, they just may change the course of history.
©2004 Laurie J. Marks (P)2012 Iambik Audio Inc.
"A deftly painted story of both cultures and magics in conflict." (Robin Hobb)
"Marks is an absolute master of fantasy in this book." (Booklist, starred review)
"A work that is filled with an intelligence that zings off the page." (Publishers Weekly)
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"I love Laurie J. Marks!"
Fire Logic and the entire Elemental Logic series have been some of my favorite books. I was very happy to see an audio version of Fire Logic. Rereading this book took me right back into the lives of some of the most wonderful characters I have ever encountered.
Karis or Zanja it is a toss up and together they break my heart. Emil is also a wonderful character. I love the descriptions and the landscape that Laurie J. Marks paints. It is so vivid at times I can almost feel the frosty morning in Shaftal amongst the misty fields.
Her performance was pretty good over all
It is hard for me to pick one moment in this book. There are a few I can think of that pull on my heart strings. I don't want to give away any spoilers here.
Laurie J. Marks has a particularly wonderful way of blurring the lines of gender and sexuality that we see in our own society. Within her worlds she normalizes sexual preference and takes what would be considered gendered specific characteristics and allows her men to be healers, and care takers and her women to be warriors. It is seamless and beautifully done. Creating a world with much more freedom for expression than our own society allows. I would love to see the other books from this series in audio format. As well as Laurie's other books. She is a fantastic writer and I very much enjoy the worlds she weaves.
"Some of this century's best SF writing. Pity."
Laurie J. Marks's Elemental Logic books are, in my opinion, some of the best fantasy-genre writing published in the 21st century. The world-building is complex and subtle, handled with a deft maturity of writing skill. The characters are detailed, engaging, and highly individual. The dialogue is good. The plots are, if anything, better. The prose is excellent but not flashy, leaving the story to shine out clearly from each page.
As the first book in the series, Fire Logic has the highest burden on it, to establish both the changing world and the main cast of characters while still telling a gripping story. It succeeds.
Also, these books are *fun*.
I have tried, in listening to Anita Roy Dobbs, to come up with some alternate book or genre I think she might be better suited to, but I'm coming up dry. I don't mind a slow, distinct speaker, but the pace of her reading is so dragged out, it sounds like the recording is being played at the wrong speed altogether, most of all in the dialogue, where it does the most damage. She has a breathy sweetness of tone which has absolutely nothing to do with the harshly beautiful stories being played out. Finally it seems to me that she doesn't have the basic skill of separating characters by different tones of voice, tempos of speech, and subtle shifts in accent and manner, so she uses much more heavy-handed methods to keep speakers sounding different from each other, with the result that all of them sound blurred and numb, like people worn to stupidity from 30 hours in a blizzard fumbling their way into their lines, or like people trying to converse after taking much too much valium and not yet gone to bed.
I am getting through Fire Logic's recording with clenched teeth, solely on the basis of my love for the book. Much as I hate to leave a series broken off early, I think it's unlikely I'll buy Earth Logic or Water Logic, until some distant, hoped-for day when someone else records them and I can try again.
I think the performance made the story even more tedious than it might be in print. Story problems include the fact that the heroine is nearly killed so many times I gave up counting. Also. the author is almost angry in her presentation of gay and lesbian characters. It's as though she wants to say 'Yes!They are GAY! Do you have a problem with that?!!!' Since sexual preference was not key to the story, the tone felt a bit heavy handed.
I think the world building was interesting, but given the pacing and tone I will not read the sequels.
"Great story, soft spoken reader."
The reader was very soft-spoken, and there wasn't as much differentiation between character voices as I would've liked. Still very much enjoyed hearing the story read aloud.
"A Favorite Story"
This is actually one of my favorite books and authors. I was thrilled to see it in audio format so I could always access it no matter what! While I didn't particularly care for the narrators voice it didn't distract me from loving hearing the story told to me. I hope they produce all of her stories though I wish they would pick another narrator.
I am always split between Zanja and Karis. I see different aspects of myself in both of them.
She felt very monotone.
I've read this books several times. My favorite part would be when Zanja is kept prisoner by Willis in the cellar and uses her knife to summon the Raven.
Read all of her stuff!
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