After 1,000 years of peace, much magick has faded from the world. The Elves live far from humankind. There are no High Mages, and Wild Mages are seen only rarely. Bisochim, a powerful Wild Mage, is determined to reintroduce Darkness to the world, believing that it is out of balance.
Tiercel, a young Armethalian nobleman, is convinced that High Magick is not just philosophy. He attempts a spell and draws the unwelcome attention of Bisochim. Tiercel survives Bisochim's attack and begins trying to turn himself into a High Mage.
Next in line to be Harbormaster of Armethalieh, Harrier instead finds himself regularly saving Tiercel's life and meeting magickal people and creatures. To Harrier's dismay, it seems that he must become a hero.
In The Phoenix Unchained, Harrier and Tiercel begin a marvelous journey to uncover their destinies. Along the way, they meet a charming female centaur, several snooty Elves, and the most powerful dragon their world has ever known.
©2007 Mercedes Lackey; ©2007 James Mallory; (P)2007 Tantor
"Sets a lavishly detailed stage peopled with intriguing and well-developed characters whose futures hold both promise and peril." (Library Journal)
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"A good book for younger readers."
This book is probably best suited for young adult readers. I enjoyed it. I would have enjoyed it much more when I was 16.
My criticisms are: The viewpoint of the storyteller is that of a very young person. For example, a 17 year old character talks about something that happened to him when he was "a child" as "very long ago." References to "school" seem more like American High School (Lunch for example) then something from Heroic Fantasy. There is nothing wrong with this, but as an adult reader, I stumbled over it and lost my "suspension of disbelief" for a moment. Also, there are so many contractions in the story that the narrator seems to stumble over them. (I didn't so I couldn't.) I counted 7 in 3 short sentences at one point. I think that this is something that we ignore in print but notice in audio book versions much more readily. Also, references to magic spells as if they were something you can look up in an encyclopedia (I tried to cast "Mage Shield" but I failed) come off like Gaming references. I wish the author had invented unique or "magical language" names for these things to avoid that.
Mercedes Lackey seems to be more of an editor then co-writer with "The Phoenix Unchained." She has a very distinct voice, and it does not present itself very often. Her masterful ability to "pace" a story does come through.
Taken as a whole, it was entertaining, and I'll read the sequel.
"Only Mediocre and it goes downhill from there"
A typical beginning with no real surprises, two teenagers set out on an adventure that the reader knows from the start will become a life changing event and cause them to grow in strength. But then the whining begins. The emotional drivel was only moderately annoying at the beginning but by the third book it is just absurd. Twenty seconds on a huge battle and then twenty minutes on bemoaning their horrible fate. Perhaps others will enjoy the emotional development of the characters, I became bored very quickly, I kept listening because I thought that the story had such great potential and could really be a great and exciting adventure story. Perhaps if it was a single book then they would have had to cut out a lot of moaning and emotional brow beating.
I usually enjoy Mercedes Lackey’s books. I don’t know what happened with this series.
I thought this book was well read. If you enjoyed the previous trilogy, then you'll probably enjoy this one as well. I must say that some things seemed predictable, but it was still interesting enough for me to always want to know what happens next. I'm looking forward to when the next one comes out.
"Wait until series is complete"
Mercedes Lackey is a favorite author of mine but don't bother with this book until the series is complete. Book one is one long prelude. It's very unsatisfactory to have a book end without any significant story line complete.
"Not so captivating"
Unfortunately the story line is all to familiar, following the first trilogy far to closely. Classic setting, a journey with a guide and a protective friend, Wild mage intervention and mysterious evil forces pursuing the traveling trio. There were a scant number of delightful surprises toward the end of the novel, but this book is a shadow of the original trilogy that transported the reader into the wonderful world of High Mages, Wild Mages, Magical Unicorns & the Endarkened, created by Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory in The Obsidian Trilogy. Hopefully the Authors can enliven the next book considerably.
"Unfinished Series-what a shame"
I'll keep it short and brief, the first and second book of the Enduring Flame were lovely and tantalizing, but apparently all that is offered to us. Purchase only if you are an afficianado of partial storylines, cliff-hangers, or unfinished business..
"Solid, but slow"
A solid Fantasy take that is well worth reading, but it often feels like the story is dragging slightly in terms of pacing.
I would definitely try other books from Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory and I have already done so. However, I doubt I will try other books by William Dufris. I am just not a fan of his voice or reading style. I'm sorry.
I would have loved to have Susan Ericksen narrate this series as she did for The Obsidian Trilogy. Her vocals were amazing.
Yes. Oh, yes. Both this series and the one before it, The Obsidian Trilogy.
"Narrator Ruins Story"
This story is pleasant enough but the narrator's pedantic tone just ruined it for me. His narration is like Chinese water torture: in the beginning, not so bad but it slowly becomes excruciating.
It's really a shame because Ms. Lackey has written a lot of entertaining reads, and there are a lot of very good narrators out there. But I won't buy another audiobook with this narrator.
"Worth the credit"
This book has been in my library for a while now. I have started it once or twice but was always in the middle of another book story line so it was shoved to the back of the pile. I finally restarted it and tho it took a bit to finally catch my attention it took off and now I find I am really looking forward to part 2. The reading style is great and I chuckle when I hear the narrator doing some of the voices. I think this book is worth the credit!
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