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Sarah Zettel - The Firebird's VengeanceThe book: The Firebird's Vengeance is the 3rd book of the Isavalta series (so far a trilogy, but there's plenty more life in this), the book can be read and enjoyed on its own without any knowledge of the first two books though.
Sarah Zettel, author of 9 books (my counting), is better known for her Science Fiction books, but, telling from her Isavalta output to day, is/will be making herself a name in the Fantasy scene very quickly, and for a good reason.

The plot: Bridget Lederle, an unloved outsider in our world, is a powerful sorceress in a parallel world called Isavalta. Her parents, having made the same transition, were involved with the caging of the powerful Firebird, which, owing to the death of its captor, is now free again, and looking for vengeance (hence the title of the book). Several factions are trying to use/control the bird and its powers, with Bridget's daughter, herself a very powerful sorceress to be, and believed to be dead by her mother, being the wild card. It's a complicated plot, not everyone is what they seem, and the ending is unusual, a bit surprising, and reminds of Japanese tales.

I liked the story, and am looking forwards to reading more. The book is very engrossing, although a very quick read and not extremely deep. Some of the characters are more believable than others, but you engage with them, and root for the heroes, so there can't be too much wrong with them.
There aren't any terribly new concepts in the story, and if the main setup with the two parallel worlds sounds very `seen it before' and Abarat then that's because it is. The book doesn't attempt to change your life or the genre, it is just plain good entertainment, and can be enjoyed as such.
The pace of the story is good, there's very little slack or dead bits. I didn't feel that I wanted to put the book down for wanting to know how things would turn out, so don't expect that one to last long! The book is recommended if you like run-of-the-mill fantasy with a focus on family, society, and of course magic (and very little swordplay), it makes for a very enjoyable if quick read.

More Sarah Zettel

Title: The Firebird's Vengeance
Series: Isavalta
Series Number: 3
Author: Sarah Zettel
Reviewer: Markus
Reviewer URL:
Publisher: Voyager/Harper Collins
Publisher URL:
Publication Date: Sept 6 2004
Review Date:
ISBN: 0-00-711406-0
Price: pound7.99
Book URL: 7114060&Author=0018206
Author URL:
Pages: 499
Format: Paperback
Topic: Fantasy


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