Wednesday, February 13, 2008

In the Earth Abides the Flame-Russell Kirkpatrick

In the Earth Abides the Flame
Russell Kirkpatrick
Orbit, Feb 2008, $7.99
ISBN: 9780316003421

In Faltha, the Company led by teens Hal and Leith completed their quest, rescuing their parents Mahnum and Indrett from the Bhrudwons who snatched them to keep their invasion plan secret (see ACROSS THE FACE OF THE WORLD). However, the group still grieve their losses and the survivors recover from their wounds; but wary they realize a new mission has surfaced as the Bhrudwons were right to want to silent Mahnum, who knows their insidious scheme. The Company needs to inform the ruling Council of Faltha that their neighbor led by the Destroyer plans to invade so the country can prepare.

The heroes travel to the capital Instruere where they soon find themselves mostly ridiculed by the Council members; as some are corrupt and already bought by the Bhrudons while others disbelieve such an assault is imminent and all fear the at hand religious threat from within. Frustrated Hal and Leith realize the only hope to unite the country resides with finding the legendary Jugom Ark that most people believe never existed. The second quest has begun.

Like its predecessor this quest tale differs from fantasy sagas as most of the plot occurs on the mundane plane rather than the otherworldly realm; this enables the audience to feel they are part of the Company with a deep taste of geography and history. However, after the harrowing escapades of their previous rescue adventure, the relationship between the siblings feels off as it seems static rather than having changed, which makes them feel less developed than in the previous book. Still this is an entertaining save the world from evil entry although it behooves new fans to read the previous entry first.

Harriet Klausner

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