Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Phoenix Endangered-Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory

The Phoenix Endangered
Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory
Tor, Sep 2008, $27.95
ISBN: 9780765315946

No one in the Nine Cities for almost one millennium cast a High Magick spell until Tiercel Rolfort did it in the Moonturn of Flowering (see THE PHOENIX UNCHAINED). Stunned by his undesired by him accomplishment, the apparent Knight-Mage has begun “seeing” a beautiful frightening Fire Woman emerging from a fiery lake. The vision scares him so he seeks help from a mage, but none have been seen in civilization since the end of the Endarkened; he goes into the wilderness to find a Wild Mage.

However, the two teens and their non-human companions learn of the Wild Mage Bisochim Bluerobe, who they would like to discuss Tiercel’s situation with. However, the Wild Mage is the out of control general of an army of deadly desert warriors destroying anyone in their path. Nomad leader Shaiara leads her people on a risky venture to find the mythical oasis Abadshar, where legend states alien technology exists that will battle the darkness led by Bisochim.

Though very similar in its coming of age tone as the first Enduring Flame tale, young adult readers will enjoy the action-packed THE PHOENIX ENDANGERED. The exploits of the teen heroes (including youthful Shaiara) and their camaraderie especially the bantering and teasing are fun to follow. Additionally, the two male buddies learn the destructive nature of unchecked or balanced power abused by witnessing the collateral damage of war and the impact of explicit and even implied bigotry. Not quite as refreshing as THE PHOENIX UNCHAINED, the second tale remains a save the people of the Light enchanting quest fantasy.

Harriet Klausner

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