Customer Reviews for

Defender of the Flame

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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  • Posted September 30, 2014

    Terry Radnor, the hero of Defender of the Flame, has some rough

    Terry Radnor, the hero of Defender of the Flame, has some rough times ahead of him. When he discovers he possesses so-called “paranormal” powers, such as ESP, his entire life is turned upside down. While some people would do whatever it takes to spread these powers through the different worlds of humankind, others would stop at nothing to keep humanity from finding out these powers exist.

    As a starship pilot, Terry gets to play a large role, protecting the world that is leading the spread of these powers. Unfortunately trying to protect this world may lead him to lose just about anything else. But destiny has some strange things in store for the space pilot, stranger than he might have ever imagined.

    This is my first book by Sylvia Engdahl, but I seriously hope it won’t be the last. She’s managed to craft a convincing, unique character with a complex personality, goals and emotions. Terry is not always equally enjoyable – he can be moody too, a little headstrong – but he’s definitely entertaining and intriguing. The world the author has crafted, with various worlds inhabited, with “paranormal” powers, is well-developed and complex, with a rich history and background. The book isn’t afraid to touch upon questions of science vs. the paranormal, intuition vs. loogic, and so on.

    An interesting, captivating, fast-paced start to a brand new series. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Posted June 17, 2014

    What a wonderful book Defenders of the Flame by Sylvia Engdahl w

    What a wonderful book Defenders of the Flame by Sylvia Engdahl was such an unexpected treat! I read quite a bit of fantasy and Science-Fiction so I’m familiar with many common themes and elements. Occasionally I run across an author who has the confidence and intelligence to write something a little more outside the box and feel original in a cluttered field of copies. Ms. Engdahl writes in a way that is a fabulous combination of complex, yet easy to follow; highly creative, yet totally believable; familiar, yet fresh. It’s a potent mix and rare to find. Although I do believe that this book works well as a standalone, it made me curious about the other books and events preceding it, so now I want to read those as well. But having this be the first book I’ve read in this series from her, I can say that I never felt lost or confused, and I thought the author created a very rich and fully-realized world. Some of the secondary characters fell a bit flat, but they served their purpose. One thing I really appreciated was the author’s skillful world-building that occurred naturally and organically instead of a big “telling info-dump” that is all too common amongst lesser writers. (Like how horseback riding was an ancient times activity, haha). I really loved some of the ideas and concepts presented in this book, and even the most finicky of SciFi enthusiasts are sure to find something they love here. Highly recommend.

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  • Posted June 13, 2014

    You know right from the opening pages that this is not some mind

    You know right from the opening pages that this is not some mindless rehash of the same ol’ same ol’. We jump right into the action (the author handles any “housekeeping” in the preface) and pulls you right in. I’m not one for rehashing the plots in reviews (that’s what the book description is for), but I can say that the blurb doesn’t do it justice! This is one of those books (or series) that you really have to read in order to appreciate the complexity and depth of the world this author created. For the most part it was quite fast-paced (although sometimes a bit TOO fast for my liking… huge chunks of time or important events were quickly glossed over) and the dialogue was believable (not contrived or stiff). There were some minor editing things, and it could have benefitted from the use of more contractions to smooth it out some, but nothing that deterred my enjoyment any. Overall it felt very polished and professional. There is great tension and conflict (both internal and external) which compels us the readers along and keeps us invested in the outcome. The ending is satisfactory and fulfilling, yet leaves the door open for future installments. I do not think fans of Sci-Fi adventure will be at all disappointed and I highly encourage you to give this one a try!!

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  • Posted June 11, 2014

    Defenders of the Flame is the first novel I have read from this

    Defenders of the Flame is the first novel I have read from this author, Sylvia Engdahl, but now that I have, I’m really interested in reading more from her. This book was so good!!! I always find SciFi novels to be a bit of a mixed bag, with most of them recycle the same tired, overused plot clichés, while a few branch out with fresh new ideas and original thinking. Fortunately for me this novel was the latter, and I was impressed with the quality of writing. Then I found out the author has quite a body of work, and it is evident that she has really honed her craft. I love the universe Ms. Engdahl created and the descriptions were amazing, like we were really there in the story or watching a movie play out (now there’s an idea!) At the end she mentions how this was technically supposed to wrap up a series, however it works great as a standalone and I will check out her other books now.

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  • Posted June 11, 2014

    I always wonder what I¿m getting into when reading a book from a

    I always wonder what I’m getting into when reading a book from an author who is unknown to me. While I do enjoy discovering new talent, more often than not I feel somewhat disappointed or let down afterwards. I’ve been away from the science fiction genre for a while but decided to give this book a shot as the premise sounded interesting and there were some very positive reviews. I’m happy to report that I was not disappointed at all! In fact, it was the opposite! I was so pleased that this is one of those books that doesn’t just ‘tell a story’, but really makes you think…the author (and characters) ask a lot of questions and raises possibilities that expand your mind and broaden your way of thinking all while telling a great story that entertains for hours. Sylvia Engdahl skillfully creates a deep level of believability in an unbelievable world, and as someone who has read many less-than-stellar Sci-fi books in the past, I must say this is the mark of a skilled writer. I do hope the author continues on with this series and I will be reading the other two books in this series shortly.

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