Customer Reviews for

Fire: Tales of Elemental Spirits

Average Rating 4
( 13 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 15 of 13 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted August 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great fantasy novellas

    "Phoenix" by Peter Dickinson. In Britain elderly caretakers Dave and Ellie begin to care for the ancient Egyptian Phoenix, who struggles with the change in climate; the pair is rewarded for their kindness in an unexpected way.---------------

    "Hellhound" by Robin McKinley. Miri rescues the red-eyed dog from a shelter; not anticipating her kindness will be reciprocated when her canine stands at her side during a confrontation with an evil spirit in a graveyard.---

    "Fireworm" Peter Dickinson. The fireworm threatens the Home Cave of the dwelling clan. Tandin challenges the beast on the spirit plain, but is stunned to realize the enemy has a mate that it protects from the cave-dwellers.----------

    "Salamander Man" by Peter Dickinson. Tib the orphan is sold to a mage, which leads to his turning into a blazing giant freeing the salamanders and the city residents from the abusive magicians. ---------

    "First Flight" by Robin McKinley. Ern prefers to hide in the shadows as he is the subject of ridicule when he is out in the open. His extroverted brother Dag comes home fuming because an injured dragon is assigned to a task that the beast cannot accomplish, yet encouraged by a wizard Ern enables the beast to enter Flame Space.-----------

    The sequel to Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits contains five fine fiery fantasy fables that young high school students will enjoy.---------

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 18, 2010

    Really enjoyed these short stories

    I must first specify: I read this as an e-book from my library's Overdrive system, so I can't attest to the quality of the B&N download. However, I really enjoyed all the short stories in this book. I am a big Robin McKinley fan, so I admit those were my favorites, but these were all great reads. It was nice to start a story before going to sleep and be able to finish and be okay with turning out the light. (not going: but?? what happens in the next chapter???) I especially enjoyed the humor in the last story - including regular everyday experiences of life in a world inhabited by dragons and magicians. Several of the comments got me laughing. :-)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Solid, if not Exceptional YA Fantasy

    This is a fairly strong young adult fantasy collection. Even though none of the stories is perfect, each one is engagingly written and features a different creature of fire.

    The first, by Peter Dickinson and about the phoenix, is marred by sudden shifts in perspective that feel too rough for the gentleness of the story; however, it features some of the most beautiful imagery of the collection and is one of the more unique premises.

    The second, by Robin McKinley and about a hellhound, is very much for animal lovers (which I am) and may be slow through the first five or so pages if you aren't interested in horses, dogs, cats, birds, and reptiles. After that (or if you don't mind that) however, it features the best pacing through its midsection, setting up a fairly large cast of characters for a short story and building a well-realized world with perhaps the best sense of jeopardy. The climax felt a little too easy, unfortunately, but the story as a whole may have been my favorite.

    The third, again by Peter Dickinson and about the fireworm, was the most peculiar. It started very badly, with Dickinson's fictional Native American tribe feeling about as authentic as Disney's in Brother Bear. It was, however, only uphill from there, and the climax was incredibly moving, and caused me to feel angry in the best way. Its denoument again felt a bit easy, but the story was worth it nonetheless.

    The fourth, the last by Peter Dickinson and about the salamander, was the only total miss of the collection. It started out very strong, but the instant its main character (a young slave boy named Tib in a pseudo-Middle Eastern setting) became emotionally removed from his actions I did as well.

    The last story, by Robin McKinley and about the dragon, was the most well-rounded but unfortunately also the one with nothing about it that really stood out. It was reminiscent of her novel Dragonhaven in its male first-person narrator and semi-stream of consciousness style, but this narrator is far less self-absorbed than Jake was, making him likable even in his total denseness about his world. The world was interesting, if not quite believable (there has never to my knowledge been a culture that despises healers -- it's just not realistic, because people everywhere will get sick and they can't work if they're sick), the pacing was steady and the ending just right for the story.

    All in all, while nothing in the collection is earth-shattering in any way, it is a pleasant read and suitable for late elementary school children and up.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 6, 2012

    Magic Creatures.

    On the summer of 1990, Ellie and her family were having a picnic near their country house. As always, she was oddly fascinated by the woods. She wanted to look further, so she went by the surroundings of a fence that separated a conservation area. There she met Dave, a strange looking boy. Later he introduced her Welly, a kind old woman who offered her a close friendship. Ellie spent joyful times along Dave and Welly every weekend. She helped them to do a census in the woods, of each living thing such as plants, trees and animals.
    By the time noticed a strange behavior of this partner. Dave told her the truth, at least about him. He really was a 190 years old man, but after his encounter with a magical creature, the Phoenix, his age was going backwards. Each year he was getting younger.
    The Phoenix was a mythical bird given to the Egyptians by their Sun god Ra. Its magnificent death and rebirth was within the fire. To survive, the Phoenix needed the sun-light and a nest made into a stake. Its food consisted in branches, leaves and small adders. Ellie was later honored to meet Sonny, the name that Dave gave to its flame glistening friend.
    Introducing “The Phoenix”, one of the fantasy stories written by Peter Dickinson, who has a richly detailed events and settings. Is a magical tale that will entertain and get the reader’s excitement. Recommended especially to the ones attracted by the Egyptian mythology and its enchanting tales.

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  • Posted March 2, 2011

    enjoyable

    i read my library's version and the punctuation was distracting. i had a hard time getting into Dickinson's stories and didn't finish all of them. McKinley's however were excellent and everything I've come to expect from her. Her style is beautiful and as magical as her worlds.

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