Buried Fire

Buried Fire

by Jonathan Stroud
     
 

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Deep in the English countryside, the unearthing of an ancient Celtic cross awakens an imprisoned dragon and unleashes a smoldering evil. Less than a mile away, 13-year-old Michael McIntyre falls asleep on a lush green hill, and wakes up with frightening and sinister new abilities. Michael possesses the four gifts of the dragon-and he's not the only one, nor is he

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Overview

Deep in the English countryside, the unearthing of an ancient Celtic cross awakens an imprisoned dragon and unleashes a smoldering evil. Less than a mile away, 13-year-old Michael McIntyre falls asleep on a lush green hill, and wakes up with frightening and sinister new abilities. Michael possesses the four gifts of the dragon-and he's not the only one, nor is he the most powerful. The others, whose identities will be slowly revealed, offer Michael powers beyond his wildest dreams if he will keep their secret safe. Now he must choose: give up these astonishing but devastating new abilities and help his family and friends banish the evil that lies beneath their fragile earth, or join the others in their crusade to protect their gifts and set the dragon free - a choice that may well destroy everyone Michael loves. Those with power will stop at nothing to keep its secret, while those without it need Michael's protection to survive. Buried Fire combines elements of fantasy and mythology in a spellbinding tale of good versus evil.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Fans of the genre of fantasy will enjoy this story. In fact, once they start reading it, they probably will not be able to put it down. The descriptions make the story so real they allow the reader to envision every scene. The third paragraph begins, "In the darkness, nothing stirs. The dragon lies as still and silent as a graveyard skull." The setting is an English countryside where a boy named Michael has four gifts bestowed upon him by the dragon. As the story progresses, he learns that others also were given gifts. These gifts make him face and deal with a great conflict within himself. Will he keep secrets he has learned from others that will free the dragon, or will he help his family try to destroy the evil that lurks beneath the earth. A page-turner with an English accent—Stroud uses words like "walkabout" and "parcels"—the adventure is absorbing and the author does an outstanding job of keeping the reader guessing. Great for school and classroom libraries, and would make a perfect gift for a fantasy buff. 2004 (orig. 1999), Miramax Books, Ages 9 to 12.
—Kathie M. Josephs
KLIATT
Deep beneath a hilltop in the English countryside, a dragon sleeps. It is neither a peaceful nor a willing slumber. Michael McIntyre sleeps on the hill above, blissfully unaware of the change that is about to take place in his life. For as Michael sleeps, the dragon dreams, and a single reptilian thought rises from the earth to envelop the boy. When Michael awakens, he finds that he has the ability to see people's true identities. As the days pass, he realizes that he also has three other gifts: the gift of fire, the gift of flying, and the gift of mind control. Michael takes his brother Stephen to the hilltop to initiate him into the small group of villagers who have been changed by the dragon. However, Stephen resists the use of his gifts. Meanwhile, the Reverend Tom Aubrey of St. Wyndham church has made an interesting discovery in his churchyard: the arm of a large Celtic cross has been lifted from the ground. What he does not realize is that this cross bound the dragon into the earth, and with its removal the dragon's power has increased. Although Buried Fire has exciting fantasy elements, it is not a book that will appeal to all. The point of view within the text shifts from character to character, creating a fractured narrative that would be hard for a lower-level reader to follow comfortably. Also, the victory at the end of the story becomes dependent upon some minor secondary characters that are not terribly well developed, and as a result the conclusion feels convenient. However, the tale itself is intriguing. Although the dragon is the core menace of the story, the humans who are acting on his behalf reflect the real conflict. Their interpersonal relationshipsremain human while their actions become reptilian. This thriller will appeal to those fantasy fans who are strong readers. It will especially appeal to those who eagerly await the final volume in Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus trilogy. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 1999, Hyperion, Miramax, 332p., Ages 12 to 18.
—Heather Lisowski

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786851942
Publisher:
Miramax Books for Kids
Publication date:
10/01/2004
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
7.58(w) x 5.24(h) x 0.81(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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