The Legions of Fire

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Overview

From the Bestselling author of the Lord of the Isles. . .

In this novel of magical menace to the survival of all humanity, David Drake introduces a new fantasy world, Carce, based on Europe during the later Roman Empire.

Far in the north, a group of magicians perform a strange dance on a volcanic island intended to open a gateway for supernatural creatures that will allow them to devastate the whole Earth and destroy all life. Not ...

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New York, New York, U.S.A. 2010 H Hardcover New in J New jacket 1st ed/1st pr, SIGNED by AUTHOR on the title page, new and unread, square and solid with firm and unblemished ... boards and sharp tips. The dustjacket is sharp and lustrous in protective mylar Brodart cover! You'll be wreathed in wild magic when this beauty wings its way to your door! Read more Show Less

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The Legions of Fire

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Overview

From the Bestselling author of the Lord of the Isles. . .

In this novel of magical menace to the survival of all humanity, David Drake introduces a new fantasy world, Carce, based on Europe during the later Roman Empire.

Far in the north, a group of magicians perform a strange dance on a volcanic island intended to open a gateway for supernatural creatures that will allow them to devastate the whole Earth and destroy all life. Not knowing the cause, two young men, Corylus and Varus, and two women, Hedia and Alphena, each separately pursue the answer to mysterious and threatening happenings that prefigure disaster  in  the great city of Carce, the center of civilization.  Through magical voyages in other realities where fantastic creatures, and even gods, help or hinder them, each of them must succeed or not just the city but the world will end in fire.

The Legions of Fire is the first of a fantasy quartet set in the world of the city of Carce.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Cataclysmic visions and pronouncements of impending doom have Varus and his friend Corylus, along with his sister and his stepmother, attempting to uncover the cause of a magical working that threatens the existence of the powerful city of Carce and the empire it rules. The author of "The Lord of the Isles" series launches a new fantasy quartet set in an alternate Earth that calls to mind the late Roman Empire. VERDICT Drake's characters are both engaging and believable, while his world building and attention to historical detail lend a realistic touch to a tale of magic and mystery. Fans of historical fantasy as well as the author's many novels should anticipate this series opener.
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Drake opens a four-book epic saga with this convoluted fantasy. Four people are in the middle of a struggle between two powers bent on either dominating or destroying the world. Varus, a poet, is the pawn of a group of ancient magicians trying to set the world aflame. His friend Corylus, the son of a soldier, and his sister, Alphena, both begin to have visions about the end of the world. Hedia, Varus's mother-in-law, is certain that her husband's new companion, a foreign magician named Nemastes, is behind all of the strange occurrences. The four characters are drawn further into the events as the world shifts around them: Corylus is advised by a Norse god, and the others must all navigate the land of dreams. All of them make small choices that change the course of events for the whole world. Unfortunately, over the course of the novel, they are merely the game pieces of the larger forces that seem to move them around. Though they are the central figures, they are thrust into events with little knowledge or motive, and seem to succeed by chance rather than intention. The plot is convoluted, and the setting, which features real-world locations and historical events, is so like ancient Rome that it is a mystery why Drake chose to rename it. Some fantasy fans may be interested in a new series with historical details and mythological figures, but The Legions of Fire is unlikely to win over a large audience.—Alana Joli Abbott, James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, CT
Publishers Weekly
Drake (Lord of the Isles) vividly recreates the attitudes of patrician Romans in this fantasy tale, the first of a projected quartet. When Senator Saxa's bookish teenage son, Varus, suddenly channels a mystical prediction of the end of days while reciting an epic poem, Saxa's young wife, Hedia, blames the wizard Nemastes, who's been scheming after Saxa's money. Varus's best friend, Corylus, and sister, Alphena, also caught up in strange visions during the recitation, suspect there may be more going on than Roman political wrangling. Alphena adds her skill with arms and sense for magic to Hedia's keen intelligence and deadly temper, Varus's mysterious connection to the lands of dreams and death, and Corylus's military instincts and good sense as they tangle with magicians trying to destroy the world. Fans of fantasy and historical fiction will enjoy the decidedly noncontemporary characters and their adventures. (May)
Kirkus Reviews
Drake (In the Stormy Red Sky, 2009, etc.) embarks on a new four-volume fantasy cycle whose setting is early Imperial Rome, although, to avoid comparisons with historical fantasy, Drake changes the city's name to Carce. Unfortunately, Drake's backdrop puts tedious emphasis on protocol and the niceties of servant-aristocrat interaction, seemingly to cover up a plot that's not even half thought-out. Rich, influential but gullible senator Gaius Alphenus Saxa closets himself with Nemastes, an evil Hyperborean wizard who brings dire warnings about the destruction of the world by fire. On a volcanic island in the far north, meanwhile, 12 associates of Nemastes prepare to release the hordes of fire-demons that will achieve said destruction. In Carce, Varus, Saxa's son, holds a poetry reading attended by his warrior friend, Publius Corylus. Somehow they both become entangled with one of Nemastes' spells and both are hurled, briefly but eerily, into other worlds. Soon, dryads spring from the fruit trees in Saxa's courtyard and push Saxa's young wife Hedia and his tomboyish daughter, Alphena, into strange new worlds. Finally, Corylus ends up in an ice-age world, while Varus travels elsewhere to meet the god Odin. Now each of the four youngsters-by now recognizable as stock computer-game avatars-must meet didactic challenges, acquire powers or perform services in order to progress. Computer-game enthusiasts will find all this familiar and, despite the lazy sprinkling of magical tropes, unedifying. Hard to see how this sloppy, unambitious nonsense could pry its target audience away from their game consoles.
From the Publisher
Praise for David Drake:

“David Drake writes fantasy with the texture of the legends of yore.”

—Terry Goodkind

“David Drake’s work . .  is original, engrossing, and instantly credible."

—Stephen R. Donaldson

“David Drake is thought of as a military SF author, but he’s actually written more fantasy than anything else in his long and impressive career. If you want to know why, read The Legions of Fire. Drake is one of the best fantasy writers this genre has ever produced.”

—Eric Flint, author of 1632

“Drake vividly recreates the attitudes of patrician Romans in this fantasy tale….Fans of fantasy and historical fiction will enjoy the decidedly non-contemporary characters and their adventures.”

—Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765320780
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 5/11/2010
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.62 (h) x 1.24 (d)

Meet the Author

David Drake

David Drake lives in Pittsboro, North Carolina.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

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(15)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(2)

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(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful storytelling

    In Carce, the center of civilization, bookworm Varus, son of Senator Gaius Saxa, is to do a reading. Attending it is his classmate and friend Corylus, son of commander Publius Cispius. At the recital of the epic poem, Varus abruptly makes strange predictions of the end of days beginning count down.

    His young shrewish stepmother Hedia holds the avaricious wizard Nemastes culpable for Varus' outrageous embarrassing behavior. However, besides Varus, Corylus and his sister Alphena were engulfed by visions during the recital. None are aware that to the north on a remote volcanic isle, mages have begun a final ritual that will enable beasts from beyond this realm to enter and destroy mankind. Four residents of Carce with diverse skills are all that stand in the way to prevent total extinction.

    The key to this sort of historical fantasy is how wonderfully David Drake captures the essence of the patrician nobility of Rome, which brings freshness to the quest. The quartet of heroes is fully developed with different skills, knowledge and attitudes. Corylus brings military strategic experience to the mix; Alphena possesses combat skills; Hedia is brilliant though volatile; and Varus has a connection to the beyond. Together they may save the realm; separately they have no chance as the Legion of Fire is an enjoyable first tale.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2013

    Luke

    Hi.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2013

    F

    Foxfeathrr laid down in the corner, licking her belly.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2013

    To anyone

    Help! Hurricaneclan being attacked at snake res 1. Only two clan cats of theirs are on and they need help. There are at least 5 bloodclan cats attacking. And a few cats from other clans helping each side. Hurry. *runs back to the fight*

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2013

    Lionstar burst in ...

    Blleeding help at snake res1 and 3 PLEASE

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2013

    Hi

    Uhhhh is this inactive?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2013

    Darkfrost

    Can i join?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2013

    Fatalgrin

    Fatalgrin padded to the entrance "I'm sory Flamestar but this isn't the right clan for me." She flicked her tail "May we see eachother again."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2013

    Mooneyes

    May I join im a all grey she cat with blue eye but changes during my mood and I have medicine cat training

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2013

    Sunblaze

    Sits and grroms wishing she had a mate

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2013

    The kit

    Spiderkit

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2013

    Sabertooth

    Im on

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2013

    Moonfur

    Ok.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2013

    Mistypaw

    Thanks where the med. Cat den

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2013

    FLAMESTAR TO ALL

    We are moving to FlameClan res one.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted May 26, 2011

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    Posted August 21, 2011

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