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Three hundred people, isolated forever on a raw new planet in the hope of fulfilling a dream, the dream that their psi powers will become the foundation of a culture that can someday shape the future of humankind. If they don?t starve first. If they don?t lose heart in the face of hardships beyond any they imagined. And if their kids can be reared to believe in the dream and advance both their technology and their psi powers from one generation to the next.
Jesse hasn?t expected...
Three hundred people, isolated forever on a raw new planet in the hope of fulfilling a dream, the dream that their psi powers will become the foundation of a culture that can someday shape the future of humankind. If they don’t starve first. If they don’t lose heart in the face of hardships beyond any they imagined. And if their kids can be reared to believe in the dream and advance both their technology and their psi powers from one generation to the next.
Jesse hasn’t expected to be responsible for the settlement. Peter is the leader, the visionary on whose inspiration they all depend. But Peter has his hands full, not only with maintaining morale but with grueling ordeals of his own. So the job of ensuring the colony’s survival falls on Jesse. And in the end, he must stake his life in a desperate attempt to prevent the loss of all they have gained.
This series, formerly titled the Flame Trilogy, has been split into two series: The Hidden Flame and The RIsing Flame. This novel is the second book in the first series, preceded by Stewards of the Flame. The second series begins with Defender of the Flame, which is a separate story that does not depend on having read the first series. Unlike some of Sylvia Engdahl’s previous novels, these are not Young Adult books and are not appropriate for middle-school readers.
From the reviews:
“It is not necessary to read the first [book] in order to be enthralled by the second. . . . Engdahl’s gift is to make her characters seem comfortable and familiar to the reader, even though their circumstances are not. Although clearly a work of science fiction, the ideas and futuristic possibilities are disturbingly real and will remain with the reader long after they’ve finished the book.” —IndieReader Staff Review
“I think I actually like Promise of the Flame even more than Stewards of the Flame. In the first book, the idealist philosophy was created in opposition to the bounds of their society. However, in the sequel, the characters have to balance survival (short and long term) with these ideals. Definitely not an easy task.” —TCM Reviews
“Outsoars its predecessor. . . . This is a book written by somebody at once holding firm convictions as to the potential human life can have but with enough political intelligence to note that even a society far improved over its predecessor will have its own problems, will be only a half-utopia. But even a half-utopia equipped with freedom and the possibility for optimal human interconnection is better than a society that disciplines and denies these. . . . As with all of Engdahl’s work, science-fiction fans will recognize the tropes she uses, but it is not just ‘for’ them, no more than the work of a great artist who happens to work in, say, ceramics is just for adepts of that medium. Engdahl has produced high-quality work over a forty-year period, but this is one of her finest achievements.” —Nicholas Birns (author of Understanding Anthony Powell)
Posted February 6, 2013
Posted February 17, 2013