Secrets of the Fire Sea

Secrets of the Fire Sea

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by Stephen Hunt
     
 

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A tale of high adventure and derring-do set in the same Victorian-style world as the acclaimed The Court of the Air and The Rise of the Iron Moon.The isolated island of Jago is the only place Hannah Conquest has ever known as home. Encircled by the magma ocean of the Fire Sea, it was once the last bastion of freedom when the world struggled under the tyranny of the

Overview

A tale of high adventure and derring-do set in the same Victorian-style world as the acclaimed The Court of the Air and The Rise of the Iron Moon.The isolated island of Jago is the only place Hannah Conquest has ever known as home. Encircled by the magma ocean of the Fire Sea, it was once the last bastion of freedom when the world struggled under the tyranny of the Chimecan Empire during the age-long winter of the cold-time. But now this once-shining jewel of civilization faces an uncertain future as its inhabitants emigrate to greener climes, leaving the basalt plains and raging steam storms far behind them.For Hannah and her few friends, the streets of the island's last occupied underground city form a vast, near-deserted playground. But Hannah's carefree existence comes to an abrupt halt when her guardian, Archbishop Alice Gray, is brutally murdered in her own cathedral.Someone desperately wants to suppress a secret kept by the archbishop, and if the attempts on Hannah's own life are any indication, the killer believes that Alice passed the knowledge of it onto her ward before her saintly head was separated from her neck.But it soon becomes clear that there is more at stake than the life of one orphan. A deadly power struggle is brewing on Jago, involving rival factions in the senate and the island's most powerful trading partner. And it's beginning to look as if the deaths of Hannah's archaeologist parents shortly after her birth were very far from accidental. Soon the race is on for Hannah and her friends to unravel a chain of hidden riddles and follow them back to their source to save not just her own life, but her island home itself.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Mind-boggling invention ... explosive.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Steampunk and horror fans will enjoy the omnipresent sense of danger and horror in Hunt's ... latest adventure.” —Library Journal

“A roller coaster of an adventure… A dash of earth magic and a dose of environmental angst make this an enjoyable ride.” —Publishers Weekly on The Rise of the Iron Moon

“A swaggering, eye-filling, brain-swizzling extravaganza!” —Kirkus Reviews on The Rise of the Iron Moon

“Compulsive reading for all ages.” —Guardian (UK) on The Rise of the Iron Moon

“All manner of bizarre and fantastical extravagance.” —Daily Mail (UK) on The Rise of the Iron Moon

Library Journal
Meet Jethro Daunt, the Circlist priest with an amazing talent for deductive reasoning who was defrocked because he hears the old gods. His companion is Boxiron, the head of a Steamman Knight inexpertly attached to an inferior human-made machine body. Recognizing his skills, if not his sanctity, the Inquisition of the Circlist Church offers a mission to Jethro. It will take him to the fiery isle of Jago, where Hannah Conquest, math prodigy and ward of the church, is dealing with danger and a mystery of her own. VERDICT Steampunk and horror fans will enjoy the omnipresent sense of danger and horror in Hunt's (The Rise of the Iron Moon) latest adventure, from the corrupting domain of the valvemen to the creepy hellish setting of the isle of Jago. The book can be read as a stand-alone, as it shares a Victorian clockwork world and some characters but not events with the other books in the author's series.—April Steenburgh, George F. Johnson Memorial Lib., Endwell, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Another entry in Hunt's steampunk/what-all series (The Rise of the Iron Moon, 2011, etc.). Ice-covered and only marginally habitable, surrounded by a magma sea, the island continent of Jago is the only place where electricity works. Emigration is forbidden and most of Jago's underground cities are abandoned. When young Hannah Conquest, a Jackelian by birth, was orphaned, Archbishop Alice Gray of the Circlist Church—another Jackelian exile—took her as a ward. But even Alice is helpless when the Guild of Valvemen's evil leader, Vardan Flail, conscripts Hannah. Despite their skill with electricity and computing, valvemen rapidly develop hideous deformities due to radiation. Worse, when Alice is brutally and mysteriously murdered in her own cathedral, somebody also tries to kill Hannah, evidently in an attempt to suppress a secret kept by the archbishop and presumably passed to Hannah. Perhaps the death of Hannah's archaeologist parents shortly after her birth was not accidental. Meanwhile, in the Kingdom of Jackals, Jethro Daunt, a defrocked Circlist parson turned private investigator, and his sidekick, a sentient-robot steamman named Boxiron, accepts the Circlist Inquisition's request (read demand) to investigate the murder of the archbishop. This relatively sedate beginning swiftly accelerates into typically frenzied action and mind-boggling invention involving duels, gods, assassinations, battles, intrigue, cryptography and dangerous secrets: Hunt sets no limits on anything, which is both the attraction and the problem. A slow-starting murder mystery that rapidly turns hyper-complicated and explosive, though for many readers the series remains very much an acquired taste.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780007301713
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/04/2010
Series:
Jackelian Series
Sold by:
HarperCollins Publishers
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
560
File size:
470 KB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Stephen Hunt is the author of several fantasy titles set in the Victorian-style world of the Kingdom of Jackals and is also the founder of www.SFcrowsnest.com, one of the oldest and most popular fan-run science fiction and fantasy websites, with nearly three quarters of a million readers each month. Born in Canada, the author presently lives in London, as well as spending part of the year with his family in Spain

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