The Fire Chronicle (Books of Beginning Series #2)

The Fire Chronicle (Books of Beginning Series #2)

4.7 54
by John Stephens
     
 

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After the tumultuous events of last winter, Kate, Michael, and Emma long to continue the hunt for their missing parents. But they themselves are now in great danger, and so the wizard Stanislaus Pym hides the children at the Edgar Allan Poe Home for Hopeless and Incorrigible Orphans. There, he says, they will be safe. How wrong he is. 

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Overview

After the tumultuous events of last winter, Kate, Michael, and Emma long to continue the hunt for their missing parents. But they themselves are now in great danger, and so the wizard Stanislaus Pym hides the children at the Edgar Allan Poe Home for Hopeless and Incorrigible Orphans. There, he says, they will be safe. How wrong he is. 

The children are soon discovered by their enemies, and a frantic chase sends Kate a hundred years into the past, to a perilous, enchanted New York City. Searching for a way back to her brother and sister, she meets a mysterious boy whose fate is intricately—and dangerously—tied to her own.

Meanwhile, Michael and Emma have set off to find the second of the Books of Beginning. A series of clues leads them into a hidden world where they must brave harsh polar storms, track down an ancient order of warriors, and confront terrible monsters. Will Michael and Emma find the legendary book of fire—and master its powers—before Kate is lost to them forever? 

Exciting, suspenseful, and brimming with humor and heart, the next installment of the bestselling Books of Beginning trilogy will lead Kate, Michael, and Emma closer to their family—and to the magic that could save, or destroy, them all.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Fifteen-year-old Kate, almost 13-year-old Michael, and 12-year-old Emma don't know why Dr. Pym sent them back to the dreadful orphanage at the end of The Emerald Atlas (Knopf, 2011), but Kate, who learned to control the power of the Atlas to travel through time, knows they need to leave as soon as possible. In the first chapter of Chronicle, a monstrous Screecher attacks, and Kate lures it into the past at the exact moment Dr. Pym appears to retrieve Michael and Emma. While Kate deals with the Dickensian world of 1899 New York on the eve of Separation, when the magical and mundane worlds will split for good, Michael, Emma, and Pym search for information about the other two books in a variety of unlikely places. This is a roller-coaster ride of a story, which includes old friends and new, a visit to Antarctica, the rescue of an Elf Princess (who is sometimes a dragon), a touch of doomed romance, a generous leavening of humor, life, death, betrayal, and (just a warning) a nasty little cliff-hanger of an ending. It is really Michael's story-he deals with unimaginable challenges with humor, courage, and insight. Knowledge of the first book is suggested; readers who start with this one will definitely want to backtrack. Fans of the first book won't be disappointed, and will eagerly anticipate the next one. The Emerald Atlas was very good. This one is even better.—Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library
Publishers Weekly
In the exciting second installment of Stephens’s Books of Beginning trilogy—even stronger than The Emerald Atlas—siblings Kate, Michael, and Emma flee the Edgar Allan Poe Home for Hopeless and Incorrigible Orphans with the evil forces of the Dire Magus at their heels. Fifteen-year-old Kate, carrying the Emerald Atlas she rescued in book one, travels through time to a magical version of 19th-century New York City where she falls for a heroic young man named Rafe, only to discover the dark destiny that awaits him. Younger siblings Michael and Emma, reunited at least momentarily with their eccentric wizard guardian, Dr. Pym, learn they must fly to southernmost South America and beyond to recover the legendary Fire Chronicle. Fans of The Emerald Atlas will find much to love: the adventure-driven plot, a scattering of deliciously scary moments, and Stephens’s offbeat take on Tolkienesque dragons, dwarves, and elves (“The boy elves wore stiff-brimmed straw hats. The girl elves twirled parasols on their dainty shoulders. A few of the elves carried wooden tennis rackets”) are sure to delight. Ages 8–12. Agent: Simon Lipskar, Writers House. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, October 8, 2012:
“Fans of The Emerald Atlas will find much to love: the adventure-driven plot, a scattering of deliciously scary moments, and Stephens’s offbeat take on Tolkienesque dragons, dwarves, and elves are sure to delight.”

Starred Review, School Library Journal, October 1, 2012:
“Fans of the first book won’t be disappointed, and will eagerly anticipate the next one. The Emerald Atlas was very good. This one is even better.”

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2012:
“Irreverent humor and swashbuckling adventure collide in a fetching fantasy.”

Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
Book two in a series that, however exciting, charming, and captivating, suffers if not read in order. Book one introduces all the trouble facing Kate, Michael, and Emma. Their parents are missing—for ten years. The wizard Stanislaus Pym tried to hide the children in the Edgar Allen Poe Home for Hopeless and Incorrigible Orphans, where he thought they would be safe. Of course they are not safe; their enemies find them and chase them through space and time until Kate is sent 100 years into the past, to an "enchanted, dangerous New York City." There she meets a mysterious boy who seems to have some kind of tie to her. But is this tie going to help her find her siblings? What kind of magic is this, anyway? Michael and Emma, stuck in modern times, search frantically for the sister who raised them. They are also looking for a book—the second of the Books of Beginning, the Book of Fire, to which Michael is somehow linked. Meanwhile, Kate gets involved with a ragtag group of orphans whose survival depends on that mysterious boy. Again, what kind of magic is this? Readers will wish for a little more insight into the workings of this world. In other words, the book does not stand alone as well as it could. But the characters are very real children, and the way they are involved with each other as siblings is very true-to-life. Book two in the "Books of Beginning" series. Reviewer: Judy Silverman
VOYA - Cheryl Clark
In the second of The Books of Beginning series, Kate, Michael, and Emma’s enemies are closing in on them. They flee their orphanage, with Kate accidentally sending herself back in time to the late nineteenth century and Michael and Emma being whisked away by the wizard Stanislaus Pym. Michael and Emma seek the second of the magical books of beginning, the Chronicle, traveling through Italy and on to Antarctica, with the Dire Magnus’s henchman hot on their tail. In the meantime, Kate holes up with a group of street kids led by a boy named Rafe, with whom she feels a strange connection. Why does Kate have such strong feelings for Rafe, and what is his connection to the Dire Magnus? Will Michael and Emma find the physical and mental strength to retrieve the Chronicle? And most importantly, will the three children ever be reunited? Fire Chronicle is an adventure ride from start to finish; with one exciting scene flowing right into another, the book is hard to put down. Although the novel seems to be geared toward a middle school audience, there are enough mature themes to hold the interest of older readers as well. Readers will especially be drawn in by Michael’s story; he is repeatedly faced with the decision of who lives and who dies. Although the book can be read as a stand-alone novel, it will have readers running to the shelves eager to get their hands on the other novels in the series. Ages 11 to 15.
Kirkus Reviews
Time travel, an Arctic ice shelf and frivolous elves converge in this second installment of The Books of Beginning. Siblings Kate, Michael and Emma were lauded for successfully battling evil in The Emerald Atlas (2011), but soon afterward, their trusted confidant, Dr. Pym, redeposited them in a decrepit orphanage without explanation. After several months, a foreboding black cloud rolls in, catapulting the children into action. Kate escapes to 1899 Manhattan via the previous book's titular atlas, while Michael and Emma are miraculously plucked from danger by Pym. So sets the stage for Kate's mission to rejoin her siblings and for Michael and Emma's journey to a secreted, lush valley in Antarctica to seek a second magic book, the Chronicle. The children aren't strangers to magic, but their awe of magical places, allies and enemies does anything but wane here (it's hard to be ho-hum when entranced by elves, pursued by a dragon and combatting trolls). A third-person-omniscient narration alternates between Kate and Michael, but Michael, the meekest child (and destined keeper of the Chronicle), is the primary focus as he struggles to find a fiery strength within himself. With no rest for the children, the ending is anything but a fading ember as Emma is kidnapped, separating the trio once again and setting the stage for Book 3. Irreverent humor and swashbuckling adventure collide in a fetching fantasy. (Fantasy. 10-14)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375899560
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
10/09/2012
Series:
Books of Beginning Series , #2
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
448
Sales rank:
140,335
Lexile:
780L (what's this?)
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, October 8, 2012:
“Fans of The Emerald Atlas will find much to love: the adventure-driven plot, a scattering of deliciously scary moments, and Stephens’s offbeat take on Tolkienesque dragons, dwarves, and elves are sure to delight.”

Starred Review, School Library Journal, October 1, 2012:
“Fans of the first book won’t be disappointed, and will eagerly anticipate the next one. The Emerald Atlas was very good. This one is even better.”

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2012:
“Irreverent humor and swashbuckling adventure collide in a fetching fantasy.”

Meet the Author

John Stephens is also the author of The Emerald Atlas, the first installment in the Books of Beginning trilogy.  John received his MFA from the University of Virginia, and went on to write and produce television for ten years.  During this time, he read His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman and fell in love with fantasy for young readers.  He spent the next several years waking at 4 AM every morning to write The Emerald Atlas before heading to work for the day.
John lives in Los Angeles with his wife and son and their dog, Bug. Visit BooksofBeginning.com to find out more about The Fire Chronicle, the Books of Beginning, and John.


From the Hardcover edition.

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The Fire Chronicle 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 53 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cannot wait for the next book to come out. I have waited so long for this one and theyhave to make a movie out of these. Whos with me?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can already tell from the first book-The Emerald Atlas-that this book will be magnificant! This book looks so good, i cannot wait for October 9th (when it comes out) because i will read it cover to cover! I will not stop until it is finished, and I AM SO EXCITED THAT IM GOING TO BURTS CANDY AND BE HAPPY ABOUT IT! When this book comes out it might just be the best day of my life! I kniw the John Stephens will not dissapoint me, he didn't with the last book, and i kniw he wont with this book, because this is going to be the next Harry Potter, it will turn into a movie, and then my life will be compleeted, then they will make a movie for the second movie for the 2nd one!!!! Soon i will be happy!!!!! Again
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When i read the first book the beginning was son confusing i considered putting it down but the 2 nd book was so clear and never dull youll luv it <3
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a really good book! The ending was good! Cant wait until the next one!!! :D
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Imagnatine, inventive and egrossing. Just wish there was more to it. The cahrechters need more development. Forgive spelling, please. Overall, I liked it, despite the flaws. Good summer read for tweens.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When is the third book coming out?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When is the next book coming out!?!?! Its been like 2 years!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book its super awsome i agree they should make these books into movies cause you read them and you get sucked in and feel as your there and every things happening to you its awsome!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When does the next one come out? I have been waiting forever! The fire chronicle really built on the emerald atlas. I might even venture to say that the 2nd was better than the 1st. Can't wait to find out Emma's book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would recomind this book an amzing book of magic and has some love in it ans sadness i give this 5 stars all the way! Cant wait till next book :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Omg these books r amazing! The ending is killing me! Its a big cliff hanger! I hope the next book comes out soon!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I can't wait for the third book in the series. This is a great series and reminds me a lot of Harry Potter. The audio book version is fantastic as Jim Dale is the best! (He also read the Harry Potter audio book version)! If you like Harry Potter, check this series out!
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