The Fire

The Fire

by Katherine Neville
3.2 66

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Overview

The Fire by Katherine Neville

Katherine Neville’s groundbreaking novel, The Eight, dazzled audiences more than twenty years ago and set the literary stage for the epic thriller. A quest for a mystical chess service that once belonged to Charlemagne, it spans two centuries and three continents, and intertwines historic and modern plots, archaeological treasure hunts, esoteric riddles, and puzzles encrypted with clues from the ancient past. Now the electrifying global adventure continues, in Neville’s long anticipated sequel: THE FIRE

2003, Colorado: Alexandra Solarin is summoned home to her family’s ancestral Rocky Mountain hideaway for her mother’s birthday. Thirty years ago, her parents, Cat Velis and Alexander Solarin, believed that they had scattered the pieces of the Montglane Service around the world, burying with them the secrets of the power that comes with possessing it. But Alexandra arrives to find that her mother is missing and that a series of strategically placed clues, followed swiftly by the unexpected arrival of a mysterious assortment of houseguests, indicates that something sinister is afoot. 

When she inadvertently discovers from her aunt, the chess grandmaster Lily Rad, that the most powerful piece of Charlemagne’s service has suddenly resurfaced and the Game has begun again, Alexandra is swept into a journey that takes her from Colorado to the Russian wilderness and at last into the heart of her own hometown: Washington D.C.

1822, Albania: Thirty years after the French Revolution, when the chess service was unearthed, all of Europe hovers on the brink of the War of Greek Independence. Ali Pasha, the most powerful ruler in the Ottoman Empire, has angered the sultan and is about to be attacked by Turkish forces. Now he sends the only person he can rely upon–his young daughter, Haidee–on a dangerous mission to smuggle a valuable relic out of Albania, through the mountains and over the sea, to the hands of the one man who might be able to save it.

Haidee’s journey from Albania to Morocco to Rome to Greece, and into the very heart of the Game, will result in revelations about the powerful chess set and its history that will lead at last to the spot where the service was first created more than one thousand years before: Baghdad.

Blending exquisite prose and captivating history with nonstop suspense, Neville again weaves an unforgettable story of peril, action, and intrigue.


From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345509642
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/14/2008
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 239,239
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Katherine Neville is the author of The Eight, The Magic Circle (a USA Today bestseller), and A Calculated Risk (a New York Times Notable Book). The Eight has been translated into more than thirty languages. In a national poll in Spain by the noted journal El País, The Eight was voted one of the top ten books of all time. Neville lives in Virginia and Washington, D.C.

www.katherineneville.com


From the Hardcover edition.

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Fire 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 65 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
**Spoilers** I read The Eight and thought it was a fine read. When I saw The Fire in the store, and I thought this would be about as good a read. It isn't. It follows a similar structure in the sense that one part is told in the present, and the other in the past. The story of the past has almost no impact on the story at all. There are so many irrelevant characters introduced that they are distracting and take up your memory and brainpower trying to figure out their purpose. Name dropping is abundant. Characters like Byron, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Dumas are introduced, but are meaningless. I guess Neville thought this would be cool, but it has no bearing. The same is true of the present. We are led down blind alley after blind alley that we become totally lost. Characters are constantly told that they are this chess piece, but later, are another piece, and later, even another. Along with irrelevant characters are irrelevant plots. Hints are constantly dropped about how important fire is. It has something to do with alchemy; the main character is going to be a catalyst for something; she's going to have to use fire for something. It is obvious that the main character is somehow connected to fire. It is the title of the damn book. Half the quotes that begin the chapters are fire related. What does this have to do with anything? Zip. Characters, and therefore the story, takes tremendous leaps in logic about who knows what and why who is doing what. In the end, tons of stuff are not resolved. The pieces are not found; the chessboard (which we are constantly told is the key to everything) is not found; and the true climax, the choice that is supposed to face the main characters between immortality, and love, is never faced. There's an old saying in movies and books (it goes something like this): if you show a shotgun above a mantle in chapter one, it better be used by the end of the book. Well, in The Fire, we are showed a room full of junk, told all about the junk, and none of it is used for anything or important. The whole book is one giant McGuffin (Hitchock reference)
Frisbeesage More than 1 year ago
The story starts with the Eight. A magnificent chess set, that once belonged to Charlemagne, is the key to unlimited power. It travels through history touching Napoleon, Catherine the Great, and many other names you will recognize. At the end of the Eight the chess set, called the Montglane Service appears safe from evil hands, but in The Fire it will resurface in frightening new ways. New players will be brought into the game and the line between black and white will become gray....
I loved The Eight and for me The Fire scratched an itch I have been waiting to scratch for ten years. The Fire has it all romance, adventure, and history. It has brains and brawn and a funny bone to boot! It was fast-paced and surprising and the first book in a long time that I couldn't put down. I only hope that I don't have to wait ten more years for another book from Katherine Neville!
NatalieTahoe More than 1 year ago
Sorry, all. I waited the twenty years just like everyone else for the sequel to "The Eight," which happens to be "The Da Vinci Code" in the 1980s, but SO much better. So when I heard that "The Fire" was coming out, a sequel to "The Eight," you bet your britches that I put myself on the pre-order list, and eagerly awaited its release. I tend to read books very quickly, especially those that are incredible... but lemme tell you, it took me forever to read because the dialogue and events were so not at the sophisticated level that "The Eight" was. I found myself hating one of the primary characters because of the over-usage of catch phrases and sayings -- annoying! What a complete sadness I felt when I finally finished the last page. And if you've never read "The Eight," then reading "The Fire," could be a stand alone book for you, but it just doesn't have any kind of passion or energy that you can really get into at all. What a disappointment.
flamenca More than 1 year ago
I don't often write reviews, but this book was sooo awful, I feel it's a consideration to other readers to let them know that this is not AT ALL like The Eight. The plot is erratic, the characters are superficial and you can't make head or tails out of the story. Don't waste your time reading this!
Guest More than 1 year ago
In Washington DC once a child chess prodigy who quit playing years ago, Alexandra Solarin lives a quiet lifestyle as a sous chef. However, her missing mom, Catherine Velis (star of THE EIGHT, a Brownian like thriller published before the Da Vinci Code) has left her some esoteric clues that will find her.----------- Unable to not make an attempt to rescue her mother, Alex enters the Game' in which she is to seek the mythical Montglane Service chess set that allegedly contains the code for immortality. The Game is life and death across centuries and counties as time and boundaries do not exist in this ¿realm¿ whereas danger is behind each clue as death is the norm.-------------- This direct sequel to the classic late 1980s thriller THE EIGHT is as good as the original and can stand alone. The amazement re Katherine Neville¿s talent is how she keeps an incredibly fast-paced story line which includes tons of deep historical references and persona. Fans of the original saga will obviously welcome the daughter¿s gambit, but newcomers will agree THE FIRE is one of the best puzzler thrillers of the year.------------------------ Harriet Klausner
carlosmock More than 1 year ago
The Fire by Katherine Neville The anticipated sequel to "Eight." Once again, Charlemagne's secret and powerful Montglane Service Chess set is the protagonist the book. Just like "Eight, " the story follows two timelines, this time it's 2003 and 1822. 2003. Alexandra Solarin is summoned by her estranged mother to their family retreat at Four Corners, Colorado. She has not spoken to her in ten years, and out of the blue, her mother, Catherine Velis invites her to celebrate her birthday. Alexandra arrives to find that her mother is missing. A series of strategically placed clues and the arrival of a mysterious assortment of house guests lead Alexandra to conclude that The Game has started again. This is confirmed by her aunt, chess grandmaster Lilly Rad, who tells Alexandra that the black queen has resurfaced and that Alexandra is in great danger. Just like her father was assassinated 10 years prior, Taras Petrossian has been assassinated also - all because they were trying to protect the Montglane Service Chess set and its secret formula. Alexandra must rely on her childhood friend, Nokomis Key, and Petrossian's stepson, Ukrainian grand master Vartan Azov, to decipher a set of clues that will take them from Colorado, to the Russian wilderness and at last into the heart of her own hometown: Washington, D. C. 1822. Ali Pasha has angered the sultan of the Ottoman Empire and is about to be attacked by The Turkish forces. He sends his young daughter, Haidée - who was really fathered by lord Byron himself - on a dangerous mission: to smuggle the black queen back to lord Byron, the only man who might be able to save it. Haidée's journey from Albania to Morocco to Rome, and finally to Greece will take her into the very heart of the Game. It will result in revelations about the Montglane Service Chess set and its secret formula: the elixir of life everlasting. Told from Alexandra's first person point of view, and from the third person point of view of the other main characters, the book has a captivating history, non stop suspense, and incredible research. Unlike the first installment, "Eight, " I found the sequel had "too many sub-plots," making it hard to follow. I also thought the ending was lame. Still, it was a nice read....
toniarthur More than 1 year ago
I hate to leave a bad review for what is a fantastic, wonderfully-written story, and a worthy sequel to Katherine's "The Eight," but I have to say something about the typesetting of the Nook version. I own this book in hardcover as well as for the Nook, and the hardcover edition is excellent. The Nook version, however, is rife with glaring, horrible typesetting errors, such as repeated lines, countless run together words, misplaced ends of sentences and paragraphs, etc. I don't know how Nook versions of existing books are created, but the number of errors is absolutely horrible. It isn't reader-dependent, either - in my Nook Color and in Nook for Windows, the same errors are visible in the same places. As I said above, the story and writing are absolutely terrific, but whomever is responsible for typesetting the Nook version should be ashamed.
TeaPot_1997 More than 1 year ago
I agree with many that this is a hot mess, and Neville's amazing writing have gotten lost in the fire. Where The Eight was a tentalizing, amazing epic story, this one is a dying amber of a fire which could've been. I only finished it because of the first one. Its filled with too many characters with no depth at all. The only thing I loved was that Solarin was alive, what a relief that was! Besides that nothing kept me amazed and intrigued. Looked like it was hurriedly written. I have read the Eight atleast 25 times since the day I purchased it five years ago, and this one I couldn't wait to finish it the first time and haven't looked at it even once since than. At the time when I read The Eight, I had wished that Neville would write a sequel, and was totally floored when I found out that it was in the works, but now I wish she had just left it be.
IMNoOne More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book, having read "The Eight". Now I know "the rest of the story". I found the plot to be a bit vague, but entertaining. A chess novice, I had some difficulty seeing the "relationships" as purported, but I DID learn a bit about the game of chess, its' history, its' followers, the "peculiar" nature of chess players, and, especially, the "politics". Many "twists 'n' turns" to be found. The characters were well defined and entertaining...each with a very imaginable personality. There are also snapshots of past times, historical figures, and exotic places throughout, and the "past and present" are well intertwined. Ms. Neville plays an intriguing, fast-paced, game...I'd recommend "The Fire" to all who enjoy chess, challenge, and a touch of "The DaVinci Code" feel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. Could not put it down. Sequals are not always as good as the originals but this book was every bit as good as The Eight. I have read everything written by Katherine Nevielle and have loved everyone of them. To bad she has only written four books. I would highly recommend this book.
RMN More than 1 year ago
Katherine Neville mastered the skill of entwining history, reality, science, and fantasy in exact proportions. "The Fire" blends factual history and myths to a point where the difference disappears, and the reader falls captured by the plot, intriguing settings, and well built ordinary and extraordinary characters. "The Fire" is a quest. Alexandra, the main character, explores her past and her relationship with her mother. Like in real life, her actions are determined not only by her own choices, but also unexpected circumstances, and more importantly, by choices made in the past by others without her knowledge or consent. "The Fire" is well written. Alexandra's quest rapidly becomes the reader's quest. Alexander Solarin (Alexandra's father) is dazzling. Cat Velis (her mother) is smart and mysterious, Lily Rad (her aunt) is a genius, very funny, and a chess Master. Chess is a recurring theme throughout the plot, but you don't need to be a chess player to enjoy it. Alexandra's family comes from "The Eight", Neville's first epic thriller, written twenty years ago. I re-read "The Eight" before reading "The Fire", just to prolong the pleasure of exploring the sequel. They are both great.
TBK More than 1 year ago
The Fire, sequel to The Eight, is a legitimate page burner. K. Neville takes the reader on a ride that has more twists and turns than Lombard Street in San Francisco. From the majestic peaks of Colorado to the power corridors of Washington, D.C. and a race across the United States that comes to a startling conclusion in Russia. Neville's ability to combine historic fact with imaginative characters is superb and exceeded only by her unmatched ability to draw the reader directly in to one spectacular setting after another. And, of course, the chess match continues! Readers of The Eight will welcome the return of many familiar characters and will find more than one or two surprises. Who is the new Black Queen? If you have read The Eight you will not want to miss The Fire! For those not having already read The Eight you may want to consider doing that first. While not necessary to do so, my belief is that knowing "the players" adds to the dimension of The Fire. What you should know is both The Fire and the earlier novel, The Eight, are a subperb blend of fact and fiction with characters in both categories. You will at once be both thrilled and delighted as these characters assume specific pieces of a chess set. The reader need not know anything about chess but will be held in suspense as "the players" criss cross the country trying to stay one step ahead of death all the while searching for the Black Queen who has disappeared from a birthday party. If you enjoy a quest you will definitely love this new adventure. It has all the suspense, drama, twists and turns of a truly great novel.
Born_to_Read More than 1 year ago
The Fire, while an interesting novel on its own, is far better appreciated if readers have first read The Eight, originally published twenty years ago. The Fire continues the Game, with a new generation of characters involved in the pursuit of an ancient chess set. Again, Katherine Neville had written a fantastic novel with both historical and fictional characters and interwoven storylines from different historical time periods. This book crosses the boundaries of genre and gender and is skillfully written. This book is one of the best that I have read in the past year.
NaCl-1 More than 1 year ago
Far far too much detail which did not seem to add to the plot. You almost have to stop and try to diagram the who's who to keep track of the turns.
Adragon More than 1 year ago
After reading thr Eight I was looking forward to this book, but was very disapointed. The characters are flat and underdeveloped, the amazing puzzles from the first book are gone leaving puzzles the characters solve with out any thought. If you loved the Eight think twice before reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Some things are worth waiting for and Katherine Neville's THE FIRE is one of them. In the twenty years since her original book the The EIGHT captured the attention, minds and hearts of readers across the world, she has once again written a novel that will keep us turning the pages and staying up to the wee hours. THE FIRE centers on Alexandra Solarin, daughter of Catherine Velis the main character from THE EIGHT. A former child chess prodigy who quit playing after a traumatic incident in her youth, Alexandra is living a quiet, uneventful life in Washington, DC but has a series of adventures that catapult her from the safety of life as a sous chef to the middle of ¿the game¿ and the frantic search for her missing mother. This being a Neville novel, Cat Velis has left her daughter a series of riddles and clues to discover and decode based on mystical chess set. Alexandra is now playing a life and death game with terrifying consequences that reach across the centuries to the Ottoman Empire, and involve such well known figures as Lord Byron, George Washington and Catherine the Great. A White Queen, a Black Queen, a chessboard, links to Islam, references to current events such the war in Iraq, and many gambits keep the reader guessing about the truth of the chess set. The large cast of characters, many historical shifts, and abundance of information may cause overload but also keeps the reader captivated. If you like puzzles from sudoku to cryptograms, are intrigued by history, enjoy quirky characters (the kind of people you¿d love to claim you¿ve met), and if you loved THE EIGHT, then get this book. If you just want something interesting to read, get this book. You don¿t have be a devotee of THE EIGHT to enjoy it (but you should read it anyway). You¿ll finish THE FIRE, ponder it and want to discuss it with friends because it so much more than just a novel. It is another book for inquisitive minds and readers who like mystery, romance, suspense, history, and imaginative writing all in one book. You won¿t be disappointed in playing ¿the game¿ once again because this book like THE EIGHT, is a chance to discover a little bit of enlightenment from the mind of Katherine Neville.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PenelopeSue More than 1 year ago
fun adventure
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Boring, even it may seem interesting in the beginning
SSim More than 1 year ago
Nook version has too many errors - repeated lines, etc. Who is proofing this stuff? It makes for a very distracting read.
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