Prester John dominates the Known World. Total loyalty is demanded. Disobedience is punished by death.
Elowen Aubyn has reached the sanctuary of the Illuminati. There she is safe...or so she believed. For soon, betrayal and tragedy plunges Elowen into a desperate and deadly quest - to discover the Four Mysteries, ancient artefacts of great power.
With a small band of friends, Elowen travels across dangerous lands, encountering terrifying creatures and ruthless enemies. And she must confront her deepest fear, and uncover a shocking secret that will change her life...
The second part of an epic fantasy saga, The Ordeal of Fire takes the reader on a journey of magic, intrigue and daring escapes.
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About the Author
I am the author of the Tree of Life series of fantasy books and This Sacred Isle, an epic historical fantasy set in Dark Age Britain. I live in Suffolk, England with my wife, daughter and cat. My writing reflects my love of history and mythology, especially the folktales and legends of the British Isles. My literary influences include the works of Mervyn Peake, Charles Dickens, J.R.R. Tolkien, Richard Adams and George Orwell. The Tree of Life trilogy (comprised of The Map of the Known World, The Ordeal of Fire and The Last Days) was originally published between 2007 and 2012. A new boxset edition of the trilogy is now available. I am currently in the planning stages of my next novel, a SF story called 'Second Sun'. Aside from writing, I enjoy reading a wide range of books, watching films, visiting museums and art galleries, and spending time with family and friends. I also support Ipswich Town Football Club - sadly not always an enjoyable experience...
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Ordeal of Fire is Steven Smith's second book in the "Tree of Life" trilogy. Elowen and her companions continue with a variety of quests. Elowen and Diggory had found respite with the Illuminati, and both were being taught and trained by masters. Elowen is chosen to by one of the Illuminati leaders to join with several other students for a special task: to obtain the four elements or mysteries. However the love of power causes one Illuminati leader to betray all others and puts Elowen in a tenuous situation. She realizes her mistake in being guiled by soft words too late and watches as the Illuminati are literally destroyed from within and finally by the Redeemers. Elowen, Diggory and Larwita are forced to flee and suffer imprisonment, beatings, and more. Elowen is branded a witch by a church leader after failing "the ordeal of fire" and is to be executed. But she escapes. She befriends many along the way, including an Orok that was with the Illuminati, Arigh Nasan. She learns more of her mother's history and ultimately realizes that she doesn't have to follow the same path. While Elowen searches for the first mystery and deals with Lord Lucien, Prince Asbjorn is dealing with his own set of trials. Black Francis and the others aboard the Husker Du have been betrayed and imprisoned by the Sea Beggars and only Prince Asbjorn and Valbrand escape. During their travels they encounter Prince Jeimuzu of the Kojin and embark on their own quest to save the lives of the Jeimuzu's sister and ultimately the lives of Black Francis and the sailors of the Husker Du.The Ordeal of Fire is filled with intrigue, treachery, and fantasy. It is these elements along with the interesting characters and kingdoms that make it a good read. We're introduced to a variety of different creatures and kingdoms. The kingdom of the Orok and the previous khan, Arigh Nasan's father, seems to resemble the khan's of ancient Asia. The Kojin are fierce warriers with skills similar to the samurai of ancient Japan. During all of their trials and tribulations, Elowen and Asbjorn must face their inner demons as well as their external foes. Will they succeed? Will the Illuminati in Omphalos be warned in time of Prester John and the Mother Church's treachery? Will Lord Lucien succeed in obtaining all four elements and be able to use these to push forward the agenda of the Mother Church? We'll have to wait for the final book in the trilogy, The Last Days, to find out.
Go to your teacher and tell her you didn't do it. Tell her this is the absolute truth.