Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Fusion Fire

Here we go with day 2 of the Christian Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog Tour (hereby christened the CSSF Tour). We are featuring Kathy Tyers, author of Star Wars novels and classical musician, and her trilogy Firebird.

Warning: if you haven't read any of the first book, this discussion will give spoilers!

Today I want to talk about the second book of the trilogy: Fusion Fire. Like any good middle book, it should be full of angst and drama, with darkness ready to overtake the heroes (think The Empire Strikes Back or The Two Towers). This book generally does not disappoint.

Here we find Firebird married to Brennan Caldwell, pregnant with twin boys who will carry on the Caldwell line and legacy. She wakes up to the discomfort due to the pregnancy, but ends up foiling an intruder who is trying to kill them. After calling security, it is discovered that Brennan's brother and his family were all killed. Who could be trying to destroy the Caldwells?

The Shuhr. The Sentinals and Shuhrs are descendents from the planet Ehret, which was almost destroyed due to pride, greed, and civil war. The Sentinals pursue a path of justice and righteousness, following the teachings of the Holy One and anticipating the Word to Come. The Shuhr reject any higher authority and look to only themselves and augmenting their epsilon powers to obtain immortality and destroy the Sentinals and the Federacy once and for all.

It is prophesied that a Caldwell will bring destruction to Three Zed, the Shuhr home world. Events are sparked by an unlikely source: Firebird's power hungry sister Phoena, who travels to Three Zed to enlist the Shuhr's help in throwing off Federate control of their home planet of Netaia. Her presence there forces Brennan's hand in trying to infiltrate Three Zed.

Meanwhile Firebird is coping with the eminent birth of their twins, as well as trying to develop her own epsilon powers. It was found that her lineage included an outcast Sentinal, giving her Ehretan genes that promise the mysterious abilities to her, if she can develop and control them.

Fusion Fire is darker than the initial entry. The villians are deliciously evil characters who scare you, make you cheer for their destruction, but leaving you wondering how they could possibly be defeated.

The pacing slows a little bit, dealing with Firebird's pregnancy and her attempts to access her epsilon powers, which leads to a lot of internal struggle. One of Tyers' strengths is establishing her new cultures in engaging ways, but since Netaia and the Sentinals were introduced in Firebird, only the Shuhr get that treatment here. Also, the twins drop off in importance once they come and events spiral in a different direction, making the investment in their well being somewhat misspent.

However, the tension is more intense, making up for any short-comings in pacing. The end is explosive yet again, and leaves you waiting for the conclusion of the trilogy. I definitely recommend this volume as well.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the discussion of Crown of Fire, as well as the overall impression of Firebird, and a couple of interesting observations. Also, check out the peeps below, who are my fellow participants in the CSSF Tour!

Jim Black
Rachel Marks
John J. Boyer
Valerie Comer
Bryan Davis
Beth Goddard
Rebecca Grabill
Leathel Grody
Karen Hancock
Elliot Hanowski
Katie Hart
Sherrie Hibbs
Sharon Hinck
Pamela James
Tina Kulesa
Shannon McNear
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Cheryl Russel
Mirtika Schultz
Stuart Stockton
Steve Trower
Speculative Faith


  1. Jason, nice review--at least as far as I read. I know the basics because I'd read Eliott's review yesterday, so when you got to the stuff that would serve as spoilers to me, I skipped to the end.

    I found your assessment of middle books interesting. I dare say my trilogy would also bear that out.


  2. Thanks for the review, J. :)