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Unsung Book Week: BIRTH OF THE FIREBRINGER

As explained here, I've made this week is Unsung Book Week at my blog. Feel free to join in and share your favorite less-talked-about books, either in the comments or at your own blog.

If THE CHANGELING was The Book of my childhood, this was The Book of my teen years:

BIRTH OF THE FIREBRINGER by Meredith Ann Pierce




What it's all about:

Jan is the son of the prince of the unicorns. Though he's desperate to prove his worth to his father, his curious and mischievous nature cause enough trouble that his father has held him back from the Pilgrimage, when the colts and fillies join the Ring of Warriors on a journey to their homeland and become full members of the ring themselves. This year, despite a terrible mistake, Jan is allowed to come. But his father has feared for good reason. For in the caves near the sacred well lives the enemy that drove the unicorns from their home ages ago; an enemy that is waiting for Jan, eager to use him to destroy his people once and for all.

Why it is awesome:

I am not a unicorn person; I have always been far more fond of dragons and griffins and the like. But Pierce's unicorns are no dainty ponies-with-horns--they are warriors and sages, with a culture more fully developed than most human societies you'll find in fantasy books. And all of it is beautifully told, with clear but poetic prose that gives the book a mythic feel. At the same time, the characters and their conflicts, both internal and external, are intensely real. It's a pleasure every time I follow Jan on his journey.

Sadly I cannot recommend the rest of the trilogy the same way. But don't let that stop you from checking this one out! It stands alone quite well. (And I should know--the second and third books were out of print until a few years ago, and during my teen years I didn't even realize there were sequels.)

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
haikujaguar
Oct. 7th, 2008 04:31 pm (UTC)
No one talks enough about Meredith Ann Pierce. She is an extraordinary writer.
megancrewe
Oct. 8th, 2008 02:04 am (UTC)
She is! I remember the Darkangel trilogy was pretty popular when I was a teen... but I always liked BotF best. :)
haikujaguar
Oct. 9th, 2008 02:25 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I wasn't so much into that when it came out, I was more about the fantasy unicorns than the fantasy vampires.

Her Treasure at the Heart of the Tanglewood is one of my favorite YA books.
magicnoire
Oct. 7th, 2008 05:27 pm (UTC)
I loved Birth of the Firebringer growing up.
megancrewe
Oct. 8th, 2008 02:06 am (UTC)
Yay, another BotF fan!

I always have the hardest time trying to convince anyone to read this one, because I have to start with, "Well, see, there's these unicorns" and most of the time I lose them right there. :P
thepix
Oct. 7th, 2008 06:02 pm (UTC)
Oh, I heard about this one a while back and forgot. Thanks!
megancrewe
Oct. 8th, 2008 02:06 am (UTC)
Definitely check it out if you like fantasy!
dpeterfreund
Oct. 7th, 2008 06:22 pm (UTC)
Oh, become a unicorn person!
I have never heard of this book -- I can't believe I have never heard of this book.
megancrewe
Oct. 8th, 2008 02:08 am (UTC)
Re: Oh, become a unicorn person!
Don't worry, I will be a unicorn person for your book. (Your book has evil killer unicorns, right? I am totally for evil killer unicorns. And pretty much any kind of unicorn other than the stand-around-looking-pretty variety.)

And obviously you must go read BotF at once! :D
abbyannerose
Oct. 7th, 2008 09:33 pm (UTC)
I find the book The Time Travelers Wife is one of the best romantic stories out there, but it doesn't seem to be something you hear about. It is getting made into a movie, so that's good.
megancrewe
Oct. 8th, 2008 02:09 am (UTC)
Oh, I heard *tons* about Time Traveler's Wife... Not recently, but it was huge when it first came out (a couple years ago?). I really enjoyed it, too. :) It'll be interesting to see what they do with the movie.
laurasmagicday
Oct. 8th, 2008 12:21 am (UTC)
Love the Unsung Book Week idea. KUDOS!
megancrewe
Oct. 8th, 2008 02:10 am (UTC)
Thank you! It's fun to do (and good practice for writing synopses, heh). :)
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

My Books


Earth & Sky
(Earth & Sky #1, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2014


The Clouded Sky
(Earth & Sky #2, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015


A Sky Unbroken
(Earth & Sky #3, science fiction YA)
Skyscape/Razorbill Canada, 2015


The Way We Fall
(Fallen World #1, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2012


The Lives We Lost
(Fallen World #2, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2013


The Worlds We Make
(Fallen World #3, apocalyptic YA)
Disney-Hyperion, 2014


Those Who Lived: Fallen World Stories
(Fallen World #3.5, apocalyptic YA)
self pubbed, 2014


Give Up the Ghost
(paranormal YA)
Henry Holt, 2009

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