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Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman
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Between Two Fires (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Christopher Buehlman

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42None271,496 (3.9)3
Member:alizarin
Title:Between Two Fires
Authors:Christopher Buehlman
Info:Ace Hardcover (2012), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 432 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman (2012)

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Showing 5 of 5
Christopher Buehlman is amazing, taking horror to a decidedly new level. This book is rich in allegory. It is beautiful and horrible and tells a story fantastic. Definitely recommended. ( )
  enemyanniemae | Jun 17, 2013 |
When the Plague swept down from the Steppes through Europe its speed and destruction must have seemed like the end of days. As if God had abandoned them and Devil's roamed the land. Christopher Buehlman's new book Between Two Fires takes that premise literally. In lesser hands this might have fallen apart, but Buehlman does an outstanding job combining the historical, religious and supernatural themes into a wonderful and wild read. Well done. ( )
  erikschreppel | Nov 27, 2012 |
could not finish it. ( )
  maryintexas39 | Nov 16, 2012 |
I really loved Christopher Buehlman's first novel Those Across the River. In a way I wish I had read this book first because the bar was set so high for me with that book. It may be that I just prefer my horror with a Gothic Southern take rather than a plague filled medieval French one. The closest I can come up with for a description of this book would be that it was a kind of a supernatural Canterbury Tales.

The plot revolves around a disgraced knight who finds redemption in a young girl who may be an angel or she may be a demon. He's never quite sure. The knight and a priest get sucked into her quest to do something. They are never quite sure what but there are a lot of battle with demons and angels along the way. The end was left a little ambiguous and I am someone who likes everything wrapped in a neat bow with an exclamation point at the end.

There were some great horror filled moments and I think the novel started out really strong. It was the end that started to lose me. Be prepared for a lot of gritty descriptions, many involving plague ravished victims. Although I didn't completely love this novel I still love Christopher Buehlman and his writing will be eagerly checking out whatever he comes up with next. ( )
  arielfl | Nov 8, 2012 |
This wonderful book by Christopher Buehlman is part fairy tale, part fantasy, part horror and part historical fiction. These individual parts blend to create a fulfilling whole in his Cantebury-an story of a fallen knight and spiritually lost priest who journey across France during the plague-ridden middle ages with an orphaned girl who's either an exceptionally special individual, a weird witch, or a gift (literally) from the heavens.

The emotional plot and backdrop is a beautifully diverse french countryside, absolutely decimated, both mentally and physically, by the Black Death. Humanity has been abused and tortured so completely and without relief that the very reasonable question of "is there a god, and if so, why is this allowed to happen?" rests on the lips of all but a few of the most hearty of souls.

The three travel across France to follow the girl's very singular vision that she must get to Avignon, seat of the Pope during the years the papacy was moved from Rome. Their travels provide Buehleman the momentum and opportunity to build his narrative through flashback-propelled backstory. They also face trials that range from the supernatural and celestial to the physical and emotional, which build the plot, relationships, and put flesh on the bone of each character.

Redemption and renewal, faith and love are all key themes throughout "Two Fires". The struggles that orbit these themes are not always obvious, and while sometimes dealt with metaphysically, they're often enlarged, and as real as any armored first to the jaw.

A beautiful, horrible and significant battle scene brings their journey to Avignon to an end: good v. evil, demon v. angel, dark v. light. Buehlman paints this scene with audacious characterizations of demons, and brightly colorful descriptions of angels. Within the context of the larger journey of discovery, the scene is realistic, and affecting. Imagine a demon transformer made from the remains of the dead; imagine something more than your typical Hollywood ending.

I intensely enjoyed "Between Two Fires". The story is built uniquely, and falls just outside of any easily characterized genre. It crosses categories and does so successfully. The historical details are rich and authentic, the plot is thouroughly developed and tautly paced, and the characters evoke understanding and empathy.

Epic, emotional, and exciting - I strongly recommend "Between Two Fires". ( )
  JGolomb | Oct 27, 2012 |
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The year is 1348. Thomas, a disgraced knight, has found a young girl alone in a dead Norman village. An orphan of the Black Death, and an almost unnerving picture of innocence, she tells Thomas that plague is only part of a larger cataclysm—that the fallen angels under Lucifer are rising in a second war on heaven, and that the world of men has fallen behind the lines of conflict.

Is it delirium or is it faith? She believes she has seen the angels of God. She believes the righteous dead speak to her in dreams. And now she has convinced the faithless Thomas to shepherd her across a depraved landscape to Avignon. There, she tells Thomas, she will fulfill her mission: to confront the evil that has devastated the earth, and to restore to this betrayed, murderous knight the nobility and hope of salvation he long abandoned.

As hell unleashes its wrath, and as the true nature of the girl is revealed, Thomas will find himself on a macabre battleground of angels and demons, saints, and the risen dead, and in the midst of a desperate struggle for nothing less than the soul of man.
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In 1348, after a young girl left orphaned by the Black Death predicts a coming apocalypse, Thomas, a disgraced knight, finds himself in the middle of a second war on heaven as angels fight demon.

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