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City of Fire by Laurence Yep
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City of Fire

by Laurence Yep

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Not the most interest keeping book, but not too bad. I may read the next in the series if I get time. ( )
  Mirandalg14 | Aug 18, 2014 |
It has been a very long time since I've read a young adult novel with this breadth of creativity and world-building. From the first chapter, CITY OF FIRE gathers an unlikely band of confederates together and sends them whizzing out into a world of adventure. From the broad political landscape to the delightful little details, I was enchanted all the way through.

Reading of CITY OF FIRE reminded me of the first Harry Potter combined with the written equivalent of DINOTOPIA. Yep lays out a fascinating magical and political structure for his world, all the while sprinkling the story with visual tidbits like a six-foot tall lizard pushing a broom or Pan-Am's new fleet of gyro-copters. The plot swept forward with an amazing amount of information without ever bogging down, due in part to the lush depth of every scene Yep wrote.

My mention of THE SORCERER'S STONE extends beyond world building and creativity, the characters in CITY OF FIRE are around twelve-years-old and are definitely pre-pubescent. Given that CITY OF FIRE takes place in the span of a day, I would imagine that we're not going to watch Scirye and Leech grow up in any physical sense. Packed with adventure, admirable character growth and inventive world, CITY OF FIRE will be a hit for almost any age range.

Sexual Content: None.

Full review at All Things Urban Fantasy.
( )
  Capnrandm | Apr 15, 2013 |
Scirye , the daughter of a Kushan diplomat, makes a rash vow to her goddess, to avenge her sisters killer and the theif of her peoples greatest treasure. She sets out after Badik, an evil dragon, and the rich Mr. Roland to claim the treasure. With her are her griffin, Kels, a dragon in disgues who was ordered to kill Leech, Bayang, and Koko and Leech to kids form the street who want to avenge their friend. They follow Roland to Hawaii where a new island is being magicaly created agaist the will of the volcano goddess Pele. Whom them meet when Roland tries to have them killed. They find Roland but he escapes with the treasure and leaves them to die. They escape and destroy the island with the help of Pele and her people. Once they escape they learn that Roland plans on useing the parts of a super weapon ,that once belonged to a Kushan hero, to take over and the next peice is in the City of Ice.
City of Fire is the first in a trilogy. I liked this book and plan on reading the rest of the series. It was alittle easy. I mean I don't like books where my head is running around is mental circles, but it would have been even better if it was alittle.....I don't know just a higher lexile. Other than that I thought I was great. I mean seriously what book with a dragon in it isn't good? I look forward to reading City of Ice and whichever book comes after that. I hope they are just as good.
  boullion.iris1998 | Jan 5, 2012 |
I was just going to read a few chapters before I went to bed.....yawn. Pardon me, but I'm not used to staying up reading until 2am! However, I couldn't resist finishing this fast-paced and exciting middle grade fantasy.

Bayang is pursuing a centuries-old bloody mission. Koko and Leech just want to survive. Scirye, in a moment of grief, has made a rash vow to her goddess. Wherever Scirye goes, her griffin Kles goes also. If they want to achieve their goals and destroy the evil dragon Badik and his mysterious master, they must put aside their differences and learn to work together.

There's no lengthy world-building or description to slow down the reader; we're plunged immediately into a world similar and yet vastly different from our own, full of magic and strange creatures, from griffins to shapechangers, trolls to walking shark-people. Laurence Yep skillfully weaves his world-building into the adventure and as the reader is pulled along by the action we're fed fascinating bits of information about history, magic, and seemingly mythical creatures.

Following the trail of the thief Badik, the group of friends end up near Hawaii, where they will meet a powerful and unpredictable goddess and her allies. Each member of the group has prejudices and fears to set aside; each character must overcome their shortcomings and fear if they are going to survive and be successful in their mission.

An afterword and bibliography directs readers to the historical sources of many of the people, events, and geographies included in the story and eager readers will be on tenterhooks waiting for the next book in the series!

There's a nice mixture of high fantasy romance and adventure fantasy action which will please a variety of readers. I did feel that the "Cloud Folk" were a bit Oz-ish for the story, but that's a minor quibble.

Verdict: Fantasy fans, especially those who like the emphasis on adventure and action, will love this story as will fans of magical creatures and those who like complex world-building that's not too overpowering.

ISBN: 978-0765319241; Published September 2009 by Starscape; Review copy provided by publisher; Purchased for the library
  JeanLittleLibrary | Dec 31, 2011 |
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To Ray, who's setting out on his own great adventure.
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Her prey was only ten feet away now.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765319241, Hardcover)

Two-time Newbery Honor Award-winning author Laurence Yep kicks off an action-packed new fantasy trilogy

Sure to appeal to fans of Rick Riordan and Eoin Colfer, this action-packed tale takes readers on an unforgettable journey through an alternate version of our world in 1941—a world filled with magical beings such as dragons in human form, tiny “lap griffins,” reincarnations of legendary Chinese warriors, Japanese folk creatures, and goddesses in disguise.

When her older sister dies trying to prevent the theft of one of her people’s great treasures, twelve-year-old Scirye sets out to avenge her and recover the precious item. Helping her are Bayang, a dragon disguised as a Pinkerton agent; Leech, a boy with powers he has not yet discovered; and Leech’s loyal companion Koko, who has a secret of his own. All have a grudge against the thieves who stole the treasure: the evil dragon Badik and the mysterious Mr. Roland.

Scirye and her companions pursue the thieves to Houlani, a new Hawaiian island being created by magic. There, they befriend Pele, the volatile and mercurial goddess of volcanoes. But even with Pele on their side, they may not be able to stop Mr. Roland from gaining what he seeks: the Five Lost Treasures of Emperor Yu. Together, the treasures will give him the power to alter the very fabric of the universe.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:58:51 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Twelve-year-old Scirye and her companions travel to Houlani, a new Hawaiian island created by magic, where they enlist the help of volcano goddess Pele in an attempt to stop an evil dragon and a mysterious man from altering the universe.

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