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BEYOND THE BURNING LANDS (original 1971; edition 1974)

by Christoph

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311768,798 (3.46)13
Prince-in-Waiting Luke returns from exile to Winchester, a city of a future England ruled by patterns from the past, and sets out on a journey through the Burning Lands, a volcanic wasteland inhabited by strange peoples and the monstrous Bayemot.
Info:Simon Pulse (1974), Paperback
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Beyond the Burning Lands by John Christopher (1971)


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English (6)  French (1)  All languages (7)
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Volume two of John Christopher's post apocalyptic Prince in Waiting series. Luke's journey continues as he crosses the volcanic lands from the tightly regimented civilisation of the South of England to the more relaxed and colourful land of the Wilsh (present day Wales). The different culture challenges Luke and the rest of the mission, but he remains the same stubborn hot-head and manages to win the hand of the Wilsh Princess Blodwen after a brave but foolish battle with a giant amoeba like monster (the Baymot - with a more than passing resemblance to the creatures from the deep in John Wyndham's "The Kraken Wakes"). There is something of the proto-feminist about this princess which doesn't sit well with our traditionalist hero. On his return to Winchester he is accused of murder and has to challenge and fight his half brother for the Princedom. Very much a middle book, you can read it as a stand-alone but it works better as part of the whole story. ( )
  Figgles | Jul 14, 2018 |
Luke’s father dies, his older brother gains the throne promised Luke. Luke goes to a distant city[the Wilsh] to open trade. Slays a monster, is betrothed to the kings daugher, returns, kills his brother and takes the throne. Depressing about half way thru. ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
This is the second book in John Christopher’s “Sword of the Spirits” trilogy, and I enjoyed it quite a bit more than the first. Luke Perry (yeah, yeah, it was written in the ‘70s) has been permitted to return to Winchester, the city of his birth, by the new Prince and his half-brother, Peter. While the Seers are continuing their man-behind-the-curtain machinations to restore science and knowledge to the world, Luke is content to be back at home, but soon goes off on another adventure. A peddler from foreign lands has arrived in Winchester, claiming to have crossed the volcanic wasteland to the north, and offers to return with an embassy to the “land of the Wilsh.” Luke, as Peter’s brother, is sent along with the group as an emissary.

While The Prince in Waiting was fairly pedestrian fantasy/post-apocalyptic story offering castles, battles and political struggles, Beyond the Burning Lands features the mystery of new lands, cultural intrigue and even some monsters, and was a much more entertaining ride. I also found Christopher’s tell-don’t-show writing style more tolerable in this one, as it actually makes a lot more sense for Luke to be evaluating his feelings behind a poker face as he acts as an emissary in a strange and foreign country. On the whole, this was a quick, easy young adult novel that I enjoyed quite a bit more than its predecessor. I’m glad I stuck with this trilogy and I look forward to its eponymous conclusion, The Sword of the Spirits. ( )
  edgeworth | May 4, 2013 |
Book two: also great! ( )
  epersonae | Mar 30, 2013 |
Luke is allowed to return to Winchester and becomes fascinated with the tales of a pedlar who has crossed the Burning Lands. Eventually Luke is allowed to travel across to the land of the Wilsh, where he encounters a society based on trade, rather than warfare, and one where there are no seers. He becomes a hero and eventually achieves the status he has been promised. But is the price too high? This is a fantastic and evocative vision of a dystopian Britain, one that's pitched perfectly for children. ( )
  riverwillow | Jun 8, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Christopherprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kidd, TomCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schongut, EmanuelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The sanctuary itself lay in empty downland; ordinary men did not dare approach such a holy place.
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Prince-in-Waiting Luke returns from exile to Winchester, a city of a future England ruled by patterns from the past, and sets out on a journey through the Burning Lands, a volcanic wasteland inhabited by strange peoples and the monstrous Bayemot.

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In the second book of The Sword of the Spirits Trilogy Luke is fascinated when a pedlar arrives in Winchester claiming to have have crossed the volcanoes which surround the south of England. He sets off across the Burning Lands, to the land of the Wilsh, which is very different to Winchester and the other settlements to the south of England.
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