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City of Fire by Laurence Yep

City of Fire (2009)

by Laurence Yep

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10610175,051 (3.86)2
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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I've always loved Fantasy. From the time I could first read chapter books I was drawn in by the worlds that were build for me by these amazing authors. However, sometimes it is hard to get into a book because the world is so vast and the amount of characters is overwhelming. As a reader, I find it easier to invest in a fictional world when there is a handhold for me that relates to the world around me. Cue Laurence Yep's City of Fire.

Yep builds a fantastic world around the real events of the 1940's. This time period allows our adventurers the use of planes and boats as their main transportation, which is much more exciting in my opinion! Certain events in our history have been altered, such as the fact that Hawaii is still an independent country. Also, and here is the kicker, mythical creatures walk among humans as equals. Pretty amazing right? Or is your head hurting? Well either way trust me, it's worth the slight confusion at the beginning because once I was pulled into the world there was no turning back. The world is so vivid, so well written, that I can guarantee you'll be pulled in as well.

Bring on the characters shall we? We meet Scirye, the fiery young girl with a vendetta against her sister's killer. She is tired of being treated as a little girl and ready to prove herself. Then we are presented with Leech and Koko, two street urchins with secrets buried within them. Mysterious and hilarious, they are quite the duo! Finally we meet Bayang, a dragon who is disguised as an elderly lady and is the key to the whole journey. These four characters are so fantastic together! Their banter with one another is classic, and throughout their interactions there are so many lessons learned about friendship, understanding and forgiveness. There is a character for every reader to attach to and fall in love with.

I could write a whole novel about my appreciation for this book, but I'll end here. The long and short of it is simply this: City of Fire is a fantastic journey complete with realistic and magical elements. Although this written for the younger reader, I see a lot for us young adult and adult readers to love. If you're ready to be transported to a new world, let Laurence Yep take you there! This book gets the highest recommendation possible from me, and I can only hope that you agree.
( )
  roses7184 | Feb 5, 2019 |
Though this isn't my usual type of fantasy, it's definitely interesting and involves historical periods (the Kushan Empire) I wasn't even familiar with (which says a lot because I majored in History and have taught World History for many years...). The story also is reminiscent of the Chinese Folktales I read in Chinese Fairy Tale Feasts because the mortals interact with gods and goddesses in disguise.
I'm not sure I would use this in conjunction with a lesson but would recommended it to fantasy fans through readers advisory conversations. ( )
  allisonreadsalot | Apr 16, 2016 |
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 |
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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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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