Release date October 2011
The Tree is all the world. And that world is dying…
After Samiha is thrown from the docks in Argos city, Tymon is condemned to a life of slavery in a Tree-mine. During his ordeals, he glimpses a vision of his love and becomes obsessed by the thought that she is still alive. When disaster strikes the mine, he is left wandering the tunnels at the heart of the Tree, clinging to the hope that he might find her once again.
Meanwhile, the Saint’s crusade is tearing the Four Canopies apart and Lace and his Masters pursue their own deadly plans. Even as Tymon travels deep into the Tree, the Envoy’s acolytes are sent out on a mission to Lacuna, the legendary World Below…
REVIEWS FOR ‘ORACLE’S FIRE’
…You can trust me when I say there are more than a few revelations in this tale. The origins of The Born, the Dark Masters and the Tree of Being metaverse, the location of The World Tree, the true nature of Lacuna, The Oracle/Ama and the final resting place of Samiha. Frankly, the last 150 pages were some of the most tension-filled and thrilling pages I have read in the last 10 years of reviewing books!
I won’t speak on the characters’ depth and reality, the masterful subtlety of the plot, etc – been there done that in the reviews of the previous two books, but what I can and will say is that this is some of the best work I have seen come out of the New Zealand fantasy/fiction scene in years. I am keen to see what else Mary puts out in the future, because if this is her opening gambit, there’s more to come for sure.
Although there is room for more stories to be told in this world, ‘Oracle’s Fire’ brings the major plot-threads of the previous two books to a satisfying, if bittersweet, conclusion. The characters are well-defined, the story is unique, and the world-building is rich without diving into irrelevant minutiae. Altogether, it’s been a fun and intriguing read, and certainly not what you’d expect from the usual fantasy fare.
Rarely does such powerful imagery leap from the written word, at times beautiful, terrifying, and captivating at every turn, creating a vivid depiction of a world on the brink of disaster and the extraordinary heart of those determined to save it at any cost.
I found ‘Oracle’s Fire’ a very fitting and satisfying conclusion to the story begun in ‘Tymon’s Flight’ and not an ending I would have predicted at the outset of the saga. This is a series I have, and shall continue to, recommended to readers looking for something beyond the standard sword and sandal epic as the reward is in the reading.
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