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Fire : tales of elemental spirits –…

Fire : tales of elemental spirits (vuoden 2009 painos)

– tekijä: Robin McKinley, Peter Dickinson

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
3521755,542 (3.82)23
Five tales of creatures who live and die by fire from both the present day and the prehistoric past.
Teoksen nimi:Fire : tales of elemental spirits
Kirjailijat:Robin McKinley
Muut tekijät:Peter Dickinson
Info:New York : G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2009.
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):

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Fire: Tales of Elemental Spirits (tekijä: Robin McKinley)


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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 17) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
When will Robin McKinley stop whiling away her time on these side projects and go back to writing Damar stories? Or a sequel to "Sunshine"? Or finish the sequel to "Pegasus"?

This is the question I keep asking myself whenever I see that there’s a new YA novel or a short story compilation being released. I first read “The Hero and the Crown” many many years ago, followed by “The Blue Sword,” “Beauty,” “Deerskin” (imo, her very best work), “Sunshine” and all the others, even the one-shot YA novels. But none of her recent work has had the same magical appeal of those early works.

“Fire” is a collection of five stories, three of which were written by McKinley’s husband, Peter Dickinson. If I had to pick one as a favourite, I’d have to go with “Hellhound,” even though that was only mildly appealing. “First Flight” reeked of parallels to McCaffrey’s “Pern” novels. The other three stories were not particularly interesting. ( )
  resoundingjoy | Jan 1, 2021 |
Mixed, as is usual. Of course Dickinson is one of my favorite authors, and McKinley writes the kind of stories I like to read, but still I wasn't overly impressed with these. However, they're exactly what you'd expect, when picking up this book, so if the description excites you, go ahead and read it; I doubt you'll be disappointed. One thing - I am still thinking about some of the stories a day after I finish the book, so that's a sign they're good. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
Five stories, all at least decent. Oddly enough, I've started the first story, Phoenix, probably half a dozen times, and never got further than her tour of the wood. This time I went on, and got the full story of Dave and Sonny and Welly. It's kind of hard on Ellie, since she's not in the cycle with them - but she does get to work in the wood. I don't know, maybe that's enough. Or not, given the last line. Then Hellhound, which I love. Miri is great, I love Flame (OK, I'm slightly warped by Diana Wynne Jones' Dogsbody, an old favorite), and the crisis they deal with is beautifully done and beautifully handled. My favorite. Fireworm is the next and doesn't quite work for me. Aside from the setting (Ice Age cave-dwelling clan), Tandin's special magicness doesn't make sense. And the end...kind of devalues his payment, doesn't it? He agrees to give something up, and then finds a way around it (OK, more for her than for him, but still). Then Salamander Man. Again, doesn't quite work for me. The exposition about slavery (as practiced there/then) at the beginning is a bit of an infodump; then it turns out Tib's whole life is a setup for someone else. He doesn't seem to mind, but of course he's been a slave and at everyone's service all his life...which doesn't make him much of a protagonist. There really isn't a protagonist here, unless it's the one salamander - Tib is more of a tool than anything else. And finally First Flight, which is better but not good. The cultural taboo against healing, or admitting you need healing, just doesn't make sense. The secret apprenticeship is also pretty weak. Ern does develop a bit over the course of the story, but he still tries to hide behind being small and "stupid" (and ditto for Sippy. Why Sippy? The name is never explained). Especially near the end when he keeps declaring he doesn't know anything, and not mentioning the three-point game on the ground. Eventually he'll, presumably, disgorge his knowledge and help others, but we don't get to see that. I do like the dragons, especially Hereyta - both the physical descriptions and their obvious intelligence. Huh, the two (three) stories I like best have "animals" that are anything but...The two I don't like do, too, but not the same (the bears aren't bears and aren't thought to be, and the salamanders are already highly magical - not regarded as just animals). One excellent story (McKinley), two good (one each), two just adequate (Dickenson). Overall, definitely worth reading. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Aug 26, 2015 |
This is the follow-up to McKinleyÛªs and Dickinson‰Ûªs first collaborative collection, Water: Tales of Elemental Spirits, which I need to read. I haven‰Ûªt read many of their longer works ‰ÛÒ Beauty, by McKinley, and Eva, by Dickinson, are the only ones, though many of McKinley‰Ûªs are on my ‰ÛÏgee why haven‰Ûªt you read this yet?‰Û list. I had a fresh mind when I read this, is what I‰Ûªm saying; no expectations.

Dickinson‰Ûªs three stories ‰ÛÒ ‰ÛÏPhoenix‰Û; ‰ÛÏFireworm‰Û; and ‰ÛÏSalamander Man‰Û ‰ÛÒ are written with a storyteller‰Ûªs rhythm, giving them the feel of legends. The word ‰ÛÏold-fashioned‰Û keeps coming to mind, but it isn‰Ûªt really the right one ‰ÛÒ maybe ‰ÛÏtimeless‰Û is better because it doesn‰Ûªt have the negative connotations. As a nice contrast, McKinley‰Ûªs stories ‰ÛÒ ‰ÛÏHellhound‰Û and ‰ÛÏFirst Flight‰Û ‰ÛÒ are modern and humorous; they don‰Ûªt feel weighty, like Dickinson‰Ûªs, but they‰Ûªre not frivolous. ‰ÛÏHellhound‰Û takes place in the present day, so a modern-sounding narrator makes sense, but even the narrator in the pure fantasy story ‰ÛÏFirst Flight‰Û has a more every day, contemporary voice. I think this is why I liked McKinley‰Ûªs stories so much better then Dickinson‰Ûªs, even though all the stories are well-written; it‰Ûªs all about tone.

‰ÛÏPhoenix‰Û is about the mythical Egyptian bird-god of legend and how it survived ‰ÛÒ and found new believers ‰ÛÒ in a snowy, wooded conservation area. The narrator, a boy named Dave, tells the story to young Ellie when she visits the woods, about how he found the god in a fire at the age of 100 and, after rescuing it, has been living backward ever since. It‰Ûªs an interesting concept but I got bored reading the story ‰ÛÒ there‰Ûªs no action, and the story is mostly internal reflection, as the boy recounts his past with nostalgia and a kind of bittersweet acceptance of the passage of time.

I liked ‰ÛÏFireworm‰Û and ‰ÛÏSalamandar Man‰Û better. In ‰ÛÏFireworm‰Û, Tandin finally finds his place in his primitive community when he learns he has the power to destroy his people‰Ûªs ancient enemy, the fireworm, but in the process he comes to identify with the fireworm more then with the humans he lives with. Killing the fireworm in this context is more tragedy then triumph. This notion of looking outside ourselves to recognize commonalities in an alien species ‰ÛÒ to empathize ‰ÛÒ is what made this story my favorite. It‰Ûªs a hero fantasy with a hero who realizes that, seen another way, he‰Ûªs also a villain.

In ‰ÛÏSalamander Man,‰Û the slave boy Tib also finds his destiny -- to become the giant Salamander Man long enough to free 27 salamanders from corrupt magicians who are using them for their power. In doing this, he essentially strips the entire town of magic. Even though I just said I liked this story better then ‰ÛÏPhoenix‰Û, I don‰Ûªt remember it well. Just that it was kind of strange but very well-written.

I really did like McKinley‰Ûªs stories a lot. In ‰ÛÏHellhound,‰Û Miri, who lives on a farm and works primarily with horses, adopts an unusual dog from the pound with burning red eyes. She names him Flame, and he proves to be much smarter than the average dog. Freakishly so. Others are wary around this creature, but Miri trusts him and he proves to be a blessing when her brother falls prey to an evil spirit residing in the nearby graveyard. Miri is instantly likable in her comfortable relationship with her family, her love for animals, and her willingness to look beyond Flame‰Ûªs frightening appearance.

McKinley‰Ûªs stand-out concluding novella, ‰ÛÏFirst Flight,‰Û follows Ern, a humble boy who wishes secretly to be a healer, despite the fact that healers are basically shunned as the lowest of the low in society (no one admits to going to a healer when ill or injured, because no one is supposed to admit to being ill or injured ‰ÛÒ a nice change to the way healers are usually portrayed). Ern has an uncanny skill with herb medicine, but he‰Ûªs spent so much of his life playing down his abilities that he can‰Ûªt recognize the large amount of good he does for everyone around him. Ern‰Ûªs brother, Dag, is going to Dragon Academy to be a dragon rider, but the dragon he‰Ûªs paired with is injured and unable to make the First Flight (when the new rider and the dragon enter Firespace together for the first time). Despite the fact that everyone knows his dragon can‰Ûªt do it, Dag will be forced to try and fail in front of everyone. Ern accompanies him to Dragon Academy as moral support, bringing along his strange pet foogit (who has a large, hilarious role to play in this story), but in his unassuming, nigh-invisible way, he manages to do something everyone thought was impossible. This story is one of the best I‰Ûªve read and is worth the price of the book alone. Ern‰Ûªs witty, understated sense of humor and keen observations make his narrative a joy to read, and he‰Ûªs about as large-hearted a character as one could find. I would like her to continue this story.
( )
  Crowinator | Sep 23, 2013 |
Amazon preorder,Amazon received ( )
  romsfuulynn | Apr 28, 2013 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 17) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
This collection of beautifully crafted tales will find a warm welcome from fans of either author, as well as from fantasy readers in general.
lisäsi foggidawn | muokkaaSchool Library Journal, Misti Tidman

» Lisää muita tekijöitä

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Robin McKinleyensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetcalculated
Dickinson, Peterpäätekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
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Ellie came into the story very late on.
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Her mother also knew her well enough to know that if there was no farm dog by dinnertime, it could only be that a roc had stooped from nowhere, picked up the car with Miri in it, and was bearing them away to an unknown island in the Pacific.
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia


Five tales of creatures who live and die by fire from both the present day and the prehistoric past.

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