Debbie's World of Books
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The Fire by Katherine Neville

March 4th, 2009 by Debbie's World of Books


I give this one a 3 out of 5 stars.

Description from Katherine Neville’s groundbreaking novel, The Eight, dazzled audiences more than twenty years ago and set the literary stage for the epic thriller. A quest for a mystical chess service that once belonged to Charlemagne, it spans two centuries and three continents, and intertwines historic and modern plots, archaeological treasure hunts, esoteric riddles, and puzzles encrypted with clues from the ancient past. Now the electrifying global adventure continues, in Neville’s long anticipated sequel: THE FIRE

2003, Colorado: Alexandra Solarin is summoned home to her family’s ancestral Rocky Mountain hideaway for her mother’s birthday. Thirty years ago, her parents, Cat Velis and Alexander Solarin, believed that they had scattered the pieces of the Montglane Service around the world, burying with them the secrets of the power that comes with possessing it. But Alexandra arrives to find that her mother is missing and that a series of strategically placed clues, followed swiftly by the unexpected arrival of a mysterious assortment of houseguests, indicates that something sinister is afoot.

When she inadvertently discovers from her aunt, the chess grandmaster Lily Rad, that the most powerful piece of Charlemagne’s service has suddenly resurfaced and the Game has begun again, Alexandra is swept into a journey that takes her from Colorado to the Russian wilderness and at last into the heart of her own hometown: Washington D.C.

1822, Albania: Thirty years after the French Revolution, when the chess service was unearthed, all of Europe hovers on the brink of the War of Greek Independence. Ali Pasha, the most powerful rulerin the Ottoman Empire, has angered the sultan and is about to be attacked by Turkish forces. Now he sends the only person he can rely upon–his young daughter, Haidee–on a dangerous mission to smuggle a valuable relic out of Albania, through the mountains and over the sea, to the hands of the one man who might be able to save it.

Haidee’s journey from Albania to Morocco to Rome to Greece, and into the very heart of the Game, will result in revelations about the powerful chess set and its history that will lead at last to the spot where the service was first created more than one thousand years before: Baghdad.

Blending exquisite prose and captivating history with nonstop suspense, Neville again weaves an unforgettable story of peril, action, and intrigue.

I have to admit I was a little disappointed in this sequel.  I absolutely loved The Eight.  I loved Cat, Solarin, Mordecai, Lily and the whole crew.  While we do see some of the old crew back this book covers the next generation which I was fine with but I felt like the secrets behind the numbers and puzzles just did not grab me as much.    The storyline was a little weak to me.  It was easy to predict how the relationship between Alexandra and Vartan would develop.  I also couldn’t bring myself to like Alexadra all that much.  She was a little too dense for my tastes and kept making the same mistakes over and over.  If it were not for all the help she received along the way i doubt she would have been able to figure anything out on her own.  By the end of the book I was skimming a little just to find out what happened.  I think someone who has not read The Eight first might enjoy this book more than I did as the underlying mystery was an interesting concept.  I just don’t feel like it was as well developed as The Eight.

Posted in 3 Star Books, Books, General Fiction, Historical Fiction

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