Chasm of Fire

The Quintana Trilogy, Book 3
Narrated by: Steve Barnes
Series: The Quintana Trilogy, Book 3
Length: 7 hrs and 19 mins
5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When an ancient artifact kills the head of the Luminoso cult and descends into the Rift on a trail of fire, it falls upon Lord Carbón, his chancellor, and a sympathetic cultist to decipher the object before it returns to destroy the city of Quintana. 

Unfortunately, the treacherous Naila Roja, fresh off a murderous ascent to the top of the Luminoso, wishes only to force Quintana to bend a knee and acknowledge her as its ruler. She is blind to the dangers and possibilities of the artifact, and on the hunt for secrets hidden in the vaults of the Luminoso temple. 

While Carbón and his companions face the wonders and horrors of the Rift, Naila makes a final bid for power. And this time, she controls the weapons of the ancients. 

The final book of the Quintana Trilogy.

©2019 Michael Wallace (P)2019 Michael Wallace

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A Heart-Pounding Battle in a City Out of Time.

It's a fight to save Quintana! The corrupt are powerful, the good are shackled in secrets, resources are sparse, and ignorance and the old ways are smothering.

The greedy and ambitious Naila has schemed and clawed her way into an incredibly powerful position and has access to a treasure trove of strange and dangerous artifacts. Meanwhile, our heroes are racing to stop her from destroying the city as she goes from calculated to rampaging. At the center of it all is an artifact that could end Quintana or bring about the new Plenty.

As I've stated in each of my reviews for this series, Mr. Wallace has created a world within the terraced city of Quintana. A world with cultures, traditions, rules, accents, superstitions... A world which suggests a larger world beyond it.

As I got to know Quintana, I started feeling a little like a native of the city. Basdeen seemed far off and wholly different. The structure of society, however flawed, disagreeable, and sometimes outright wrong, was recognizable to me and, in that way, somehow safe. Quintana walks the line between being fantastical and being recognizable enough as to be your own home.

Adding to the realism of this world were its characters- all flawed, all struggling, all with knowledge, needs, wants, and emotions. I came to understand and care for many of these characters. We leave none of them the same as they were when we met them.

In short, this book (these books) are skillfully written and wonderfully immersive.

I cannot talk about how immersive this book is without also mentioning the narration. Mr. Barnes is a one-man show, giving life to the large cast of this book. With the incredible array of distinct voices, an unknowing person might guess this narration was done by a number of talented voice actors. Even nameless citizens get unique voices. They are the kind of voices that conjure a face in your mind, giving the world that much more life.

Mr. Barnes’ narration is smooth, well-paced, and carefully read in gentler tones which allows his voice acting work to shine during dialogue. I never mistook narration for a character speaking or vice versa which made the story easy to follow and a bit like a radio play. As stated in another review, he also has a talent for lending realistic emotions to dialogue without coming off as melodramatic.

Lady Mercado was one of my favorite voices to listen to in this book. Mr. Barnes gives her an air of regal authority tinged with age, powerful if a bit pompous. Carbon’s voice is smooth, carefully paced, and strong, thoughtful and backed with hope. Naila’s voice is dark and syrupy and only a thin veil for her wickedness.

The ending of the story is satisfying and rounds out the trilogy well, but I imagine there could be more. If Mr. Wallace and Mr. Barnes team up again to bring us back to Quintana, I’d love to return.

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Brilliant and not to be Missed

In the third of this fascinating series, The Chasm of Fire, The Quintana is in a quandary over what to do since Naila revealed herself to be the Master of Whispers and in command of the Luminoso.
Lord Carbon and his loyalists have discovered an artifact that could destroy the city of Quintana, or there is the possibility that if someone with more intelligence, patience and less hunger for power than Salvatore took the time to study the old texts, they could placate the object, and possibly even use it.
However, Naila only wants power, and she will do anything to get it, including tearing the city to pieces and putting it back together in her own image later. She has gathered her own forces, taking artifacts from the Temple.
The final book in this exceptional series is going to come down to a series of events, battles and a race against time, to see who can take the city first, who can get to the artifact in the rift first, and who has the better allies.
There are some amazing revelations in this final book that you will never see coming, and Wallace continues to enthrall us with a spectacular array of artifacts, creatures in the rift, and outstanding characters that continue to bring this story to life. Each of his characters have such in-depth backgrounds, and in this final book we not only continue to see more of these backgrounds, but there are astonishing disclosures and information that comes out about several characters as to give several twists and turns to the story that you just never see coming.
And this is the true magic of Wallace’s character writing, his characters are so cleverly crafted that they can just have these alter egos, are sudden developments, and rather than it seem extreme, it is just a natural part of the story he blends it so well. This way he manages to hide some stunning surprises in plain sight.
Naila is one of the biggest character changes from books 2 to 3, as she pretends to be the Master of Whispers, and then strikes at the power of the Quintana, attempting to kill the main houses;
As this is underway Carbon, and Iliana join with Lady Mercado and what is left of the Torre’s to try and stop not only Naila from killing them all, but the end of the entire Quintana from the Artifact.
Carbon is another exceptional character, and we have seen him been fully developed as the series has continued. One character that perhaps didn’t get the attention she might have was Iliana, and whilst on the surface, she did get some attention, it would have been good to get a more in-depth storyline.
Without giving too much away, one of the best parts of the 3rd book was the back story of Lady Mercado.
Chasm of Fire will not disappoint as the final chapter of this the Final Part in the Quintana Series.
Overall, Wallace has again shown that he is a writer of unparallel skill in whatever genre he puts pen to, creating not only magnificent characters, but just the most intriguing and fascinating storylines to go with it.
The Quintana series has something for everyone!!
As with the other 2 books, the Narration, performed by Steve Barnes, is outstanding. Barnes gives a wonderful rendition of the book, providing a wonderful range of male and female voices, with clearly pronounced words that are very easy to listen to. Barnes is able to give very distinct emotional states as well, when people are scared, excited, happy, a large group of terrified peasants, he does it all very well.
The Narration has been exceptional for the entire series, Barnes has made each of the main characters his own, and as such, made this a brilliant series to listen to. Absolutely worth getting!!