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Publisher's Summary

New York Times and USA Today best-selling authors Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory first teamed up to write the Obsidian Trilogy, which was set in a wondrous world filled with magical beings, competing magic systems, and a titanic struggle between good and evil. That world proved so popular with the creators and readers alike that Lackey and Mallory have returned to it again, with The Phoenix Unchained, Book One of The Enduring Flame, the opening volume of a new epic fantasy trilogy.

After 1,000 years of peace, much magick has faded from the world. The Elves live far from humankind. There are no High Mages, and Wild Mages are seen only rarely. Bisochim, a powerful Wild Mage, is determined to reintroduce Darkness to the world, believing that it is out of balance.

Tiercel, a young Armethalian nobleman, is convinced that High Magick is not just philosophy. He attempts a spell and draws the unwelcome attention of Bisochim. Tiercel survives Bisochim's attack and begins trying to turn himself into a High Mage.

Next in line to be Harbormaster of Armethalieh, Harrier instead finds himself regularly saving Tiercel's life and meeting magickal people and creatures. To Harrier's dismay, it seems that he must become a hero.

In The Phoenix Unchained, Harrier and Tiercel begin a marvelous journey to uncover their destinies. Along the way, they meet a charming female centaur, several snooty Elves, and the most powerful dragon their world has ever known.

©2007 Mercedes Lackey; ©2007 James Mallory; (P)2007 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Sets a lavishly detailed stage peopled with intriguing and well-developed characters whose futures hold both promise and peril." (Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    176
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    83
  • 2 Stars
    27
  • 1 Stars
    9

Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    132
  • 4 Stars
    86
  • 3 Stars
    30
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    9

Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    135
  • 4 Stars
    83
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    3
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  • Overall
  • Bruce
  • Knoxville, MD, United States
  • 12-14-07

A good book for younger readers.

This book is probably best suited for young adult readers. I enjoyed it. I would have enjoyed it much more when I was 16.

My criticisms are: The viewpoint of the storyteller is that of a very young person. For example, a 17 year old character talks about something that happened to him when he was "a child" as "very long ago." References to "school" seem more like American High School (Lunch for example) then something from Heroic Fantasy. There is nothing wrong with this, but as an adult reader, I stumbled over it and lost my "suspension of disbelief" for a moment. Also, there are so many contractions in the story that the narrator seems to stumble over them. (I didn't so I couldn't.) I counted 7 in 3 short sentences at one point. I think that this is something that we ignore in print but notice in audio book versions much more readily. Also, references to magic spells as if they were something you can look up in an encyclopedia (I tried to cast "Mage Shield" but I failed) come off like Gaming references. I wish the author had invented unique or "magical language" names for these things to avoid that.

Mercedes Lackey seems to be more of an editor then co-writer with "The Phoenix Unchained." She has a very distinct voice, and it does not present itself very often. Her masterful ability to "pace" a story does come through.

Taken as a whole, it was entertaining, and I'll read the sequel.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Only Mediocre and it goes downhill from there

A typical beginning with no real surprises, two teenagers set out on an adventure that the reader knows from the start will become a life changing event and cause them to grow in strength. But then the whining begins. The emotional drivel was only moderately annoying at the beginning but by the third book it is just absurd. Twenty seconds on a huge battle and then twenty minutes on bemoaning their horrible fate. Perhaps others will enjoy the emotional development of the characters, I became bored very quickly, I kept listening because I thought that the story had such great potential and could really be a great and exciting adventure story. Perhaps if it was a single book then they would have had to cut out a lot of moaning and emotional brow beating.
I usually enjoy Mercedes Lackey’s books. I don’t know what happened with this series.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Good Audiobook

I thought this book was well read. If you enjoyed the previous trilogy, then you'll probably enjoy this one as well. I must say that some things seemed predictable, but it was still interesting enough for me to always want to know what happens next. I'm looking forward to when the next one comes out.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Just Eh

Would you try another book from Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory and/or William Dufris?

I would definitely try other books from Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory and I have already done so. However, I doubt I will try other books by William Dufris. I am just not a fan of his voice or reading style. I'm sorry.

How could the performance have been better?

I would have loved to have Susan Ericksen narrate this series as she did for The Obsidian Trilogy. Her vocals were amazing.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Yes. Oh, yes. Both this series and the one before it, The Obsidian Trilogy.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Wait until series is complete

Mercedes Lackey is a favorite author of mine but don't bother with this book until the series is complete. Book one is one long prelude. It's very unsatisfactory to have a book end without any significant story line complete.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Not so captivating

Unfortunately the story line is all to familiar, following the first trilogy far to closely. Classic setting, a journey with a guide and a protective friend, Wild mage intervention and mysterious evil forces pursuing the traveling trio. There were a scant number of delightful surprises toward the end of the novel, but this book is a shadow of the original trilogy that transported the reader into the wonderful world of High Mages, Wild Mages, Magical Unicorns & the Endarkened, created by Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory in The Obsidian Trilogy. Hopefully the Authors can enliven the next book considerably.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sabine
  • Lemoore, CA, USA
  • 09-19-08

Unfinished Series-what a shame

I'll keep it short and brief, the first and second book of the Enduring Flame were lovely and tantalizing, but apparently all that is offered to us. Purchase only if you are an afficianado of partial storylines, cliff-hangers, or unfinished business..

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Painful to Listen to

I like the book but the reader is so bad I can't even finish it. Is there another version I can buy?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Solid, but slow

A solid Fantasy take that is well worth reading, but it often feels like the story is dragging slightly in terms of pacing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Poor narration

It was irritating that the narrator pronounced almost every name for the characters and places differently from the Obsidian Trilogy narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful