The Wind on Fire trilogy is truly wonderful. In the Publishing Aftermath of the enormous success of the Harry Potter books, many less great books have been published, with Potter-esque storylines, and other assorted fantasy elements. Most of these books are terrible. The Wind on Fire trilogy stands out among these. It is obviously not trying to cash in on Potter's success, and it is original and far more epic than Potter. The first book works on many levels. It is a enthralling adventure, layered with myth and magic. It was also part satire, with much comedy and brilliant character detail. The second book far topped it, with inspired new characters such as the princess Sisi, and wonderful developments of already known characters. It also had astonishing locations, such as the Mastery compound and scenes of pure tension, such as the final attack and Bo's confrontation with the Master. I thought there was no way the first two books could be topped. And then I picked up Firesong.
It surpasses the first two books hugely. It manages to contain as much of the thrilling action of the first two, while acquiring an emotional edge, which culminates in a finale which would draw tears from the most hard-hearted of readers. It is beautiful and poetic, and the entire book is full of sly jokes, metaphors, and clever imagery, brilliantly evoked by Nicholson's warm, generous writing style. It is a masterful, magical, totally compelling conclusion to a trilogy which is distinctive, original, and will hopefully join the ranks of modern fantasy classics.