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The Burning Man: Kingdom of the Serpent: Book 2: Burning Man Bk. 2 (GOLLANCZ S.F.) Paperback – 17 Apr 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (17 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575079495
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575079496
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.7 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,587,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A two-time winner of the prestigious British Fantasy Award, Mark has published his epic, imaginative novels in many countries around the world. He grew up in the mining community of the English Midlands, and was the first person in his family to go to university. After studying Economic History at Leeds, he became a successful journalist, writing for several of the UK's renowned national newspapers as well as contributing to magazines and TV.

When his first short story won Fear magazine's Best New Author award, he was snapped up by an agent and subsequently published his first novel, Underground, a supernatural thriller set in the coalfields of his youth. Quitting journalism to become a full-time author, he has written stories which have transcended genre boundaries, but is perhaps best known in the fantasy field.

Mark has also forged a parallel career as a screenwriter with many hours of produced work for British television. He is a senior writer for BBC Drama, and is also developing new shows for the UK and US.

An expert on British folklore and mythology, he has held several varied and colourful jobs, including independent record company boss, band manager, production line worker, engineer's 'mate', and media consultant.

Having travelled extensively around the world, he has now settled in a rambling house in the middle of a forest not far from where he was born.

Product Description


He challenges accepted points of view, comments on religion and politics and questions perceptions, all while cracking open various mythological histories. You'll be mulling over its concepts for weeks afterwards." (SANDY AUDEN SFX)

Fast-paced, incident heavy and big on characters as well as ideas, this is modern fantasy for people who don't like modern fantasy. It's a contemporary, very modern take on classic myths, character archetypes and the end of the world. (DEATHRAY)

Book Description

Old gods waken and ancient powers stir: this is a time for heroes

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 July 2008
Format: Paperback
The second novel in Mark's "Jack of Ravens" series and one that seemingly is getting nigh impossible to explain to a layman. That said its addictive, its adventurous and above all it does make perfect sense when you're reading the series even if you can explain it afterwards. LOL Extremely well written and a cracking adventure to be had within its pages. However you really do need to know Marks work and having read his previous releases I'm fairly up there with all the knowledge that is hinted at within this story's pages. If you're uninitiated however this really wont do much for you except leave you terribly confused and wondering what the hell is going on.

So if you have to read this book make sure you've at least read Jack of Ravens and you'll be fine although it's a shame to miss out a lot of the references and with the Battles within the pages coming down to war with the gods of numerous mythos then you can pretty much see that the third conclusive novel is going to be epic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Peter C on 14 May 2008
Format: Hardcover
Jack (Church) Churchill and his motley band of warriors, the Brothers and Sisters of Dragons, are cast into a fresh vortex of myth and legend where they must fight or be annihilated - according to the whims of various gods.

This is book two in a trilogy. And yes, I know: this is book eight in Chadbourn's on going sequence. Reading the previous seven volumes would probably be useful, but on this occasion I would venture to say that's far from essential: The Burning Man starts with both a forward and an extensive prologue of previous events. In addition, Mark Chadbourn does explain much of prior histories as the story progresses.

In essence The Burning Man is all about cosmic balance and the struggle of human beings to gain control of their own destiny, free from divine intervention, for good or for evil. To recount the plot itself would not only spoil things for the reader but also take almost as long as the book itself. I will just say that Chadbourn's heroes battle demons and spiders, humans and gods who are possessed by spider demons. The novel embraces the gods and peoples from just about every pantheon you care to name, from the myths and legends of Celtic, North American, Norse, Chinese, Egyptian and probably a few others I have forgotten in the melee.

The Burning Man is action packed and rushes onward at an unrelenting pace that allows scant time to draw breath between each fresh intrigue. Jack and company fight their enemies with gritty determination. They also fight not only amongst themselves but on occasion even their own selves; with as many love affairs as there are grudge matches between the erstwhile companions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Read Me on 27 May 2008
Format: Hardcover
Church returns with his Brothers and Sisters of Dragons to find a way to beat the Void and return humanity to the world it should have. Reuniting the groups from both previous trilogies means that everyone's favourite charcters should be here, and as the character's memories return they begin to realise their role in existence.
The cover states this is book 2, and it is but when there are 2 trilogies before it you might need to read up a bit in order to get the full flavour of this. Jack of Ravens (book 1) was about Church's journey across 2,000 years of history - this is a race against evil forces around the world.
Chadbourn always weaves myths and legends brilliantly into these books, and while the Celtic Gods are still the main characters we now have Norse, Chinese and Egyptian Gods making a play for the title of most bloodthirsty and confusing beings. As another reviewer writes it should be really confusing but when you're reading it its not - Chadbourn hooks you so skillfully into his world that you never realise how indepth it is until you try to explain it. Its so brilliant that I never want the series to end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Blue Tyson on 28 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
Horrible mystery tour.

At least for the Brothers and Sisters of Dragons, anyway. For the reader, this is as good as the last book.

Church and the rest of his Five have begun to realise what is going on with the Void's Mundane Spell - so that the everyday person is a bit stuck in the Matrix, if you like, supernatural style.

The first thing they need to do is to pull the other modern day group out of it, and this is where the start of the book finds Ruth and Church - out to retrieve Mallory and Sophie. The others have similar missions to gather the remaining two corporeal members of Mallory's Five. Tom's prophetic abilities also begin to come back, similarly.

The other problem is their power source, the Blue Fire is ebbing, and this entails a world tour and encounters with pantheons of all sorts (you even get Church going toe to toe with the Norse God of War!)

The various Tuatha and their realm still play an important part, for better or worse, helping, harming, fighting by and betraying the various members of the Five - and this is where having read the earlier volumes the Age of Misrule will enhance understanding of what is going on. Plenty of other supernatural strangeness to be had and weapons to be gathered.

Veitch and his injustice society version, the Brothers and Sisters of Spiders are still doing their own thing, as is the Libertarian. In the case of the former, an interesting dynamic develops between Etain, Veitch and Ruth. Church and company also want to make contact with those of the past Five members that Veitch and friends have not managed to slaughter, for help in the final battle.
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