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The Fire [Hardcover]

Katherine Neville
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 Nov 2008

Twenty years ago Katherine Neville's groundbreaking thriller THE EIGHT was a global bestseller – a thriller in the style of THE DA VINCI CODE way before Dan Brown ever got there…

In this long-awaited sequel, Alexandra Solarin, a chess-wizard and only daughter of Cat Velis, the heroine of THE EIGHT, arrives at her mother's Colorado lodge, only to discover that her mother has disappeared. Finding string of clues, Alexandra is soon joined by a group of people called there by her mother, including her aunt Lily, who explains the truth of Cat's past.

In 1822, as the fortress of Sultan Ali Pasha falls to the Turks, the Sultan's daughter Haidee attempts a desperate journey taking her through Albania, Morocco and Rome, while carrying an invaluable object and seeking the one man who can help her: the poet George Gordon, Lord Byron.

Ultimately both Alexandra and Haidee learn that their missions are even more desperate than they first seem, for both are players in a dangerous game, a game that began more than a millennium before either of them were born and that has the power to affect the fate of human civilization itself.

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (3 Nov 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007305710
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007305711
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.6 x 4.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 209,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


‘The premise of THE FIRE is refreshingly original … several notches above the world’s bestselling author, Dan Brown.’ Independent

'Katherine Neville has a remarkable ability to weave strands of history into one vivid tale. Readers who love culture, travel, and, of course, the detective work of research, will delight in this work.' Elizabeth Kostova, author of The Historian

'Katherine Neville's The Fire proves once again that she is the true grand master of international intrigue and historical mystery. Relentless, gripping, convoluted, and grand, this is a classic for the new millennium.' James Rollins, author of The Last Oracle

'One of the best novels I've read this year…The Fire is a compulsively readable novel for Da Vinci Code fans, as brilliantly complex as a grand-master chess match. I could not put this book down' Douglas Preston, author of The Monster of Florence

'I've been waiting for twenty years to find out what happened after The Eight. Katherine Neville answers that longing in a story that skilfully moves players around a global chessboard and expertly blends history, science, myth and more. Katherine Neville is the undisputed queen of the international suspense genre.' Steve Berry, author of The Venetian Betrayal

Praise for THE EIGHT:
'Stellar… The story's relentless pace is matched by characters both sympathetic and real.' Publishers Weekly

'Readers thrilled by The Da Vinci Code will relish the multi-layered secrets of The Eight.'
Matthew Pearl, author of 'The Dante Club'


'The epic sequel to Neville's entrancing novel The Eight. 3 stars.'
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A GOOD BOOK, JUST NOT AS GOOD AS "THE EIGHT" 6 July 2010
I read Katherine Neville's "The Eight", two years ago, I thought it was a brilliant book, and I was thrilled to find out that a sequel was announced. As most readers of "The Eight", I preordered "The Fire" and counted the days and the hours until its release. I honestly have to say that I liked the book and I was not exactly disappointed with it, but I can understand why some people were. The problem with writing a brilliant novel is that you set the bar extremely high and it is practically impossible to do it again. So the reason that most people did not like "The Fire", is not that it is a bad book, not a mediocre book even, it simply is that they expected it to be as good as "The Eight" and it just couldn't be.

The idea is the same as with "The Eight"; parallel storylines of fictional and historical characters involved in a 'game' that started in the 8th century AD with the creation of the Montglane Chess and continues to this day. The protagonist is Cat's daughter Xie who is caught up in the game when her mother disappears and the parallel story is set in 19th century involving Lord Byron and Ali Pasha's daughter Haidee. I found the historical characters very convincing, perhaps with a few historical errors, but then again it would take an expert to spot them and this is fiction. The modern characters are complex and well developed but they are not as real as they were in the first book, it almost seems that a loving parent relates his children's story without completely empathising with them.

The story is great; lots of twists and turns, wonderful descriptions especially in the modern plot, romance, suspense and humour, every aspect of "The Eight" is here too.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I wanted to love it - I didn't even like it 3 May 2012
By Mr. D. Clark VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As you've probably gathered from the title of my review, I loved "The Eight", like many reviewers of this book. Like many of them too I find myself deeply disappointed. Basically, it's as if all of the things you loved about the original have been carefully cut away, leaving only a rather trite, confusing, uninteresting mess. There is a hell of a lot of, for want of a better description , running-around-all-over-the-place-for-the-sake-of-running-around-all-over-the-place-and-no-other-reason. There's not great truth or revelation in the end, and no sense of satisfaction in getting there, other than a sense of relief that the tedium is over.

If you haven't read the Eight, then please do so - it's great. Do yourself a favour and don't bother with The Fire, though. It's really not worth it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What was all that about? 5 Oct 2010
By Celtia
I loved The Eight. I mean I seriously loved it to the extent that I would count is as one of my Top Ten novels of all time. So when The Fire was published I had great expectations. I saved it for my holiday and was hoping it would provide me with a bit of poolside escapism. But No. I was so thoroughly disappointed I cannot begin to tell you.

I don't think I am a stupid person. I like a puzzle. I like a bit of esoteric or arcane mumbo jumbo to keep me entertained. But please....what was this all about? I couldn't follow it at all I'm afraid. I appreciate that we were following clues here, but some of the connections were so tenuous you could have driven a truck through them. I was actually relieved when it ended to be honest. What a shame.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
How do you write a sequel to an astonishing work of imagination like The Eight? Very carefully . . . as witnessed by the long delay between the original and the sequel. But perhaps not carefully enough as judged by the challenges of inserting new meaning into well developed material in The Eight.

The Fire has to be seen as a sequel. As a stand-alone novel, the references to The Eight weigh down the book for a new reader in ways that would make the book almost impenetrable . . . and obscure at the same time.

Time has moved forward into the post-Second Iraq War period, creating a balance with the OPEC-related story lines in The Eight. As she did in The Eight, Katherine Neville has also moved back in time to create historical stories that march into the present time. These story lines cross in powerful ways.

The book opens as Aleksandr Solarin accompanies his daughter, Alexandra ("Xie"), to Zagorsk Monastery in Russia for a pivotal chess match in the autumn of 1993 where she will have a chance to earn grandmaster status at the tender age of eleven. While there, Aleksandr spots something that shouldn't be there . . . and it becomes clear that the Game he had sought to end years before has begun again.

You then travel to Albania in 1822 to meet Haidee, a pasha's daughter, who uncovers a sneak attack by Turkish forces on her father. Will she escape its consequences?

From there, the scene shifts to Mesa Verde in Colorado in the spring of 2003 as Alexandra arrives to visit for her mother's (Cat Velis) birthday party to discover that her mother missing, many puzzle clues, and an odd assortment of visitors arriving for the party. Clearly, these people seem to be positioning themselves for the Game. What is Alexandra's role?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not nearly as good as The Eight
I agree with other reviewers who didn't enjoy this as much as it's forerunner The Eight. I found myself a bit bored and skimming to the finish
Published 14 days ago by Sandra Harrison
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
I absoluteley loved this book. The writing style keeps you on edge. It is ease to read but with a complete description of everything. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Athina Panayiotou
3.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a disappointment
Nowhere near as good as "The Eight" as many others have said and I would have been really annoyed had I paid full price for it. Mildly entertaining read.
Published 6 months ago by IRush
4.0 out of 5 stars don't leave it there
Could not wait to read this when I found out it existed. The Eight kind of blew my mind about 10 years ago. This however made me feel like it had finished before the climax.
Published 10 months ago by Jan
3.0 out of 5 stars Read "The Eight" first.
Having thoroughly enjoyed, and re-read, The Eight I was looking forward to the sequel. If you read The Fire without knowing the back-story I think you will enjoy it well enough,... Read more
Published 12 months ago by misty meanor
5.0 out of 5 stars The fire
Absolutely fantastic, couldn't read it fast enough.
Will have to read it again to take in more of the intricacies of the plot.
Published 15 months ago by L wedlock
5.0 out of 5 stars The Fire by Katherine Neville
Picked up where 'The Eight' finished. Another edge of the seat storyline, will read again and again as I have done with 'The Eight', found different aspects of the story each time... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Dawn McCarthy
2.0 out of 5 stars The Fire
Unfortunately, this novel is a disappointing sequel to the eight. Having read the eight twice I was looking forward to seeing how the story would develop but the narrative was long... Read more
Published 19 months ago by msb
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good sequel
I was looking for the first book "The Eight" for my Kindle as my paperback version is now very dog-eared. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Mrs. G. Buttstaedt
5.0 out of 5 stars reviwe of fire
absolutely riveting read an extremely good sequel that could easily be enjoyed without having read the eight it's forerunner. The seller was fabulous too. Read more
Published 21 months ago by karenm
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