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A Fitting Conclusion to an Intelligent Trilogy
on 10 July 2002
The Pool of Fire concludes the Tripods Trilogy written by John Christopher during the 1960s. The book deals with the events in the the life of Will Parker in his fight against the oppressive regime of an occupying alien race.
Christopher deals with a number of themes within these novels, considering the role of the individual, personal responsibility, self sacrifice and the nature of human freedom. These are all dealt with intelligently and without compromise - Christopher does not shirk from making hard choices about the futures of his main characters, and it is here that The Pool of Fire really contains its emotional power. While the book is suitable for a younger secondary school child to read, it retains an appeal for adults and provides much for them to enjoy and think upon. Indeed, while I first read these books at around nine years old, I have returned to them many times over the successive years and have always found a new element to them.
In many respects, the Tripods Trilogy is a story about growing up, and as the main characters of Will Parker, his cousin Henry and their friend Beanpole age over the years in which the books are set, so too does the maturity of the books content.
The Pool of Fire is a fine conclusion to an exemplary trilogy. It provides the reader with an intelligent, exciting and thought-provoking experience. It is only a shame that the BBC decided to cancel their adaptation of the series in the mid 1980s before beginning filming of this third instalment. However, the quality of John Christopher's novel is an excellent piece of fiction in its own right.