Across The Face Of The World: Book One, The Fire of Heaven Trilogy Paperback – 4 May 2006
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A blockbuster fantasy adventure from a brilliant new storyteller.
About the Author
Russell lectures in Geography and manages a small map-making business. He lives in New Zealand with his wife and two children.
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Top Customer Reviews
There are some good things in this book: the history and geography of Kirkpatrick's world is detailed and believable.
What is lacking are the characters to bring this world to life. Many of the characters remain cyphers (Hal, Will, Stella, the old farmer) who wander across the detailed landscape seemingly for no purpose. The only character that seemed to come alive for me was the fat and atheist Haufuth - an interesting stance in a world seemingly ruled by an unforgiving god.
Sadly, in this book at least, character development is secondary to the desire to drag the characters across the landscape. Very occasionally there are periods of excitement (such as when the heroes finally catch the villains they are chasing) and these parts contained much tighter writing, which did at least keep me reading.
I can only hope that in subsequent books Kirkpatrick will abandon the fantasy conventions and develop the occasional flashes of inspiration found here.
The immortal destroyer (also known as Kannwar) has for two thousand years been planning revenge on the most high, and now his plans are nearing fruition as he surges forwards with the pieces falling into place. Kannwar drank from the forbidden fountain and so was cast out of Dona Mihst thus being set free to take his vengeance. Meanwhile a trader known as Mahnum escapes from the destroyer's prison, with the Lords of fear sent in pursuit whilst the escaper makes his way to Loulea. As Mahnum and his wife are captured it is then that his two sons Leith and Hal, together with a small group of villagers set off on a perilous quest to free Mahnum and Indrett, and warn those of significance that war is coming.Read more ›
The author appears to have read Lord of the Rings and seems to have attempted to write something of a similar nature but fails miserably!!
It has been a real chore to actually continue reading this tedious, uninteresting, unimaginative tale.
The level of detail that the author uses to try to create a believable world becomes too distracting from the plot with the characters constantly telling 'stories ' to the other characters and I found myself skipping pages just to get back to the plot.
The story is 671 pages long and I reckon it could be condensed to 200 or so pages and still be tedious.
I found it difficult to relate to most of the characters and would have actually like to have killed off one or two halfway through e.g. Farr and Kurr.
Trudy Canavan rates this book as follows, "Not since Tolkien have I been so awed", which makes me wonder, either how much did they pay her or what on earth has she been reading?
As you may have guessed I won't be reading the other 2 parts of this trilogy.
A raggle taggle bunch of villagers, including a cripple, an old farmer, a teenage boy and an overweight village chief set off in the depths of winter to rescue two villagers kidnapped in the night by unknown assailants.
The villagers are parents to two of the boys in the rescue party, young Leith and his crippled brother Hal. Leith's teenage fancy Stella is taken with them only slighly against her will after she overhears their plans. She is happy to escape an unwilling forced marriage and proves a valiant ally in troubles to come.
The Watcher tells them they will find unlooked for friends and foes and indeed it is so as they find help and relief in unexpected quarters.
Across the face of the World is a gripping tale - my only regret is in finding it so early, I now have a twelve month to wait for the next installment.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I tried reading this book and managed to get half way through it and then eventually stopped because I could not endure any more of it. Read morePublished on 13 Dec. 2010 by CiscoBear
If you've read the other reviews of Russell Kirkpatrick's 'Across the Face of the World' then you might be forgiven in thinking this is just another attempt to get on the... Read morePublished on 1 Jan. 2009 by Adrian M. Liley
I was disappointed with this book. Although the story has promise, Russell Kirkpatrick has apparently never heard of viewpoint, so he tells the whole story from the outside looking... Read morePublished on 16 Dec. 2008 by F. Spiers
Ok, I'm on Chapter 5 and I think I'll stop here. I was desperate to find this book again, having picked it up and dropped it on one visit to a bookshop. Read morePublished on 1 Jun. 2007 by Amanda in the Fens
I just looked at the writers web site, on it he explains he spent ten year creating the world for this book and then writing the book. Read morePublished on 27 May 2007 by G. Bethune
Russell Kirkpatrick has written a story with such vivid and exquisite descriptions of the people, places and events that you can not only imagine the pictures in your head, but you... Read morePublished on 19 Jun. 2006 by Kit
The first word that comes to mind in regard to the book is 'gentle'. It's a very gentle read, measured in pace, with plenty of quiet talks around the fireside. Read morePublished on 31 Jan. 2005
With a rich geographical setting(as you might expect considering the author is a geography lecturer! Read morePublished on 9 Jun. 2004