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Across The Face Of The World: Book One, The Fire of Heaven Trilogy Paperback – 4 May 2006

3.4 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; New Ed edition (4 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841494631
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841494630
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 699,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

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.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is debut fantasy novel that unfortunately follows many of the more tiresome conventions of the genre. Disregarding recent advances in character development and plot as evidenced by The Malazan Book of the Fallen, A Song of Ice and Fire and The Prince of Nothing series, Russel Kirkpatrick instead falls back on the callow youth destined for greatness, a prophecy foretelling the same, and a long and at times tedious trek to Rivendell - sorry, Instruere.

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.
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Format: Paperback
Russell Kirkpatrick has the touch of JRR Tolkien about him in his extensive world building and complex plot, which I feel is both exciting as it is impressive. Across the face of the world is the first installment in the Fire of Haven trilogy (in the earth abides the flame and the right hand of God), that is set within the incalculable sixteen kingdoms of Faltha. The world is as richly imagined as in any modern fantasy by an accomplished author whose ingenious ideas, alongside the scope and depth that is delved into will blow you away. In the snow covered village of Loulea five men and women set out on an epic journey of discovery, that will not only change their lives forever but which ultimately will decide the fate of their entire world. It is an incredible, thrilling adventure that will have you glued to the page for hours on end and one which I strongly urge you to discover, for it will alter and change your perception on epic fantasy and the foundations of this genre that never fails to astonish me with new works.

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.
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Format: Paperback
I have read a good many fantasy & science fiction books over the last 50 years or so and enjoyed most of them but this is one of the few that I have forced myself to continue with.
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.
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By Mimi Moore VINE VOICE on 9 Jun. 2006
Format: Paperback
Russell Kirkpatrick's debut novel in the Fire of Heaven trilogy is an aborbing and original tale. The characterisation throughout is remarkably realistic, with his main characters, appealing but very humanly flawed.

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.
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