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The Burning Shadow (Gods and Warriors Book 2) Hardcover – 1 Aug 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin (1 Aug. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141339284
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141339283
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.8 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 333,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Paver is the mistress of suspense (Amanda Craig The Times)

Heartstoppingly real (Independent)

The kind of story you dream of reading and all too rarely find (The Times)

A classic children's book . . . superb writing (Anthony Horowitz)

These books are full of magic, adventure and action, and they appeal equally to both sexes (Charlie Higson)

About the Author

Michelle Paver was born in Malawi in 1960 and moved to England when she was three. After gaining a degree in biochemistry from Oxford, she became a partner in a City law firm, but gave that up to write full-time. To research her stories about animals and the distant past, she has travelled in the Arctic, the Mediterranean and Egypt, swum with dolphins and killer whales, and encountered bears, boars and wolves. She is the author of the internationally bestselling Chronicles of Ancient Darkness, the final book of which won the 2010 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Sussman TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 Jan. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This a second offering, from what is to be a five-part series mixing magic with ritual from Michelle Paver. Her new series of books tells the narrative of Hylas, a 12-year-old goatherd, whose adventures take him to Ancient Crete and Ancient Egypt. He also has a potent ally in the form Pirra; the stubborn daughter of an Egyptian priestess, the scene is set during the Bronze Age. Other characters featured in the plot, of non-human variety are a lion cub, a falcon and a dolphin.

Book 2 shows our hero and co having to thwart the Crows, an evil family that uses slaves labour to run its copper mining operation – this dreadful enterprise is run in appalling settings. With the fore telling of a prophecy, Hylas manages against the odds to survive book one. However, there is plenty of misfortune heading towards him in the books to come. This volume does give some recap of book one for readers who haven't read it.

While a number of other fashionable children's authors imagine a future regularly described in dystopian terms, Paver’s work looks backwards more with a positive eye to the past. Her well rounded stalwart characters always do the right thing, helped by generous helping of flukes and a succession of eleventh-hour escapes. The authors’ story telling maybe a blend of fantasy and adventure, however, the background to the narrative is facts based archaeology of the Greek Bronze Age and its belief systems of that time frame. It is this attention to detail - innovative storytelling and clean grammatical style that has assured her popularity and success, in my opinion.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Michelle Paver is doing it again. I absolutely loved the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness with its multiple layers of adventure and anthropological tour de force. She writes very well and this new series is delivering the goods all over again! Just to make it clear, I am 67 years old, my son and daughter in law, who are both scientists and in their thirties, are avid readers as well, and now my sister has joined the ranks of the Paver's fans!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Michelle Paver is a first rate writer, and her previous success with her books should be enough recommendation for this one. However I feel the need to write a longer review, because having completed the book a few days ago, this book has left me hankering for more in a way that is unusual for me these days. I simply have to say something to recommend it!

Before I say more, I would point out that this is book 2 in the series. The first book, "The Outsider" is also first class, good enough that I put this one in my kindle wishlist long before it was published. If you found this review first, don't forget to read "The Outsider" first.

Having said that, the book would almost stand alone. Hylas is trying to find his sister from whom he was separated in book 1, but at the start of this story his journey takes a wrong turn when he is caught by slavers who transport him back in the direction he came from, to a volcanic island where his new masters are mining copper. Condemned to work in the mines, Hylas would come close to despair, but in Michelle Paver's stories, the gods may have a greater purpose, and unwilling as he may be to do so, he will play an important part in it.

I doubt my synopsis truly does this work justice though. Here is why it ticked the right boxes for me though: I have visited the bronze age copper mine on Llandudno's Great Orme a few times in the past, and on each visit I found myself captivated by what I saw. What would it be like to be a copper miner in such a place? We know they used children as miners, but what was life like for such children? I remember walking on the Great Orme wishing there was a book in just such a setting, but it seemed that no one had found a way to make the bronze age sound interesting.
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We are all eager to read the books in this Gods and Warriors series - from a 6 year old all the way up to the thirty somethings! The books are easy enough for our 10 year old to read, but rich and compelling enough to make an engaging family read-aloud. The characters are interesting and complex, for a children's book, and it isn't always easy for the children to tell who is a "goody" or a "baddy". The animal companions are fascinatingly evoked, and you see things through their minds (a dolphin in book one, a lion cub here) - so the sun is a lion in the sky, water is "the wet", hair is a mane, etc. The books are especially interesting to children who are learning about Ancient Greece and have an interest in Greek mythology and history, but stand alone as intriguing and satisfying reads. We can't wait to find out what happens to Hylas, Pirra and Telamon next.
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Ah. What a wonderful day. The arrival of a new Michelle Paver book is always a special event for me. That special day that comes but once a year and it brings with it a sense of wonder, amazement, excitement and a sliver of fear at what might happen next to the characters you're coming to love.

I thoroughly enjoyed Gods and Warriors which was released last year, kick-starting this series of the same name, and I remember saying in my review (which can be found here) that it felt very much a world building book that was setting things out nicely for the series to build upon these foundations and grow, and flourish. And after reading The Burning Shadow, I stand by that comment. We find Hylas trapped - he's a slave, set to work in the copper mines on the side of a mountain in Thalakrea, and he isn't a lone. Hundreds, if not more, are working tirelessly for little or no reward just to appease Kreon, the man who owns them. And to make thing's worse, he's a Crow.

The stakes have risen in The Burning Shadow. Now that some of the Crows know who Hylas is, he risks being caught at every turn. But he's adamant not to get drawn in to the prophecy laid out by the Oracle. He's determined that he'll have no part to play in the bringing down of the House of Koronos. All he wants is to find his sister, Issi, and make sure that she's okay. But the gods themselves have different ideas...

Pirra is also making moves to do what she wants. Her mother, Yassassara, the High Preistess is planning to send her away for good and Pirra is having none of it. She plots a daring escape and when she meets a wise woman called Hekabi she see's a way out. But Hekabi is not what she seems and Pirra is drawn away from Keftiu again into danger, back into the eyesight of the crows, and Hylas.
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