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The Falcons of Fire and Ice by [Maitland, Karen]
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The Falcons of Fire and Ice Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 118 customer reviews

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Length: 596 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product description

Review

Scarily good. Imagine The Wicker Man crossed with The Birds (Marie Claire)

Ripping . . . full of colour and detail (Daily Telegraph)

A gem . . . meticulously researched (News of the World)

Captivating, unforgettable, truly compelling (In Style)

Irresistible (Sunday Telegraph)

About the Author

Karen Maitland travelled and worked in many parts of the United Kingdom before finally settling in the beautiful medieval city of Lincoln. She is the author of The White Room, Company of Liars, The Owl Killers and The Gallows Curse. The latter three titles are available as Penguin paperbacks.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1584 KB
  • Print Length: 596 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (16 Aug. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008DM2SBQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 118 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #67,850 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought the book after attending a talk by Karen Maitland, which I found very interesting, but sorry the book was not for me, too much jumping about. Will give another title a go just to see ( I do like historical tales )
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brilliant
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By Mr. D. L. Rees TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
1594. In both Portugal and Iceland much cause for concern. In Portugal the Inquisition forever tightens its grip - fear and suspicion rampant, public tortures and executions commonplace. Isabela's kindly father is imprisoned on a trumped-up charge, his freedom depending on her securing from Iceland two white falcons for King Sebastian. Pleasure-loving conman Ricardo is blackmailed into ensuring she does not succeed. Meanwhile in Iceland, Lutheran Danes terrorize peasants and a fierce winter grasps....

Key to what follows is the deep mountain cave where twin oracles Eydis and Valdis have lived since they were seven - food provided by local folk in return for advice. Their world may be tiny, but they can detect subtle signs when catastrophe fast looms - as indeed it does now.

Isabela, Ricardo and Eydis in turns narrate. Imminent is a momentous struggle between good and evil. Even the dead have a vital part to play, as waters bubble and steam and the whole mountain seems about to erupt.

One thing is for sure: the reader ends up knowing far more about falcons than before. Humour is necessarily in short supply (limited to that ghastly Dona Flavia on the voyage and Ricardo's lasting horror at having to rough it). Otherwise it is powerful fare, all concerned destined to suffer. I have not read the writer's other novels but can declare this one mystical and disturbing, events in that cave frequently the stuff of nightmares.

Not an easy read, but well worth the effort.
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By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 27 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Having loved all of Karen Maitland's previous books Company of Liars, The Owl Killers and The Gallows Curse, I was delighted to read her latest offering. "The Falcons of Fire and Ice" is set in Portugal, 1539, when the country is in the icy grip of the Inquisition. Isabela is the daughter of the Royal Falconer and King Sebastian loves both falcons and the company of the gentle man who tends them; but when tragedy strikes the King is able to do little to protect him, as he is just a child and his great-uncle is both Regent and the former Grand Inquisitor. When Isabela's father is arrested on false charges her only chance of obtaining his release is to bring back two extremely rare white falcons from Iceland within a year and a day.

Isabela is a brave and resourceful young girl who immediately sets out on a quest that seems almost impossible, despite her life being turned upside down. As well as the quest itself, there are those who wish to see her fail and others who intend to make sure that she does not complete the task. Isabela's fate is entwined with Ricardo, a likeable adventurer, and a mysterious woman chained in a cave whose sister has been possessed. Like Karen Maitland's previous novels, this contains more than a hint of magic and the supernatural. She manages to portray both the fear of the Inquisition at that time, when persecution, informers and fear of arrest overshadowed the country and the untamed beauty of Iceland, with menacing, volcanic mountains and marshy land ready to pull you into the depths. The two countries seem outwardly very different, yet both contain religious intolerance and superstitions, as well as a dread of those who are different.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is the first Karen Maitland book I've read and although I prefer my historical fiction without quite as much of a supernatural/fantasy twist, this was nevertheless an original and engaging read. It's the story of a journey, a quest, made by Isabela, to travel from 16th century Portugal to Iceland to acquire a pair of falcons for the King and in doing so, save her father's life. That a young girl would be able to make such a journey is all rather unlikely, but if you are willing to suspend your disbelief, you will arrive in Iceland, the descriptions of which are probably the high point of this novel. The contorted plot has lots of twists and turns and the story is complicated by the fact that it is told in three first person narrative voices, so you do need to keep your wits about you. It felt a bit long to me, but this is probably because I prefer my historical novels to aspire more towards realism, but nevertheless, if you are looking for something a bit different, and you've an interest in the activities of the Inquisition, then this one might be worth a look.
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By Denise4891💁🏻 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 July 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Karen Maitland`s latest novel, `Falcons of Fire and Ice' is set in the mid 16th century and tells the story of a young Portuguese girl, Isabela, whose father is falsely imprisoned by the Inquisition , accused of murdering the King's precious white falcons. Isabela is tasked with travelling to a far-off mysterious land (Iceland) to bring back another pair of falcons for the King, and she has just a year in which to do it - or her father will be executed.

I have to admit that if I hadn't already read and loved Maitland's last three novels, that synopsis might have led me to give this one a wide berth as, whilst I love historical fiction, I have a tricky relationship with fantasy and fairy tales (eg adored The Snow Child but couldn't finish The Night Circus) and I thought this one sounded a bit too magical and mystical for my tastes, but thankfully I was wrong.

For me the book's charm lay in its engaging characters and atmospheric locations. Isabela is a feisty, determined heroine (as Maitland's tend to be). Her journey to and across Iceland is tempestuous and fraught with danger - not least at the hands of two of her travelling companions who have their own nefarious reasons for not wanting her mission to succeed. One of them, Ricardo, is a charmer and a chancer with duplicitous intentions, but despite my better judgment I found him a very likeable character who provided a welcome shot of humour and reality when things were getting a wee bit too mystical for me.
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