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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 116 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
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 116 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #35,301 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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By Mrs. K. A. Wheatley TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 July 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have been reading Karen Maitland's work from the beginning. I loved Company of Liars. It was so fresh, and original. I couldn't read it fast enough. By the time I got to the Gallow's Curse I was really beginning to lose patience and this hasn't made me gain any. This will be the last book by Maitland that I read.

It isn't that it is bad. It is, for the most part very good. It is very well written, and it is an interesting subject.

Unfortunately, if you have read any of her other works this will not help much. The names and the situation have been changed, but pretty much all the other elements that have been there since the first book are here now. There is some kind of ancient curse. There is dark magic. There are horrible mutilations. There is religious persecution. There is creeping evil and a sense of malevolence etc etc.

If you want a good, medieval horror story, this is for you. If you haven't read any of Maitland's other works, this is for you. If you have read her other work and are happy to deal with the same story dressed in different clothes, this is for you. Sadly, it is not for me.
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By Roman Clodia TOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I haven't read Karen Maitland before but had heard good things about her: sadly this book was a disappointing read for me - a kind of adventure-romp through the sixteenth century with a leavening of the supernatural for good measure.

The plot strand built around the Portuguese Isabela suffers from so many of the faults of modern books set in a historical period: Isabela is able to do things that no well-brought-up Portuguese Catholic young woman would ever be able to do in the mid-sixteenth century (in this case voyage to Iceland to search for a pair of rare gyrfalcons while fighting off the attentions of the Inquisition). She also has the consciousness of a modern woman: for example, she is, of course, horrified at the burning of heretics and remains a lone voice amongst the crowd baying for blood and gore.

The Iceland story is handled far better and I liked the dark story of Eydis and, especially, the interweaving of Norse, Icelandic and other northern mythologies which give this part of the tale a resonance and form which is missing elsewhere in the book.

Maitland writes well but the book overall feels unpaced and out of balance to me, as if it is still at an unformed draft stage and needs to be shaped and framed more decisively.

So definitely not a bad book but a rather formless and perhaps overlong one for the story that is told - only a hesitant recommendation from me, I'm afraid.
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