- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 17 hours and 13 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Oakhill Publishing Ltd
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 25 Mar. 2013
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00C0XXRE6
The Falcons of Fire and Ice Audiobook – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Having loved all her other books this was very disappointing in contrast. Plot is ludicrously highly implausible, characters almost completely undeveloped and the most interesting... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Karen
skips between characters and situations a bit too frequently, but a great story idea and a definite page turner.I am now a fully qualified insomniac, some what addictive.!!!!!!Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
A deadly boring read. I have been a fan of Karen Maitland having read all her previous books. I was tempted several times to give up.Published 13 months ago by A. P. A. Massey
Phew. I got through it. I managed to keep on reading right to the end, though I must admit I skim-read dozens of pages. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Tony Anderson
I've read most of Karen Maitlands books now and this book was on my Christmas list. The fact that I finished it in 3 days (snatching any moment I could in between Christmas visits)... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Mrs. K. Mckenna
It's been a while since I read this one but I'm a big fan of the author and I have read all of her books now. Read morePublished 20 months ago by GBAL