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Secrets of the Fire Sea Paperback – 3 Feb 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (3 Feb. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007289669
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007289660
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 515,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Praise for Stephen Hunt:

‘Hunt’s imagination is probably visible from space. He scatters concepts that other writers would mine for a trilogy like chocolate-bar wrappers. This is Philip Pullman with a dose of benzedrine. Hold on to your hat and let yourself get carried away.’ Tom Holt

'A ripping yarn … the story pounds along … constant inventiveness keeps the reader hooked … the finale is a cracking succession of cliffhangers and surprise comebacks. Great fun' SFX

'An inventive, ambitious work, full of wonders and marvels' Lisa Tuttle, The Times

'The characters are convincing and colourful, but the real achievement is the setting, a hellish take on Victorian London … the depth and complexity of Hunt's vision makes it compulsive reading for all ages' Guardian

'Wonderfully assured … Hunt knows what his audience like and gives it to them with a sardonic wit and carefully developed tension' Time Out

Book Description

A rollicking tale of murder, mystery, mercenaries and mayhem…

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have been waiting a year for the new Jackelian novel, and 'Secrets of the Fire Sea' doesn't disappoint - in fact, in many ways, this is the best novel of the four books in the series so far.

It's always great to find an author who can deftly bring extra dimensionality to their characters and Hunt manages it mainly with dialogue rather than the usual 'and the hero had blue eyes' stock descriptions.

The Fire Sea is really a murder mystery featuring a young Jackelian woman being brought up on the Black Isle of Jago, an ancient but rotting civilisation that survived the ice age by using a corrupted form of electricity to heat their underground cities. Throw in a detective parson and his steamman servant and the hoary old Commodore, and let the murderous intrigue begin.

As always, there's a breath-grabbing battle at the end of the book, which all goes to help fix Hunt's reputation as a leading fantasy writer, and his considerable talents are on display throughout the novel.

A hearty recommendation for any love of tremendous adventure stories or rocking fantasy novels.
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Format: Hardcover
Rarely have I come across a fantasy novel as action packed as Secrets of the Fire Sea, the pacing is fast beyond belief and the characters are well-rounded and Hunt, as always, crams a lot of story and plot into a single novel, while featuring some of the same people from his earlier novels - notably Commodore Black. He also manages to bring to life some fascinating new ones, such as vicar turned detective Jethro Daunt and Boxiron, his trusty steam-man assistant (think a steam-driven nanotechnology-based life-form).

This time, the gang are off on an adventure outside the Jackelian kingdom, set on the evil isle of Jago, where high technology still exists, and the land has been protected from polar barbarians by a hard-to-navigate sea of volcanic magma.

As usual with the Jackelian series, the novel is expertly crafted for racheting up the action and tension. While all the books vary and are actually quite different between each other, I have yet to be disappointed with any of the novels in the series so far.

I would love to read more novels such as Secrets of the Fire Sea and February, when each new hardback comes out, is fast becoming my favourite time of the year.
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By D. Harris TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Mar. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the fourth book in Stephen Hunt's series about a far future world, dominated by the Kingdom of Jackals (the others were The Court of the Air, The Kingdom Beyond the Waves and The Rise of the Iron Moon. According to Hunt's website, he's writing a fifth, which may be called "Jack Cloudie".)

I'd unreservedly say that it's the best since the first one. Like "The Court of the Air" it concerns an orphan (Hannah) threatened by mysterious forces and trying to find the secret of her own history, on which her survival depends. This time, however, the Court doesn't hover in the background (it was destroyed by alien invaders in the last book). This time, too, unlike in the last two volumes, the action is relatively focused, taking place mostly on the distant, arctic island of Jago, where a decaying civilization clings on, living underground and besieged by "monsters". How this came about, and what the monsters really are, are two of the secrets that Hannah discovers. This focus makes it a more satisfying (and credible - for certain values of credible!) book, as does the fact that neither the planet nor the Kingdom of Jackals are overrun or threatened with destruction by evil alien forces (I was beginning to wonder how many times that could happen and leave any semblance of normality...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What is it with Hunt that all his most human characters are made of metal and eat charcoal! So then, welcome to world Jackalian 'Boxitron', sidekick and metalic muscles to a mystic Sherlock Holmes. Sounds weird? You don't know the half of it!

A great return to form and Hunt reinforces his position in the elite premier league of the growing band of steam punk writers. Witty, fast moving and so strangely familiar to our own world and history whilst being at the same time totally different!

Commodore Black aka 'poor old Blacky' as usual finds himself up to his periscope in trouble though this time doesn't have his old mate Copper tracks to help him.

Last time out Hunt had a bit of a wobble this time to quote that dreadful male hair product commercial, he was right on target!
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Format: Hardcover
Fantastical and completely enjoyable.

The latest novel in the Jackelian series, Secrets of the Fire Sea, is
an utter treat from start to finish. Poor old Hannah, a citizen of the
Jackelian kingdom, is marooned on the terrible Island of Jago - more
of a mini-continent really, after her university worker parents are
mysteriously killed trying to get home. She becomes a ward of the
Circlist church until her foster mother, the archbishop, is also
killed in strange circumstances.

Luckily, there are some heroes' a-come visiting from Jackals to help
her out, AKA the commodore and consulting detective Jethro Daunt (not
to mention his dangerous mechanical sidekick).

Lots of adventure ensues and the pages get turning at ever faster
rates with all the usual fantastical races, cities and plot twists
we've come to expect from this author.

Highly recommended for fans of Stephen Hunt's works and for all those
who love fast-paced tales of fantasy, adventure, and great story
lines.
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