"You will pay for this," screamed the Firebird. "Life and blood and realm I will have from you."
Thirty years ago the Empress of Isavalta imprisoned the terrible Firebird in a cage wrought with gold, magic and blood. She succeeded in saving her realm, but at a harsh price: the life of her loyal sorcerer, Avanasy.
Now, with the Empress's death, the Firebird has been freed, and its desire for revenge in unquenchable. Avanasy's daughter, Bridget, is warned by the Vixen, a great spirit-power, of the Firebird's coming attack. But the Vixen also brings other, equally disturbing news: that Anna, the daughter Bridget buried as an infant nine years ago, is in fact still alive.
Bridget is torn between her duty to defend her adopted homeland and her desperate longing to find her child. But she is not the only one with an interest in the girl. Bridget is the daughter of two sorcerers, as is Anna herself. Such a child is likely to be possessed of extraordinary powers. Powers that might be harnessed to save an empire - or to destroy one.
This was a bit of a strange book to read. Technically it isn't totally dependant on the previous two books, so it shouldn't have mattered that I hadn't read one and two - in theory. Unfortunately I found it quite hard to get into, and I think it would have made a difference to have a bit of history. Hence my strange ratings - I think that re-reading it after the first two in the series could prove to be quite entertaining, but at this stage I didn't particularly enjoy the experience. Zettel is a very interesting writer, and the characters were unusual enough to catch my attention - although some could have used a little development. Overall I think that the series itself seems like it could be really good, I just recommend that it be read as a whole.
Random listing from 'Books'...
Young Billy Bowman and his mate Jack get caught up in the excitement when war is declared in August 1914 and leave their jobs on the farm to rush off and enlist in the Mounted Rifles - because the war would 'probably be over by Christmas'.
We follow their journey from the Awapuni training camp, to more training in the sands of Egypt before they finally get shipped out - without their horses - to fight at Gallipoli. And there they discover that war isn't the big adventure they thought it would be.
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"I like to pick up hitchhikers. When they get in the car I say, "Put on your seat belt. I want to try something. I saw it once in a cartoon, but I think I can do it."