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on Nov. 09, 2010 :
"The Door Into Fire" is an excellent opening volume in this series. Diane Duane creates a Fantasy world in which a cosmic pattern of multiple overlapping worlds conveys richness of texture portraying a complex interaction of history, myth, custom and spirituality. The characters have a deeper inner life than one normally finds in swords and sorcery novels. Particularly interesting is Sunspark who is genuinely believable as well as genuinely alien!
I would unhesitatingly recommend this very satisfying Fantasy.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on Sep. 02, 2010 :
** spoiler alert **
Since my last re-read was some years ago, when the Meisha Merlin omnibus came out, I am now much more aware how delicately the author balances worldbuilding and action and how incredibly progressive the casual acceptance of all kinds of love is, even an integral part of the worship of the Goddess - not to mention how cool it is that she shows up herself ^^.
The characters have flaws and all but they work on them and there's this feeling of hope and amazing things just waiting to happen, which I don't get much in books these days.
For some reason the formatting was wonky on this one, though. The second one which I've already started is much more consistent in formatting. I'm totally in awe that DD did all three covers herself.
(reviewed long after purchase)
E. Patrick Dorris
on Feb. 04, 2010 :
Well, as someone who has been reading science fiction and fantasy for over thirty years, I'm embarrassed that I missed this the first time around. I'm glad that Ms. Duane decided to try posting it here, and I hope that she will make more of her works available. I don't know how long, if ever, it would have taken me to find, much less read this book at a used bookstore.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has been a bit disapointed in the quality of fantasy literature for the past decade.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Jan. 29, 2010 :
I first read The Door Into Fire many years ago. It's as wonderful now as it was then. The characters are deeply real and engaging, the world is rich with fully-developed traditions and history, and the style conveys profundity while at the same time bubbling with laughter and whimsy, as only one who has felt great pain or sorrow and overcome it can combine the two.
The best advice I can give anyone who thinks of diving into the world of the Middle Kingdoms and of Herewiss and Freelorn is to divest himself of all expectations and preconceptions before taking the plunge. Let the world and its people enchant you in their own terms. You won't regret it.
(reviewed the day of purchase)