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The fire chronicle / John Stephens.

By: Stephens, John, 1972-.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookSeries: Stephens, John, Books of beginning: 2.Publisher: London : Corgi Children's, 2013Description: 437 pages ; c20 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780552564830 (pbk.); 0552564834 (pbk.).Genre/Form: Fantasy fiction. | Children's stories.DDC classification: 813.6 Summary: "Kate . . . The eldest, keeper of the Book of Time. Last seen fighting off a Screecher to save her siblings. Michael . . . In charge now Kate's gone. He needs to go to the ends of the earth to unlock the secrets of the Fire Chronicle. Emma . . . The youngest, and never one to back down from a fight. She just wants her family back together. With an evil sorcerer on t heir trail, it's not going to be easy . . ."--Back cover.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

It's been six months since Kate, Michael and Emma confronted the Dire Magnus, but the trail to their long-lost family remains cold. Then Michael and Emma find the man who was the last person to see them. He knows about a secret map of a distant, mysterious land - maybe this is the clue that will lead them to their parents...Meanwhile, Kate's connection to the Book of Time grows ever stronger, and when a dangerous trick traps her in the past, she must find new friends to help her return home. Once more the children must embark on a daring and perilous quest to find the second Book of Beginning and harness its power. But will it be enough to save them all?

Originally published: London: Doubleday, 2012.

"Kate . . . The eldest, keeper of the Book of Time. Last seen fighting off a Screecher to save her siblings. Michael . . . In charge now Kate's gone. He needs to go to the ends of the earth to unlock the secrets of the Fire Chronicle. Emma . . . The youngest, and never one to back down from a fight. She just wants her family back together. With an evil sorcerer on t heir trail, it's not going to be easy . . ."--Back cover.

10+.

2 7 11 75 82

Excerpt provided by Syndetics

Kate finished writing the letter, sealed it in an envelope, then walked over and dropped it into the hollow of an old tree. He'll come, she told herself. She'd written to him about her dream, the one that had yanked her out of sleep every night that week. Again and again, she'd lain there in the dark, covered in cold sweat and waiting for her heart to slow, relieved that Emma, lying beside her, hadn't woken, relieved that it had only been a dream. Except it wasn't a dream; she knew that. He'll come, Kate repeated. When he reads it, he'll come. The day was hot and humid, and Kate wore a lightweight summer dress and a pair of patched leather sandals. Her hair was pulled back and cinched with a rubber band, though a few loose strands stuck to her face and neck. She was fifteen and taller than she'd been a year ago. In other respects, her appearance hadn't changed. With her dark blond hair and hazel eyes, she still struck all who saw her as a remarkably pretty girl. But a person did not have to look closely to see the furrow of worry that was etched into her brow, or the tension that lived in her arms and shoulders, or the way her fingernails were bitten to the quick. In that respect, truly, nothing had changed. Kate had not moved from beside the tree, but stood there, absently fingering the gold locket that hung from her neck. More than ten years earlier, Kate and her younger brother and sister had been sent away from their parents. They had grown up in a series of orphanages, a few that were nice and clean, run by kind men and women, but most of them not so nice, and the adults who ran them not so kind. The children had not been told why their parents had sent them away, or when they were coming back. But that their parents would eventually return, that they would all once more be a family, the children had never doubted. It had been Kate's duty to look after her brother and sister. She had made that promise the night her mother had come into her room that Christmas Eve so long ago. She could picture it still: her mother leaning over her, fastening the golden locket around her small neck, as Kate promised that she would protect Michael and Emma and keep them safe. And year after year, in orphanage after orphanage, even when they had faced dangers and enemies they could never have imagined, Kate had been true to her word. But if Dr. Pym didn't come, how would she protect them now? But he will come, she told herself. He hasn't abandoned us. If that's so, said a voice in her head, why did he send you here? And, unable to help herself, Kate turned and looked down the hill. There, visible through the trees, were the crumbling brick walls and turrets of the Edgar Allan Poe Home for Hopeless and Incorrigible Orphans. In her defense, it was only when Kate was frustrated or tired that she questioned Dr. Pym's decision to send her and Michael and Emma back to Baltimore. She knew he hadn't really abandoned them. But the fact remained: of all the orphanages the children had lived in over the years--one of which had been next to a sewage treatment plant; another had made groaning noises and seemed to be always catching on fire--the Edgar Allan Poe Home for Hopeless and Incorrigible Orphans was the worst. The rooms were freezing in the winter, boiling in the summer; the water was brown and chunky; the floors squished and oozed; the ceilings leaked; it was home to warring gangs of feral cats. . . . And as if that weren't enough, there was Miss Crumley, the lumpy-bodied, Kate-and-her-brother-and-sister-hating orphanage director. Miss Crumley had thought she'd gotten rid of the children for good last Christmas, and she had been less than pleased to have them turn up on her doorstep a week later, bearing a note from Dr. Pym saying that the orphanage at Cambridge Falls had been closed due to "an infestation of turtles," and would Miss Crumley mind watching the children till the problem was resolved. Of course Miss Crumley had minded. But when she'd attempted to call Dr. Pym to inform him that under no circumstances could she accept the children and that she was returning them on the next train, she'd found that all the information Dr. Pym had previously given her (phone number for the orphanage, address and directions, testimonials from happy, well-fed children) had disappeared from her files. Nor did the phone company have any record of a number. In fact, no matter how much she dug, Miss Crumley was unable to find any evidence that the town of Cambridge Falls actually existed. In the end, she'd been forced to give in. But she let the children know that they were unwelcome, and she took every opportunity to corner them in the hallways or the cafeteria, firing questions while poking them with her pudgy finger. "Where exactly is this Cambridge Falls?"--poke--"Why can't I find it on any maps?"--poke--"Who is this Dr. Pym fellow?"--poke, poke--"Is he even a real doctor?"--poke, poke, poke--"What happened up there? I know something fishy's going on! Answer me!"--poke, poke, poke, pinch, twist. Frustrated at having had her hair pulled for the third time in one week, Emma had suggested that they tell Miss Crumley the truth: that Dr. Stanislaus Pym was a wizard, that the reason Miss Crumley couldn't find Cambridge Falls on a map was that it was part of the magical world and therefore hidden from normal (or in her case, subnormal) humans, that as far as what had happened there, the three of them had discovered an old book bound in green leather that had carried them back through time, that they'd met dwarves and monsters, fought an evil witch, saved an entire town, and that pretty much any way you looked at it, they were heroes. Even Michael. "Thanks," Michael had said sarcastically. "You're welcome." "Anyway, we can't say that. She'll think we're crazy." "So what?" Emma had replied. "I'd rather be in a loony bin than this place." But in the end, Kate had made them stick to their story. Cambridge Falls was an ordinary sort of place, Dr. Pym was an ordinary sort of man, and nothing the least bit out of the ordinary had happened. "We have to trust Dr. Pym." After all, Kate thought, what other choice did they have? Excerpted from The Fire Chronicle by John Stephens All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Publishers Weekly Review

In the exciting second installment of Stephens's Books of Beginning trilogy-even stronger than The Emerald Atlas-siblings Kate, Michael, and Emma flee the Edgar Allan Poe Home for Hopeless and Incorrigible Orphans with the evil forces of the Dire Magus at their heels. Fifteen-year-old Kate, carrying the Emerald Atlas she rescued in book one, travels through time to a magical version of 19th-century New York City where she falls for a heroic young man named Rafe, only to discover the dark destiny that awaits him. Younger siblings Michael and Emma, reunited at least momentarily with their eccentric wizard guardian, Dr. Pym, learn they must fly to southernmost South America and beyond to recover the legendary Fire Chronicle. Fans of The Emerald Atlas will find much to love: the adventure-driven plot, a scattering of deliciously scary moments, and Stephens's offbeat take on Tolkienesque dragons, dwarves, and elves ("The boy elves wore stiff-brimmed straw hats. The girl elves twirled parasols on their dainty shoulders. A few of the elves carried wooden tennis rackets") are sure to delight. Ages 8-12. Agent: Simon Lipskar, Writers House. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-7-Fifteen-year-old Kate, almost 13-year-old Michael, and 12-year-old Emma don't know why Dr. Pym sent them back to the dreadful orphanage at the end of The Emerald Atlas (Knopf, 2011), but Kate, who learned to control the power of the Atlas to travel through time, knows they need to leave as soon as possible. In the first chapter of Chronicle, a monstrous Screecher attacks, and Kate lures it into the past at the exact moment Dr. Pym appears to retrieve Michael and Emma. While Kate deals with the Dickensian world of 1899 New York on the eve of Separation, when the magical and mundane worlds will split for good, Michael, Emma, and Pym search for information about the other two books in a variety of unlikely places. This is a roller-coaster ride of a story, which includes old friends and new, a visit to Antarctica, the rescue of an Elf Princess (who is sometimes a dragon), a touch of doomed romance, a generous leavening of humor, life, death, betrayal, and (just a warning) a nasty little cliff-hanger of an ending. It is really Michael's story-he deals with unimaginable challenges with humor, courage, and insight. Knowledge of the first book is suggested; readers who start with this one will definitely want to backtrack. Fans of the first book won't be disappointed, and will eagerly anticipate the next one. The Emerald Atlas was very good. This one is even better.-Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

After saving the town of Cambridge Falls during their adventure in The Emerald Atlas (2011), Kate, Michael, and Emma have little time to enjoy their victory. Caught between warring factions, the children are hidden in a Baltimore orphanage to keep them safe, but they are discovered. While luring their enemies away, Kate finds herself stranded 100 years in the past in a fantastical New York City. Meanwhile, Michael and Emma set off to find the second volume in the Books of Beginning, and their search takes them deep into a dangerous world hidden at the bottom of the earth. The action alternates between Michael's and Kate's compelling stories, and cliff-hanger chapter endings keep the suspense high. Stephens builds on the humor and character development established in the first book, and all three children become more fully realized, especially Kate and Michael. An initial summary introduces the plot to newcomers without slowing down the story for Atlas readers who have been waiting for the adventures to continue. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Fans of the New York Times best-selling Emerald Atlas are already lining up for this sequel.--Rutan, Lynn Copyright 2010 Booklist

Horn Book Review

The adventure begun in The Emerald Atlas (rev. 3/11) is far from over: Kate, Michael, and Emma have found only one of the three prophesied magic Books of Beginning; their parents are still missing; and the evil Dire Magnus and his followers continue to hunt them. Stephens again splits the trio up in this second installment, creating effective interconnected parallel narratives. The Atlas strands Kate in turn-of-the-twentieth-century New York City, where she befriends some magical orphans, including a boy named Rafe whose destiny could affect her familys fate; Michael and Emma travel in the present to Antarctica with their warrior friend, Gabriel, in search of the second book, the Chronicle (a.k.a. the Book of Life). Following a fraught journey that includes a dragon and a fiery volcano, Michael becomes the Keeper of the Chronicle and eventually learns how to properly wield the books powers. After he, Emma, Gabriel, and a group of elves battle the Dire Magnuss army, the books emotional final events and a cliffhanger ending successfully pave the way for a climactic third volume. Stephenss storytelling ability is once again impressive, most notably in the complexity of both good and evil characters and the realistic maturation of the three children. He also enhances his fast-paced, engaging tale with a strong narrative voice, vivid imagery and world-building, numerous plot twists, and subtle touches of humor that lighten this darker but equally fine series entry. cynthia k. ritter (c) Copyright 2012. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Book Review

Time travel, an Arctic ice shelf and frivolous elves converge in this second installment of The Books of Beginning. Siblings Kate, Michael and Emma were lauded for successfully battling evil in The Emerald Atlas (2011), but soon afterward, their trusted confidant, Dr. Pym, redeposited them in a decrepit orphanage without explanation. After several months, a foreboding black cloud rolls in, catapulting the children into action. Kate escapes to 1899 Manhattan via the previous book's titular atlas, while Michael and Emma are miraculously plucked from danger by Pym. So sets the stage for Kate's mission to rejoin her siblings and for Michael and Emma's journey to a secreted, lush valley in Antarctica to seek a second magic book, the Chronicle. The children aren't strangers to magic, but their awe of magical places, allies and enemies does anything but wane here (it's hard to be ho-hum when entranced by elves, pursued by a dragon and combatting trolls). A third-person-omniscient narration alternates between Kate and Michael, but Michael, the meekest child (and destined keeper of the Chronicle), is the primary focus as he struggles to find a fiery strength within himself. With no rest for the children, the ending is anything but a fading ember as Emma is kidnapped, separating the trio once again and setting the stage for Book 3. Irreverent humor and swashbuckling adventure collide in a fetching fantasy. (Fantasy. 10-14) ]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.