Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Fire Star - Chris d'Lacey

Chris d'Lacey's Fire Star, the third final installment in his dragon trilogy, should really come with a health warning - it's not for the faint-hearted as the ending is quite traumatic.

The book opens with Geography student David Rain in the Arctic, on a research trip with his girlfriend Zanna and the mysterious Professor Bergstrom (the lecturer who set him the task of proving the existence of dragons). Gwilanna, the evil sibyl of Icefire is back; this time she has even grander plans - she wants to resurrect a real dragon, Gawain, who lies buried in the ice of the island known as the Tooth of Ragnar. In order to awaken Gawain, Gwilanna needs three things: Gawain's fire tear, the blood of one of Liz Pennykettle's dragons, called Grockle, and a special alignment of the planets which will bring the Fire Star to shine on the Tooth. David and his friends find themselves pitted against Gwilanna, but stopping her will require a high price of many of those who oppose Gwilanna.

The end of the story upset me - I'm not going to say why because that would be a spoiler, but I had grown so attached to these characters that I was shocked by how Chris d'Lacey chose to end the book.

* * * * * *

On a totally unrelated note, John Irving and Stephen King have begged J K Rowling not to kill off Harry Potter ! (Thanks to Kelly of Big A, little a for the link for this.) I'm convinced he'll survive, although if she pulls an LotR ending (turning Harry into a Muggle, having saved the Wizarding World from Voldemort), I will tear up my copy of book 7 and mail it to Bloomsbury for JKR's attention !! (I fully expect Harry to have to pay a price for saving the Wizarding World, but I hope it won't be that price.)

For what it's worth (bearing in mind I did actually correctly identify the Half Blood Prince a year before book 6 came out), I think that Voldemort, Molly Weasley and Neville Longbottom should avoid taking out any life insurance policies. I don't believe Harry, Ron or Hermione will die (Ron's too obvious, and Hermione's just too clever to go that way - plus Hermione is essential to Harry's success in defeating Voldemort). I expect there to be more than 3 casualties. I think Snape might be one of them (I think he might die protecting Harry). I don't believe we'll see any more of Sirius (although I do wonder about that broken 2-way mirror he gave to Harry). I hope Harry will go and have a chat with Dumbledore's portrait, to find out how to detect the "vibes" given off by a Horcrux object (since Dumbledore knew how to detect such objects and Harry doesn't) - and I hope that will happen at the start of book 7 since Harry was still at Hogwarts at the close of book 6 - the first time JKR hasn't completed the full cycle of starting in Privet Drive, sending Harry to Hogwarts and then returning him to London again. I think that one of the Horcrux objects is hidden in the Room Of Requirement - and I do NOT believe that Harry's scar is a Horcrux (that's another plot point that will result in a torn up book if JKR pulls it off !)

Come back in a year's time (assuming the book is out next July) and see if I was right !

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