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Book DetailsISBN: 9781925000924
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Book Review: Burning Sea by Paul Collins - Reviewed by Featherz (11 Dec 2015)
The Burning Sea is a collaboration of two of the country’s finest fantasy/science fiction writers: Paul Collins and Sean McMullen. The brilliant cover is by Marc McBride, famous the world over for his spectacular dragons. The Burning Sea promises much and delivers more.
The Burning Sea is the first book in the new six-part fantasy series The Warlock’s Child. It contains everything a child fan of fantasy could desire; dragons, warriors, war, spies and magic. The dragons are so enormous and powerful they generally don’t involve themselves in trivial human affairs, but the male dragon Dravaud detects a presence as small as a spark that changes all this. . .
. . . So begins The Burning Sea.
A Dravinian invasion fleet of 500 ships is heading towards Teliz the capital city of Savaria. Their first invasion attempt failed dismally, so this time they are sending their full force. Sailing on the ship Invincible is the Battle Warlock Calbaras and his two children Dantar a cabin boy and Velzar the only female warrior on board the ship who is the squad captain of the shapecasters. This is the first voyage for both Dantar and Velzar, and with a busy and usually absent father, they are left to negotiate this new life on their own. Velzar is a stickler for rules and follows her handbook to the letter. She is determined to prove herself worthy of her command and show everyone she did not gain the position through privilege alone. Dantar, however has taken the adventure on with gusto and relishes the freedom away from a life at court. Both however struggle with their inadequacies, Dantar feels useless because he cannot do magic, while Velzar tries to work out all the unwritten rules that come with life. The plot is exciting, there is a traitor aboard, the fleet is commanded by an idiot and there is a very angry dragon hell bent on causing maximum destruction.
The Burning Sea is action packed, fast paced and riveting, with enough intrigue and humour to keep you glued to your seats. This book fills a gap in the world of children’s literature in that it is complex enough for advanced readers, but is packaged so that it doesn’t overwhelm reluctant readers aged 10+.
Book Review: Burning Sea by Paul Collins - Reviewed by EmilyMeldrum (29 May 2015)
Dantar and Velza are siblings aboard the mighty warship ‘Invincible’. As in many families sibling rivalry exists hand-in-hand with high levels of competition. This family is no exception. Their father is the emperor’s battle warlock Calbaras, Dantar a lowly cabin boy and Velza a female shapecaster and officer with magic fire powers that do not work at sea. The story begins with this fleet of warships close to enemy soil but under attack from a lone dragon – Dravaud. The dragon’s motives are simple, he is searching for confirmation of a dragon chick or egg that he suspects is within the ships below. Dantar learns that dragons only attack the stronger side prior to battle and so he braces himself for his first encounter with a dragon. It appears to come in for a direct attack but the force of its flames land upon a nearby warship instead. The dragon then mysteriously flies back to his overhead vantage point observing all below. What is the dragon doing? The reader learns that traditionally those who were called Dark Hands developed great power but not the sense in using it forcing dragons to intervene to break human magic into four parts – earth, air, water and fire. These days it was only the almighty dragons who wielded the complete power of all the parts enabling their magic to work enough across the deepest oceans. Such power was to be respected and guarded forcefully. Based on the notion that Savarian wizards were trying to join the four magics back together their emperor has ordered Dravinia at war with Savaria. Told from alternate perspectives between brother and sister, and three from the dragon flying above their heads, The Burning Sea is a compelling introduction to a six part series entitled – The Warlock’s Child. It is a short book by fantasy standards with 119 pages and consequently many questions are left unanswered. What will happen to the invading fleet? Why does Dantar seem to be developing powers to protect him against heat and fire? What and where is the dragon chick Dravaud is so certain that is on-board the ‘Invincible’? Readers who become entangled in this latest series published by Ford Street will be relieved to know that throughout 2015 there is to be a staggered monthly release of each volume from April through to September. It is recommended for ages ten and above.
Paul Collins is the author of 140 books, including fantasy series The Jelindel Chronicles, The Quentaris Chronicles and The World of Grrym (in collaboration with Danny Willis). Sean McMullen is the author of over a hundred fantasy and science fiction novels and stories including Souls in the Great Machine and Voyage of the Shadowmoon. He was runner up for the Hugo Award in 2011.
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