The Phoenix Unchained : Enduring Flame

  • by Mercedes Lackey, James Mallory
  • Narrated by William Dufris
  • Series: Enduring Flame
  • 13 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

New York Times and USA Today best-selling authors Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory first teamed up to write the Obsidian Trilogy, which was set in a wondrous world filled with magical beings, competing magic systems, and a titanic struggle between good and evil. That world proved so popular with the creators and readers alike that Lackey and Mallory have returned to it again, with The Phoenix Unchained, Book One of The Enduring Flame, the opening volume of a new epic fantasy trilogy.After 1,000 years of peace, much magick has faded from the world. The Elves live far from humankind. There are no High Mages, and Wild Mages are seen only rarely. Bisochim, a powerful Wild Mage, is determined to reintroduce Darkness to the world, believing that it is out of balance.Tiercel, a young Armethalian nobleman, is convinced that High Magick is not just philosophy. He attempts a spell and draws the unwelcome attention of Bisochim. Tiercel survives Bisochim's attack and begins trying to turn himself into a High Mage.Next in line to be Harbormaster of Armethalieh, Harrier instead finds himself regularly saving Tiercel's life and meeting magickal people and creatures. To Harrier's dismay, it seems that he must become a hero.In The Phoenix Unchained, Harrier and Tiercel begin a marvelous journey to uncover their destinies. Along the way, they meet a charming female centaur, several snooty Elves, and the most powerful dragon their world has ever known.

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What the Critics Say

"Sets a lavishly detailed stage peopled with intriguing and well-developed characters whose futures hold both promise and peril." (Library Journal)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A good book for younger readers.

This book is probably best suited for young adult readers. I enjoyed it. I would have enjoyed it much more when I was 16.

My criticisms are: The viewpoint of the storyteller is that of a very young person. For example, a 17 year old character talks about something that happened to him when he was "a child" as "very long ago." References to "school" seem more like American High School (Lunch for example) then something from Heroic Fantasy. There is nothing wrong with this, but as an adult reader, I stumbled over it and lost my "suspension of disbelief" for a moment. Also, there are so many contractions in the story that the narrator seems to stumble over them. (I didn't so I couldn't.) I counted 7 in 3 short sentences at one point. I think that this is something that we ignore in print but notice in audio book versions much more readily. Also, references to magic spells as if they were something you can look up in an encyclopedia (I tried to cast "Mage Shield" but I failed) come off like Gaming references. I wish the author had invented unique or "magical language" names for these things to avoid that.

Mercedes Lackey seems to be more of an editor then co-writer with "The Phoenix Unchained." She has a very distinct voice, and it does not present itself very often. Her masterful ability to "pace" a story does come through.

Taken as a whole, it was entertaining, and I'll read the sequel.
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- Bruce

Only Mediocre and it goes downhill from there

A typical beginning with no real surprises, two teenagers set out on an adventure that the reader knows from the start will become a life changing event and cause them to grow in strength. But then the whining begins. The emotional drivel was only moderately annoying at the beginning but by the third book it is just absurd. Twenty seconds on a huge battle and then twenty minutes on bemoaning their horrible fate. Perhaps others will enjoy the emotional development of the characters, I became bored very quickly, I kept listening because I thought that the story had such great potential and could really be a great and exciting adventure story. Perhaps if it was a single book then they would have had to cut out a lot of moaning and emotional brow beating.
I usually enjoy Mercedes Lackey’s books. I don’t know what happened with this series.
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- E. Atkinson

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-10-2007
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio