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Hardcover Burning Tower Book

ISBN: 0743416910

ISBN13: 9780743416917

Burning Tower

(Book #2 in the Golden Road Series)

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

From the award-winning and New York Times bestselling sci-fi masters comes the eagerly anticipated sequel to The Burning City. This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Not Just Another Unicorns and Magic Yarn - "Real" Legend

This "Unicorns and Magic" book is in realty a clever telling of folk legends from the days long before the coming of white people to Southern California and Western Mexico. My only quibble is this is disclosed in the after-words (Notes),and I would wish it a preface. Start there. I want to read it again, but first I'll take in "The Burning City" the first book in this series. Events in the prior book in this series, are refrenced constantly in "Burning Tower." However modern movies and books jump timelines regularly. Modern storytelling references events never written all the time. It really doesn't matter which book brings you to this saga. I had not previously read "The Burning City" when I picked up "Burning Tower." I was at Orycon and felt like buying something to read (imagine that!). Knowing nothing about this or the prior book, I knew that I trusted Pournelle and Niven to tell a tale worthy of my time. I trusted them as authors and editors, both alone and especially together. "On the gripping hand" is their words, and you hear that all the time outside of fandom. I had misgivings about these authors doing a "Unicorns and Magic" book. Not my normal genre, nor I thought, theirs. Or so I thought. The first half of the book didn't pull me in, but didn't push me away either. The characters and situations were rich and textured, and I kept turning pages. The evil that the protagonists fight seemed a stretch but that was before I read the after-words in the "Notes" section. How did Jerry and Larry handle this genre? Just fine. You will love the ending. Legends are told and retold, heard and re-heard. That's what makes 'em legend. The wonderful discovery that these tales are based on real legends is significant. It is not necessary that you believe these stories. It is however vital that you understand: a hundred generations have.

Delivering Fire

As Prometheus gifted us with fire Messrs. Niven and Pournelle, ever the consumate collaborators, bring us into a world where magic refuses to die and the gods themselves can be held to answer for their acts. Perhaps Science Fiction's most creative team and certainly ranked amongst the greatest for their individual contributions, the Larry and Jerry act again bring us novelty and continuity in their "Lordshills" series.

The magic continues

A reviewer above said these books [Burning City and Burning Tower] appeal only to hardcore Pournelle & Niven readers, and added that even they should only buy the books at discount. I heartily disagree. It's not Shakespeare, it's not Conrad, but it's not silly or poorly written. While the plots are not as tight as some English & writing teachers would strive for in a writing class, I would not call them haphazard at all. And while some characterization is weak, I'm willing to accept that given the relatively large cast of characters in this book (Burning Tower) and its prequal. I found the characterization for the major characters and the descriptive writing to be pretty good. For something really bad, try reading "1865". Or rather....don't read '1865' or, '1910' for that matter. If the one or two poor reviews posted here have not dissuaded you from reading Burning Tower or Burning City, you might be interested in knowing that the background world is taken from a collection of stories titled "The Magic Goes Away". That book inspired a sequal "The Magic May Return". As reviews here have mentioned, magic was once common, but went away because it was made possible only with the presence of "manna". So people literally used up the manna and the magic went away. The first book (Burning City) tells the story of a young man who leaves a city that seems to be magic-poor, yet is still dominated by a fire-god and magic. He leaves the city has adventures and later returns. On one level it is a simple adventure/coming of age story. On another level it is about how a city/society is changed when it is exposed to the greater world. The second book (Burning Tower) is on one level a quest: Find out why the terror birds are attacking the caravans. On another level it is a love story about two people from different worlds. He is a Lord. She is a semi-nomadic trader. On an even higher level, it is about how people react when they realize a precious resource is going away. After you read this book, substitute the word "oil" for "manna" and then use your imagination. I found both books interesting and fun to read. Note: while Burning Tower stands on it's own, it obviously helps the reader to have first read Burning City.

A Good One

Burning Tower is the daughter of Whandall Feathersnake, the hero in the authors' previous book, 'The Burning City'. This is her adventure in a world filled with other facinating, lively characters, even an emperor who knows the meaning of "have a heart". There are many good things to say about the story; but, if I said more, it would ruin the surprise. What you really need to know is that the story gets more interesting with every page, draws you in, and keeps you turning pages until the very end. Were it all true, the background material would be worth reading even without the story. The book includes a mosaic of different cultures presented in enough detail to be convincing. There is a description of Chaco Canyon that should increase the number of tourists visiting NW New Mexico. (The Nageezi Chamber of Commerce will want a copy of this book.) The reader will learn a little about a lot of things from how to set a backfire to stop the spread of a wildfire to the use of chariots in battle, and more than one would expect about the terror birds that used to live in times past. Lovely creatures that will remind you of Kipling's line "Once we feared The Beast-when he followed us we ran" (The terror bird in this book is probably the Titanus Walleri.) And, after reading this story, you will only want right-handed hummingbirds in your garden. I kid you not. Yet there is a downside to this book, Niven and Pournelle have written a story that makes magic plausible leaving you with the guilty feeling you get from actually having liked a fantasy novel.

A fun, ingeneous tale

I read The Burning City (the first book in the series) and enjoyed it and pre-ordered this book. When it came, I spent a couple of late nights reading it. It is a fantasy set in somewhat familiar territory in pre historic Southern California. It combines magic, unicorns, Aztec legends and other elements in a highly entertaining, readable form. Highly recommended.
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