An original and brilliant take on fantasy and imagination in the tradition of Alice in Wonderland and The Wind in The Willows. This is a gripping adventure fantasy filled with humour and irresistible characters set in a beautifully realised fantasy world that will enchant teens and adults alike.
Fire ravages Beadledom. Fire that can't be quenched. So Beadledom's slightly stuffy and pompous factotum, Brian, is sent to enlist the aid of the neighbouring people, The Muddles. But aid from the unpredictable Muddles brings its own risks… Drawn together to save The Land, seven unlikely heroes set out to find the secret of the blue fire and the identity of the mysterious arsonist who will stop at nothing to destroy them all.
Full of the most unusual characters and packed with intrigue, humour and adventure, Blue Fire and Ice is the first in The Land's Tale series.
For readers 12+.
The story is simply beautiful. I know that the expression beautiful doesn't initially say that much. But it is exactly that. It is simply very, very beautiful. It is perfect for children and teenagers; and adults, too. The author manages to narrate scenes full of suspense without resorting to the usual stock phrases such as suddenly , all of a sudden or similar; the book lives through the descriptions. As an adult a comfy shiver ran down my spine and as a result I caught myself once or twice jumping over the description of the scene - because I couldn t wait to see whether or not one of my favourites had lost his life.
Bettina Meister, Zauberspielgel-online.de
When I come face to face with a debut fantasy novel, I am usually both a little excited as well as filled with a slight sense of dread. All too often new writers are disappointing and knowing that the book comes from a small, independent publisher my apprehension grows. This time, however, I was quite pleasantly rewarded with not only a truly original storyline, but a well crafted plot with rounded characters. His storytelling skills ensnare the reader, giving a sense of urgency to the act of turning the page to find out what happens next. While standing satisfyingly complete on its own, it is a welcome beginning to a new series that hopefully will live up to the vivid promise this book gives.
Kimberley Saunders, Thebookbag.co.uk
There is plenty of action and adventure in this first book of a new series with lots of plot twists and unusual characters to keep you interested.
This book isn’t “The Hobbit”. But the Land is just as magical and simple and refreshing as the Shire. I loved the Beadles and the Myrmidots, and especially the Muddles. It’s the sort of tale where you snuggle your older child in for the night and they happily listen for hours while you both forget the time because the story is enchanting...
... I was pretty much hooked, and by the time I reached the 50% marked, I was enchanted. It is a simple and sweet story, with mystery and adventure, somewhat the flavor of the Wind in the Willows.
... This is not a short book at 336 pages, and it spans at least a month or two of time. There are so many funny and wonderful people to meet. The Muddles especially were full of unique and completely surprising individuals. The three people groups have always lived as isolated as possible from each other, but to solve the mystery of the fires and the strange woman, they will have to work together and venture farther than anyone of them in history has ever ventured before .... or are they? Leave it to the Muddles to come up with some wonderful surprises and amazing solutions. Maybe the Muddles aren’t so bad after all?
...Alan Skinner has done a remarkable job at creating a fun and fascinating world of likable characters with realistic personalities and problems. I laughed, I cried, I stayed up late to read the next chapter ... and the next one ... and the next until I cringed and then laughed at the end.
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