I have to say it felt strange to have the climax of the novel presented to you in its first several pages, but it's also quite effective. Seth is left with not many choices, and you are left wondering what he might do and how the brothers got into this mess in the first place. The rest of the book tells that story. It's entirely possible this is what made Firebrand feel so disjointed for me. At the same time, I also feel like there's not enough context given throughout the novel, certain sections giving me that strange sense I'm missing out on huge chunks of the story even though I know I'm not.
It feels like there's an expectation for me to know everything that's happening around these characters, and even though Seth is the narrator, I often have trouble following his train of thought as he moves from action to action. It's like we're not always there with him in his head, perceiving or understanding things the same way he does. Also, despite the ages of the main characters and the particular themes in this novel, I would hesitate to really categorize this book as Young Adult.
This is just another one of those aforementioned contradictions I spoke of, because despite the nature of the marketing material and blurbs I see covering the dust jacket of my hardcover, it just doesn't read like YA. I can't really put my finger on why, as I wouldn't say it's inappropriate for the young adult audience either. I suspect the immortality of the Sithe characters may have something to do with it, as I see a stark difference between them and typical YA protagonists when it comes to their attitudes, way of life, and beliefs. Whatever it is, somehow I just don't feel Firebrand fits the mold.
For better or worse, I also think that about many other aspects of this novel. It was certainly a bit different, and the positive thing is I didn't dislike it -- in fact, I enjoyed reading this, but I don't think I can say I really loved it either. I think if its story and themes were more cogent, my thoughts and opinions on this book might have ended up less ambiguous. Feb 19, Terry Weyna rated it really liked it. When Firebrand opens, Seth, a year-old Sithe, has a crossbow trained on his brother, Conal. Conal is thin, his face half-blacked and bloody, his hair shaved from his head.
Conal is about to be burned as a witch at the tail-end of the sixteenth century at the urging of a minister who smiles at the thought of the horrible deaths his victims are about to endure. Seth will kill his brother to spare him the agony of burning at the stake. Turn the page and Seth is only eight years old. Instead Griogair MacGregor gives all his attention to his older son, Conal.
When Kate, the queen, sends Conal into exile in the human world, Seth follows. It is a defining experience for both of them, weaving them into a web of Sithe politics that threatens to undo not just them, but their entire race. A Veil divides the human world from the Sithe world, but it is wearing thin. It will reach the end of its life in a few centuries, but time means little to the Sithe, and the danger is apparent to most. But Kate believes that it might benefit her if the Veil were to disappear altogether, and soon. We could have unimaginable power of the full-mortals, were the worlds to fuse.
And Leonora believes that there is a way to mend the Veil and restore its strength. The exile Conal and Seth endure lends credence to their way of thinking, but Kate is willing to go to enormous lengths to fulfill her dream of ruling over both humans and Sithe, even if it means forming an alliance with the Lammyr.
I groaned when I saw that this was the first book of yet another series, but by the time I finished Firebrand I was glad that more was coming. And I confess that the events that occurred toward the end of the book had me in tears, not something that happens all that often.
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Philip knows how to write! What I'm realizing lately is that I have different requirements for fantasy than for most other genres, particularly fantasy of a more classic, epic vein. Where I don't mind essentially plotless books in realistic fiction or science fiction, characters drifting and just living out their lives, it really doesn't work for me in fantasy. Now, I don't mean that nothing happens in Firebrand; in fact, a lot happens, much of it exciting, but there's no driving, overarching plot.
When I read fantasy, I What I'm realizing lately is that I have different requirements for fantasy than for most other genres, particularly fantasy of a more classic, epic vein. When I read fantasy, I want there to be a clear goal from the outset, whether it be a quest or a villain to defeat or whatever. Firebrand does not follow this style and, thus, I enjoyed it less than I'd hoped, though it's a well done novel. Since the hero is 16, Firebrand has been getting some attention as possibly being YA, though its imprint is not.
Though Seth is 16 through most of it, the story is told like he's an old man looking back on his life. This removes some of the immediacy and means that he comes off more like a grownup than a teen. He occasionally reflects on things he would have done differently had he known then what he knows now, making sure the reader remembers this.
I really wouldn't call Firebrand YA. The world itself is very cool. There's a sort of parallel universe vibe. Basically, Seth and his people live in one world and beyond the Veil lies another, the land of the full-mortals, our distant, unwashed ancestors. They can pass between the Veil, but they are persecuted for witchcraft there, not being normal by full-mortal standards.
I love stories about a world of magic hidden within the ordinary one, and I love how it ties into history here. Seth and his half-brother, Conal, have an interesting relationship. Seth, not by nature especially trusting, assumes that his brother will want his death, but Conal is actually the sweetest guy, and essentially raises Seth. Their love for one another, even when they very much do not agree on important matters is touching, and not the sort of relationship I've seen much of in fiction.
None of the other connections rang as true or mattered as much as this one. Seth does fall in love, but he would still choose his brother over his woman any day. One thing I do need to mention about the romantic relationships is that I like that Philip didn't use a cop-out. The Sithe can essentially live forever, so long as they don't get killed or at least so long that it feels like forever compared to our lifespans. The full-mortals have lifespans of 16th century humans, so not long.
One of the Sithe falls in love with a human, and I love that Philip didn't come up with some loophole that would let their love last forever. If action-based fantasy is your thing, there's a good bit of sword play and fighting. As I said, there's a lot that happens, but I just couldn't get especially caught up in the story, a combination of the lack of driving plot and the storytelling method, which means you know Seth will survive ultimately.
I was, however, entertained and I didn't have to struggle through the pages. It's good, but not necessarily the ideal book for me. Firebrand is well-written and has a fascinating concept, but is more ideal for a different type of fantasy fan.
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I probably will not be reading the next book, just because there are so many other books out there I would probably like more, and I'm okay with where Firebrand ended. View all 3 comments. Feb 12, Karissa rated it liked it. I got a copy of this book to review through the Amazon Vine program. This is the first book in the Rebel Angel series. The second book will be titled Bloodstone and is scheduled for a November release. I enjoyed the world building in this book and thought it was well written.
The story moves slowly though. Also despite the commentary on the back of the book this book is pretty much straight fantasy, not an urban fantasy as described. Seth and his brother, Conal, are Sithe and live in a world I got a copy of this book to review through the Amazon Vine program.
Seth and his brother, Conal, are Sithe and live in a world outside the human one. When Conal disobeys the Queen he is thrown out of the Sithe world and into the human world to survive. Seth follows Conal. Seth and Conal must not only survive the human world, but also navigate the politics of the Sithe to save those they love. I enjoyed Seth as a character; he is complex, reckless, and wild. He does everything with all of his heart and has a wry sense of humor. The two characters balance each other out well.
The world was complicated and more about Sithe politics than anything else. When in the human world Seth and Conal are faced with witch trials and paranoia typical to Medieval times. There are some excellent battle scenes and there is also a tad of romance throughout as well. The book was beautifully written, but moved slowly.
The Sithe culture is very Celtic in feel, when the brothers travel to the human world they enter it in what seems to be Medieval times.
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So this book is pretty much straight fantasy. I enjoyed reading it for the most part but at times had trouble staying engaged in the story. I enjoyed the writing style. Overall a solid fantasy. I enjoyed the characters and the world. I thought the pacing was pretty slow though and the plot was fairly pointless. It is almost like this whole book is being used up to set up how Conal and Seth got to the human world.
I would tentatively recommend to fans of fantasy novels. I am curious to see if Bloodstone is more of an urban fantasy because this book was definitely not urban fantasy as advertised on the back cover. View 1 comment. Feb 14, Michael rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Most fantasy fans. There are four novels in the series at present with more on the way , but only the first is currently available in the US. The book begins in medias res, with young fae "Sithe" Seth preparing to kill his older half-brother Colin in order to spare Colin the agony of being burnt alive by witch-hunters.
This initial chapter, which ends with Seth's finger still on the trigger of his crossbow, is bea Firebrand is the first novel in Scottish author Gillian Philip's "Rebel Angel" high fantasy series. This initial chapter, which ends with Seth's finger still on the trigger of his crossbow, is beautifully written, as is the rest of this literate novel. Much of the general background will be familiar to fantasy readers. The Sithe are immortal but slow to reproduce. Long ago, they walled themselves off with a magical "Veil," separating the Sithe from the "otherworld" of the numerous and fecund "full mortal" humans, protecting each race from the other.
The Sithe are organized in semi-feudal fashion, with ordinary folk owing fealty to local lords, and lords owing fealty to a queen. Armed with swords and bows, riding either horses or tamed kelpies dangerous fae water horses , they frequently fight amongst themselves for honor, plunder, and power. The Sithe also recognize sexual equality, are fine with promiscuity and same-sex marriage, have telepathic powers, can communicate with animals, and at least some of them can practice magic.
The overall narrative is driven by conflict between Seth's father's clan and the ambitious, ruthless, and possibly unbalanced Sithe queen, Kate. As slowly becomes clear, Kate is attempting to consolidate her hold over the Sithe by eliminating internal opposition, and, with the help of Seth's mother Lilith, she hopes to go even further and conquer the human world as well.
Pulling Seth's universally-admired brother Colin over to her side -- or, failing that, to keep him out of play -- figures prominently in her plans. Almost everything about the novel is done well, from the voice of angry teenage Seth, who narrates the proceedings, the vivid world-building, the political intrigues, and the few bits of romance, to the troubled dealings between Sithe and humans.
For swords and sorcery fantasy, the book has uncommon emotional and philosophical depth. I recommend it highly. Nov 25, Gergana rated it it was ok. Didn't like it The writing style was slow and boring, just like the actions and the whole plot. Even when there were 'interesting' things happening, they weren't described good, so they looked just as boring as the rest of the book.
Apr 09, Linda Kool rated it did not like it Shelves: sparkly-knights. The only person I got to like was his brother Conal, but even he ends up being bland. We never hear him think about her with that much interest until he suddenly does. I want to know more about the veil, the mind blocking thing, why they have two names and what a witch can and cannot do.
How is their hierarchy? How many clans are there? Language Ehhh, it could be way better to be honest. There could be more dialogue and I really found it endearing when Seth had a foul mouth. Overall the book had potential, but it lost me along the way. I wanted to like it, but the main character frustrated me and so did the plot. Nov 29, Nathan rated it liked it Shelves: read , historical-fantasy , wwechallenge , author-female , ratedstar.
Fantasy Review Barn What was this book about? The question is not rhetorical, I am not really sure I can answer it adequately. The easy answer is it is about Fairies caught up in a sixteenth century witch-hunt; at least for half the book. From there it is a slow burning buildup to possible rebellion. Which sounds like a disjointed approach but the two halves transition seamlessly and do read as one tale.
The series is called Rebel Angels, and perhaps because of that I spent half my reading time drawing parallels between the land beyond the veil in which the Sidhe live to a bastardized garden of Eden. I have some nice notes about the parallels of exiled Sidhe and angels on earth; some ideas about how a religion could have grown from misunderstood fairies. So all my comparisons are probably in my head. Oh well. Seth makes an interesting protagonist; a bit of hothead, not always the sharpest around, but fairly competent and with a realistic mix of compassion and selfishness.
His brother went from a bit too perfect in the early going to someone who had a few flaws; the brotherly love between the two was very strong. Likewise the young lady introduced in the prologue, at the time about to be burned as a witch, starts a prop to be saved and turns into half of a very bittersweet romance.
One of the better played romantic angles I have read recently; the different life spans between Seth and the mortal girl provides some very interesting implications. Rare book that I wish had focused more on its romantic elements. The story itself was strait forward enough, fast moving and easy to follow. My issue is deciding if I actually enjoyed it or not. It was good enough to keep reading but never surprised me, never mesmerized me, never really made me care.
I got lost when it came to characters; a strange place to find myself considering how small the cast really was. Eh, not every book works for every reader. With an interesting protagonist and different path than the typical English faeries , Firebrand should and has appeal to many people. Aug 12, Grace rated it it was amazing. Firebrand is now my new favourite book! It has incredibly complex characters and Gillian Philip offers a banquet for readers who love books that make them pause and think about what they have just read.
The story is told from the point of view of a young Sithe boy named Seth. The Sithe are a warrior race of faeries, who are granted with unnaturally long life and the ability to speak and sense one another telepathically. Seth MacGregor is the bastard son of a Lord, and for this reason he is largel Firebrand is now my new favourite book! Seth MacGregor is the bastard son of a Lord, and for this reason he is largely an outcast in society and is frowned upon by older citizens. When Seth forms a bond with his brother Conal, who is far more respected amongst the Sithe and eventually appointed to the role of Captain after Lord Griogair, Seth's father, dies not a spoiler - this is stated on the blurb of the book ; , people begin to recognize and respect Seth more.
Their kingdom is ruled by the cruel Kate McNiven, who causes the main conflict in the book. If you like very complex plots and story lines, this book may not be for you, however it does not need a brilliant plot though it is a not a dull or boring plot by any means , for Seth provides the reader with a unique and believable point of view. Every time I read I felt like I was being pulled into his world and I sympathized for him while I got a clear understanding of his emotions. I was easily pulled into his story and his universe, and I think this is one of the essential aspects of great fiction novels.
There are so many messages in this book that younger and older readers alike should pay close attention to. It seems to be the 'easy way out' for making money and becoming 'famous' for some of those writers. I highly recommend this book to anyone of any age, if you can stomach a little bit of violence and implied sex and general boyish behaviour, haha :P! Feb 24, Liviania rated it it was amazing.
I feared she might be a cupcake. It's part historical fantasy and part high fantasy, all portal fantasy. Perhaps there is something to that discussion last year that portal fantasy is unpopular. Seth MacGregor and his brother Conal are Sithe, living in their own world, and cross the portal into our world. For the value of "our world" meaning "historical Scotland. Both worlds are at stake, as are the lives of Seth, his brother, and basically everyone in the novel. Kate NicNiven is the queen of the Sithe, by her people's consent. The MacGregors are her most powerful opponents, but she's canny about keeping control and preventing rebellion.
This, despite the fact that she want to destroy the Veil the separates the world of the Sithe from the humans and keeps both sides safe. Philip's worldbuilding is top notch. The Sithe are not human. They have an alien way of thinking, as well as different culture and politics. She carefully builds her fantasy land and then she brings Scotland into the mix. Her Scotland seems no less fully realized. He's not only the younger son, but also a bastard. Yet he loves his brother and has many dear friends, no matter that he took awhile to develop any connections.
He spent his youngest years neglected, but he loves deeply and is loved in return. He's fiercely loyal, and he may not be the most moral person around, but he knows when to make a stand for what's right. Right now, I hate everyone in the UK, because they already have books two and three in the Rebel Angels series.
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One is a super cool and charming spy, and the other invents the super cool gadgets Lance uses. When an event happens, they must learn to rely on each other like never before in order to save the world. He is surrounded by an interesting assortment of characters, including a wealthy heiress and her husband, on their honeymoon. It appears that everyone hates the heiress. Sequel to 's Murder on the Orient Express. After a jaded magazine writer Emmy winner Matthew Rhys is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about empathy, kindness, and decency from America's most beloved neighbor.
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Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Vampire Princess by Rosemary A. Johns Goodreads Author. Angel World is no heaven… Held prisoner, Violet never anticipated her long-lost mother would be the poisonous Queen of Angel World. If she refuses, both the snarky angel and geek vampire she loves will be enslaved to a powerful cult.
Get A Copy. Kindle Edition , pages. More Details Original Title. Rebel Angels 2. Other Editions 1. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about Vampire Princess , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. May 09, Denise Woodruff rated it it was amazing. Omg I love this its one of the few I want them all.. The characters and the plot works great.. I am hooked. May 16, Rebecca Waldron rated it it was amazing.
Book 1 was awesome as heck, but book 2? Holy crap amazing! I received an ARC of this book and completely and totally review because I want to.
In this book, you end up feeling for characters you really didn't like in book 1, and continue to love the ones you loved. Or do you? I absolutely love how her character is growing into absolute destruction!!! I can not wait to see how everything goes down between her, her fam and the ri OMG!!!!
I can not wait to see how everything goes down between her, her fam and the ridiculously mean angels and vamps. There's so much that I want to say in this review, but it'd give too many spoilers, so I'll leave it at saying You will NOT be disappointed with this book! Rosemary A. Johns has such a great imagination and tells a story in a way that I've not found in other authors. Again I can't wait for the next book and I wish I could give this book more stars!
May 08, Debbie Victorino rated it it was amazing. Rosemary Johns is the queen when it comes to writing vampire books and now vampire and angels. It does not matter how many books she writes in a series, every new book just gets better and better. She has such great story lines, strong characters and an amazing writing style.
What she really brings into a book is her imagination. How she comes up with plots and story lines like she does is just amazing. And every book is so believable and such a great book to read. In this 2nd book you get every Rosemary Johns is the queen when it comes to writing vampire books and now vampire and angels. In this 2nd book you get everything good, evil, love, hate, angels, vampires and action packed until the last page. When I get one of her books I know it will be a long night because I can not put them down until I finish the book.
In this book Violet found out her mother is the poisonous Queen of Angel world. Then she finds out she will have to rule as a corrupted princess. She can try to escape but can she? With all the powers she has is it even possible? When Violet meets a harem boy who is also an angel he pulls her into a dark and twisted sport. Can she get out? Can her geeky vampire and her Angel get out? Can she free them all? The war, can she stop it? Will anyone survive? I won't give anything away. You will have to get this book and see how all this turns out.
You won't be sorry, Rosemary Johns has written another jaw dropping,heart stopping on the edge of your seat book!!!!!!! An absolute must read and I highly recommend this book. May 13, Pike Perrie rated it it was amazing. Oh Rosemary A. Johns has done it again. She followed up Vampire Huntress with what I believe is an even better sequel. That is not easy to do. In Vampire Princess, we continue the journey along with Violet, the daughter that both the vampire and angel worlds desire!!! She finds out that her mom is a villainous and evil Queen.
But to add insult to injury, Violet must now serve as a princess by her mother's side or risk the lives of those she holds dear. Johns gives us more of the vivi Oh Rosemary A. I am in love with the geek Violet faces trials and choices that have her questioning herself and the world around her.
Such a fantastic heroine whom I'd love to meet someday!!! May 10, Kathy Pearson rated it it was amazing. Johns does it again! Violet is in her Mother's realm, and she isn't happy. Angel World isn't all it's cracked up to be. The second in this series leaves you breathlessly waiting for the third! Aug 11, Rosemary rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Fans of paranormal coming of age stories and Labyrinth.
Shelves: vampire-witch-thrillers , fantasy , rites-of-passage , supernatural-suspense. The street kids are the enticement to get Violet into the Angel world and Violet would do anything to save them from becoming slaves to the Court nobles. So what do you do, when you've been raised as a vampire and suddenly get lured into a world where your long-lost Mom turns out to be the evil Queen of the twisted Angel world you're now in?
You pretend to be just like her until you work out how to escape and save your pals too, before the epic civil war battle between Angels and Vampires breaks out the next morning, of course! Rosemary A Johns' fantasy paranormal coming-of-age series Rebel Angels, of which Vampire Princess is no 2, is almost a manual for how to cope with the realities of adult relationships and trust and maturity issues in teen to YA youngsters. Buy the first two books today and get ready for book 3 - you'll love it! May 10, Lori Hammons rated it it was amazing. Even though I have a hard time with the slang used in this story, I eventually caught the jist of what most of it meant.
None the less, I love this series and Violet coming to terms with who she is. I'm anxious for the next book to find out. May 27, Ola Adamska rated it really liked it Shelves: reviewed Violet came to the Angel World, that is not like we would think - the place is dark and SO twisted that you will need to concentrate to keep up.
This book was fast but also had elements of inner speech that made Violet's even more intriguing. Join her in getting to learn Angel's way and how will she go thru any obstacles. I liked that book and I will grab book 3 for sure. May 23, Charlotte Clavier rated it really liked it. Well that reunion is not a happy one for Violet in this 2nd book Vampire Princess. Throw out everything you think about Angels. Like how their Light, Kind, Caring
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