FIREGOLD by Dia Calhoun


Age Range: 13 - 15
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A heartfelt, emotionally trenchant coming-of-age adventure with a lightly mystical bent.Life would be wonderful for twelve-year-old Jonathon Brae if he weren’t cursed with “loony blues,” azure eyes that cause the brown-eyed, orchard-growing Valley people to regard him with fear and suspicion. In this imaginative, internally cohesive fantasy, blue eyes can only mean two things: that the recipient will go mad, or worse, that he’s a Dalriada, a society of barbarous folk who live high in the mountains and are rumored to have flaming horns and mysterious powers. Jonathon fears something more personal—that the brown-eyed stalwart he considers his father isn’t really biological kin. Then Jonathon is accused of causing an outbreak of tree disease and learns that his recently murdered mother is part Dalriada. Heartbroken, he leaves the Valley and makes the perilous journey to Dalriada territory where he tests his manhood, reconciles the various aspects of his personality, and, in an unpredictable but plausible conclusion, finds out why he has blue eyes. This is Calhoun’s first YA novel, and although it is overlong, with balky patches, she neatly joins the psychological and adventurous aspects of a boy’s journey to adulthood with its more enigmatic side. (Fiction. 13-15)

Pub Date: May 1st, 1999
ISBN: 1-890817-10-4
Page count: 286pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1999