FLAME by Hilari Bell
Kirkus Star


From the "Farsala Trilogy" series, volume 1
Age Range: 14 & up
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Three complex characters narrate this richly textured story, based partly on an ancient Persian legend, as their land is threatened by war. Proud Soraya, a deghass (noble), is hustled into hiding by her commander father when the corrupt temple demands her blood sacrifice. Jiann, the same commander’s child but with a peasant mother, struggles with the confusing military and familial roles his half-deghan, half-peasant status requires. Kavi, a clever peddler with a deghan-crippled hand, becomes a spy for the attacking Hrum. These three meet only rarely, but their decisions are connected in ways they barely understand. What will it mean if Soraya learns djinn magic from pale-skinned desert dwellers? How will perhaps-mythical fighter Sorahb (his story told in offset italic chapters) become real again? Class and family issues, and moral differences between societies, are interwoven so well with adventure and archetypal resonance that depth arrives unannounced. The second volume wants only a more detailed map as Soraya, Jiann, and Kavi throw themselves heart-first into the war. (map) (Fantasy. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-689-85413-7
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2003


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