Fire Tales of Elemental Spirits

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Fire Tales of Elemental Spirits

Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson collaborate exquisitely with their homage to another of the elements in Fire:  Tales of Elemental Spirits.  A fascinating tag team of short stories that explore different creatures normally associated with fire.  Peter Dickinson’s Phoenix gives a perspective on the requirements for adequate care and raising of the newborn phoenix, while his Fireworm is reminiscent of a retelling of a native traditional myth which focuses on a relatively primitive tribe of humans and the tale of the Salamander Man follows the metamorphosis of a young slave boy into a liberator himself.  Hellhound by Robin McKinley describes the foresight of a hardworking daughter who constantly sees more than everyone around her and is repaid for her trust in those she befriends.  First Flight gives an insight into the importance of following one’s heart, whether one wants to be a dragonrider or a healer despite the challenges of complying with the expectations of all those in your life.  It also ably reminds us that external appearance is not indicative of capabilities.

A wonderfully lyrical collection of all too-short stories.  Each author has an understated style that gently introduces fantastical characters in a matter-of-fact manner, gives a reasonable background and builds into a fascinating tale of soaring fantasy.  Hopefully there will be more adventures revealed in future works  as i would love to read more about foogits and their relationships with dragons or even about horses who may or not be missing their horns or wings and red-eyed dogs who have changed professions or a fascinating overgrown wood where an unusual bird can find a kindly phlegmatic soul who will house it in the stove.

Book Blurb for Fire Tales of Elemental Spirits

Master storytellers Robin McKinley and Peter Dickinson present the second volume in their four planned collections, each one about the "Elementals"-water, fire, earth, and air. In Fire they tell five tales of creatures who live and die by fire, whether in the present day or the prehistoric past. From the amazing Firespace, where only fire- breathing dragons can survive; to a heroic young man who chases the mythic fireworm through dark tunnels of a dream; to a fascinating history of the Phoenix, the bird who dies and is resurrected by fire; these characters and stories from two deeply talented writers are sure to get fantasy readers everywhere all fired up.


Night Owl Reviews Sep, 2010 4.75