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Crown of Fire
Kathy Tyers
Bethany House Publishers, 320 pages

Fusion Fire
Kathy Tyers
Kathy Tyers is a bestselling author in the ABA market with earned degrees in microbiology and education. In addition to the books in the Firebird series (Firebird, Fusion Fire, and Crown of Fire), she has authored other science fiction novels, including Crystal Witness and Shivering World. Her writing credits also include The Truce at Bakura (her first Star Wars novel) and Balance Point (released in October 2000). A classically trained flutist turned folk artist, she regularly performs folk music with her husband and also plays with the Bozeman Symphony Orchestra. She and her husband make their home in Montana and have one son.

ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Firebird / Fusion Fire
SF Site Review: One Mind's Eye
Bethany House

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Suzanne Krein

In Crown of Fire, Kathy Tyers once again sweeps us away into the stellar whorl of Firebird and Brennen Caldwell. Brought together from very different societies, they now find themselves fighting a common enemy who threatens both of their home worlds. The Shuhr are star-bred telepaths who do not share the moral imperatives of Brennen and his star-bred people, the Sentinels. The Shuhr are determined to destroy the Sentinels and to begin their conquest of the Federacy by conquering Netaia, Firebird's home planet.

The Shuhr appear to be without conscience, willing to destroy the individual from the mind outward. Against such a ruthless, heartless enemy, Brennen and the Sentinels believe there can be only one hope: capture a Shuhr and use the knowledge they can obtain to plan an attack against Three Zed, the planet of the Shuhr. A trap will be set on Netaia when Firebird is confirmed as heir to the Angelo crown.

Brennen knows of a secret weapon at his disposal: the incredible fusion power created when his telepathic epsilon carrier combines with that of Firebird. Brennen struggles with a moral dilemma when he thinks of utterly destroying the Shuhr. The Eternal Speaker whom Brennen worships has promised that a day will come for enemies to be destroyed. Brennen fears that, if the Sentinels act too quickly and before the time designated by the Speaker, innocent lives will be lost.

Firebird faces a different struggle. She has renounced the Holy Powers revered by Netaians and has embraced a belief in the Eternal Speaker, the Mighty Singer who sang the whorl into existence. Yet, when she tries on the heiress's Crown of Fire, the Ninth Holy Power -- Pride -- swells within her. She begins to wonder if she is supposed to save her people. Pride also blocks her path when she tries to understand the atonement promised by the Mighty Singer, atonement that will be fulfilled by the Word to Come.

In Crown of Fire, Kathy Tyers orchestrates moral dilemma, emotional upheaval, science fiction, and world-changing conflict into a captivating symphony. Because each chapter begins with a musical annotation, the reader anticipates the rise and fall of action and emotion. Her characterizations were so vivid that I found myself deeply empathizing with each character. As Firebird, I saw myself wearing the Crown of Fire through the somewhat disapproving eyes of my husband. I became Brennen, struggling to complete my mission while remaining true to my beliefs. I became Carradee, hoping that my daughters were alive and reaching out in tentative faith to the only One who knew their fate. Like a conductor, Tyers drew my emotions to exciting crescendos and plunged my spirit into sudden dirges. When the book was over, I only wished that there were more to read of the Firebird story.

Crown of Fire is the third and final book in the Firebird series, following Firebird and Fusion Fire. Readers of Tyers' books will be sorry to see this series come to an end, but will hope that she continues to captivate us in future books about this or other worlds.

Copyright © 2001 Suzanne Krein

Suzanne Krein is a free-lance curriculum writer with a life-long passion -- reading and writing science fiction, especially Christian science fiction. She lives with her family in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

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