When an assassin infiltrates a secret meeting and soldiers kill the people, ROBBIE and DOUGRAY are plunged into a fast-paced journey of self-discovery. FAOLAN, their supposed grandfather, sends them over Black Horn, the forbidden mountain, where life is very different to what they know on their farm. Attacked by Trolls, they are saved by an Elf girl called BELLE SHADOW-CHASER, who is trying to locate the seven lost crystals of the Morning Star. She accompanies them through a jungle-like land called Gardenia, which is protected by a frightening Guardian. They soon discover that spiders and other nasty creatures have overrun it. When Robbie is allegedly killed by one of its monsters, Belle believes otherwise and offers Dougray hope in his grief-stricken state. After tumbling into the river, Robbie meets TISSER, a strange little creature called a Toggle. Tisser decides to help him, but while they are fleeing from black wolves, Robbie stumbles into QUEEN SHARA’S web. She is an enormous predatory spider that takes him to her lair. A distraught Tisser goes in search of Dougray and Belle, and while they are coming to rescue Robbie, they encounter Peragons, serpent-like witches hunting in the jungle. After a narrow escape, they head for the spider’s lair. Queen Shara, however, knows they’ve arrived and sends all ‘her children’ to attack them. Finally, she launches her own attack, but is unable to withstand Belle’s swiftness, Dougray’s determination and Tisser’s sharp claws. They manage to vanquish Queen Shara and rescue Robbie. They discover one of the crystals hidden inside the lair. Its unique magic uncovers a hidden spell on Dougray. He is horrified to learn that he was the assassin at the secret meeting and because of him, all those people died. Now he must seek forgiveness from those he loves.
Reviews of this Book:
Four and a half stars,
I’m not a big reader of the fantasy genre but I really enjoyed this one. It had me interested from the beginning and didn’t let me go. It is filled with action that I’m sure will keep young readers turning the pages as Dourgray and Robbie encounter one danger after another in their quest. I liked the way the relationship between the brothers was explored and also the inclusion of Belle, the elf girl. There were some scenes that tapped into long held fears, especially those with the spiders. Not what I’d have wanted to be reading in the dark? Young people will probably lap it up. This is the first book in a series about Bethloria and the quest to locate the crystals of the Morning Star. I think it will have readers hanging out for the next one in the series. I have to say the cover didn’t appeal to me. I found the characters are little too cartoony for my taste. No surprise to find the artist is a cartoonist. But I am happy to concede they may well appeal more to young people. This is a great first book of a new fantasy series from an Aussie author exploring the conflict between good and evil. Dale Harcombe
I really like fantasy, and this one didn’t disappoint me. In Firelight of Heaven, the evil King Morgan wants to take over Bethloria. Two boys, Robbie and Dougray, climb the forbidden mountain to escape Morgan’s soldiers. Over the other side they meet a strange Elf girl, Belle Shadow-chaser, who joins them on a journey to find the seven crystals hidden in the seven lost lands to destroy King Morgan. I like the action and adventure because it kept me turning the pages. I also like the characters because they are cool. I didn’t like that I didn’t know it was a series, so now I need to wait for the other books. It was exciting and I can’t wait for the next one. I need it NOW!!! I would recommend this book to 10+ year old girls and boys who like action, adventure and fantasy.
PS. This book is AWESOME!!! Jacinta - aged 12
It's great to see new, engrossing, YA fantasies hitting the market, especially those with threads of faith, guidance and care woven through them. I liked the switching between the two points of view from chapter to chapter, because Robbie and Dougray are such different brothers. Robbie is the younger and seems more introspective, with the feeling that he has a lot to prove. On the surface, Dougray seems to be the stronger and more confident, a natural leader with a special calling. But things are not always as they seem, as the plot draws a lot out of the brothers and delivers several surprises. It's definitely no easy quest. Those boys have their work cut out for them, with many shocks and unexpected happenings along the way. And the questions that kept driving me were, 'What's their family background, anyway? Who were their parents?' Bethloria was such a vividly described place, it seemed as if Lizbeth Klein actually visited to do some research there :) I enjoyed the other characters too. Belle, the elf girl, is nobody's fool. Even though she wasn't totally welcomed at first, her addition to the quest brought out more of the highlights of the brothers' characters. And Queen Shara! I'll just say that, for somebody as squeamish about huntsman spiders, and those big orb spiders, as I am, she is very memorable. I'll be looking forward to further stories in this series. Paula Vince