The Firebird Trilogy is, in a nutshell, the kind of book I would have liked to have written. It’s like a space opera, with this whole pre-Messianic society thing going on. Knowing that Tyers is a Star Wars novelist in her spare time, of course, it’s hard not to see parallels – you might say the Force is strong in this book. But if you’re prepared to see past what could be seen as derivative, there is a tale of spiritual awakening, inner conflict and a far-reaching destiny, woven into an action packed sci-fi adventure full of ray guns, interstellar conflict and genetic manipulation. And it all comes together brilliantly.
On the downside, it’s loooooooong. The trilogy works well and certainly deserved to be released as one volume, but in this format suffers (as single volume trilogies are apt to do) from a degree of repetition. There seemed to be a lot of re-capping, especially during the first part of Fusion Fire (book 2) – fair enough if you’re reading it, as it is set, eight months after the first book, but I found being reminded of something I read the previous Thursday a bit annoying.
The feeling you’re going to be reading this book forever isn’t helped by the third book, Crown of Fire, getting off to a slow start. However, once it gets going it soon builds to what turned out to be a very satisfying (if slightly Hollywood) conclusion.
Minor drawbacks aside, Firebird is at once entertaining and thought-provoking; it illustrates God and the Christian worldview through a not-obviously-Christian faith; and above all it’s a thoroughly enjoyable read.
For an aspiring Christian sf writer like me, Kathy Tyers sets the bar high. I’ve got a lot of work to do…