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The Keep of Fire: Book Two of The Last Rune [Mass Market Paperback]

Mark Anthony
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 9.99
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Book Description

Nov. 28 2000 The Last Rune (Book 2)
From an exciting new master of fantasy comes the second novel of an epic tale filled with dangerous magic, dark mystery, and unrelenting suspense

The Keep Of Fire

Travis Wilder has returned from the otherworld of Eldh, hoping to settle back into his humdrum  life in the mountains of contemporary Colorado. But he soon finds himself stalked by two shadowy organizations, each aware of his incredible journey and each determined to exploit it--whatever the cost to Travis...or to Eldh. Meanwhile, a terrifying new contagion is spreading like wildfire, a disease with no cure, which some are comparing to the Black Plague.

When the disease strikes his closest friend, Travis is drawn back to Eldh, where the same epidemic, known as the Burning Plague, is wreaking another kind of havoc. There, in a realm of gods and monsters, myths and runecraft, Travis and his former companion Grace Beckett--herself from Earth, but now living on Eldh--must solve the riddle of the plague. Where did it come from? What is its purpose? And how can it possibly be stopped...before it completely destroys two coexisting worlds: ancient Eldh and modern Earth.

Frequently Bought Together

The Keep of Fire: Book Two of The Last Rune + The Gates of Winter: Book Five of The Last Rune + Blood of Mystery: Book Four of The Last Rune
Price For All Three: CDN$ 28.97


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Product Description

From Library Journal

Seeking a cure for a sickness that immolates its victims, Travis Wilder once again makes the journey from his Colorado home to the magic-rich world of Eldh, where a similar plague sweeps across the land, leaving terror in its wake. Reunited with fellow cross-world traveler Grace Beckett, now a magical healer, Travis confronts his greatest fears in the hopes of saving his own world and the new world he has come to love. Anthony's sequel to Beyond the Pale details a world of medieval customs underscored with deep-rooted magics and ancient evils. For most fantasy collections.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

The second installment in Anthony's fantasy saga (Beyond the Pale, 1998). Travis Wilder, a bar owner in Castle City, Colorado, has the ability to visit Eldh, a medieval-magic world of knights, witches, and monsters. In Eldh, dysfunctional Travis can work rune magic through the sigil inscribed on his palm. Another insecure American, ER doctor Grace Becket, has Weirding talentsshe can sense and magically manipulate life-threads. Unlike Travis, Grace chose to stay in Eldh at the conclusion of the previous adventure. Travis, once more on Earth, is beset by cryptic black-clad beings and other weird characters given to gnomic utterances and seemingly bent on exploiting his knowledge of Eldh. Inexplicably, though, people are bursting into flames, while on Eldh Grace encounters a parallel Burning Plague. So only in Eldh will Travis and Grace find answers, by way of the usual quests, battles, and character-building confrontations. Barely distinguishable from heaps of similar productions. Fans only. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Kind of refreshing, but empty calories Feb. 26 2004
By Brenopa
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Hey, we can't eat broccoli all the time! We need to enjoy something relatively non-nutritive from time to time. This, the 2nd book in the Last Rune series, is the literary equivalent of jalapeno poppers! Lots of dramatic action--the lead characters are constantly imperiled! People are always getting nearly killed. Travis and Grace, the transplants from Earth to the magical realm of Eldh, are remarkably resilient when plopped into a somewhat inconsistent world. (For example, what is the real difference between maddok and coffee? Why even bother? Horses, sheep, bread and clothes are are medieval style. Why create a drink exactly like coffee, (only better) and call it maddok?) These little things can be irritating--almost as irritating as the fairly bad illustrations on the cover. (Can we have the characters depicted to match their descriptions in the book?) Despite all this, I enjoyed the action and energy. The author is not afraid of completely bizarre and unforseen plot twists dropping out of nowhere. Enjoyable, but leaves you wanting something a little more filling.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A decent book Jan. 14 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
After reading Beyond The Pale, I wrote an online review (not for amazon.com) stating that it was "a good start". I really enjoyed some of the aspects such as the iron hearts, the travails of modern Americans trying to adjust to medieval living, and the mysterious Child Samanda et. al.. But I was fearful that the subseqent books would be a letdown.
In this second book of the series, Mr. Anthony continues some themes and introduces others. Once again, he focuses on a specific stone of power (this time it's the stone of fire). Our heroes work to prevent the misuse of the stone and the destruction of Earth and Eldh. We get more information about what it's like to live in medieval times. Child Samanda makes a brief appearance. The main characters finally have to face their inner demons. And so on. In addition, we get the character development that is typical of the second book of a trilogy, including the homosexual knight mentioned in other reviews.
In general I like Keep of Fire and the series. It may be a ripoff from other epic fantasies (Tolkien, Eddings, Donaldson, Hambly), but there is a lot of new stuff as well. Mr. Anthony has given us a rich world and some interesting characters.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A pale successor Sept. 18 2000
Format:Paperback
Beyond the Pale was a well and carefully written book. Its hallmark, in my opinion, was the patience which the author displayed in introducing and fleshing out characters, as well as the meticulous care he spent crafting a strong physical presence that made the world of Eldh tangible and solid. Strong fantasy was mixed with horror, mystery and intrigue that gave the story a terrific cadence. So strong was the writing, in fact, that some of the cliches (character and plotting) were easily forgiven. Good writing can make even a bad idea sound good. The Keep of Fire, unfortunately, possesses none of the qualities of the former. It is my hope that the book was written quickly, perhaps due to contractual obligations, for (as George R. R. Martin has said) your second book should be better than your first, your tenth better than your second, and so on and so forth. Sadly, however, the end of the book could not have come quicker; if not for the strength of Beyond the Pale I would have put The Keep of Fire down and scratched Mark Anthony off the list of authors whose works I choose to follow. Mr. Anthony, for reasons that puzzle me, chose to skim lightly over material that, if fleshed out, would have made for exciting reading. Case in point: the time spent with the Necromancer. Robert Jordan, in a classic case of overwriting, could have written 500 pages on that alone. Mark Anthony should have, in my opinion, written at least 200. So much potential was there! Yet it ended in such disappointment.
I applaud the author for tackling issues that have long been taboo in fantasy: specifically homosexuality. Too often homosexual men have been seen as effete, useless fops. In the real world, we know this not to be true. Kudos.
NOW...let's see the third book be stronger than the second, and at least as strong as the first.
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5.0 out of 5 stars wonferful book in a wonderful series Aug. 1 2000
Format:Paperback
Like many of the other readers I picked this book up because I needed something to read and, like all of his readers I am sure, was completely blown away. Anthony has created a wonderfully rich story, I believe we have only seen the barest outlines of his delightfully complex plot, with bright, complicated , and still developing characters. I noted with great pleasure the echos of David Eddings in the dry wit of Melia and the whining, on occasion, of Travis. As noted already by others, the influence of other authors can be seen on Anthony's work, but in no way is this a bad thing, we are now all caught up in a grand conversation that only those who are avid readers of fantasy can comprehend. Although there are many things in these books that are innovative I don't have time to comment on them all and would just like to say that Anthony's portrayal of Travis' possible relationship with Beltan is a bit of a relief. It is nice not to be beat over the head with the gay issue, unlike what will happen if you read Mercedes Lackey, and I am curious as to what will happen in the next book, whether a relationship between the two of them would work, or if, perhaps, Grace and Travis have a future (or possibly Diedre and Travis?) hey, you never know what might happen. Anyhow, Keep up the great work Mr. Anthony. There are few books I have enjoyed reading more than yours and I look forward to all the ones yet to come.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A little more and a little less
I read the first book and was pleased, there were a few missteps I could except as first novelitus, and a few good points that made me interested in reading further into the... Read more
Published on Feb. 9 2004 by Daffydd
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Continuation of "The Last Rune" Series
The Keep of Fire is a wonderful chapter in this captivating series. I bought Beyond the Pale on a whim, and was hooked on the series. Read more
Published on Feb. 23 2001 by Ariel
5.0 out of 5 stars A Truly Captivating Fantasy
Much like the book that came before it, "Beyond the Pale", this book is filled with the precise detail that I've already learned to expect from Mark Anthony. Read more
Published on Jan. 10 2001 by Kay
4.0 out of 5 stars An improvement on "Beyond The Pale"
I really liked "Beyond The Pale," the first of The Last Rune series. I thought it was a little uneven, but I couldn't put it down. Read more
Published on Dec 5 2000 by Paul R. Worthington
1.0 out of 5 stars Another bait and switch job...
His first installment was a quick, and engrossing read, and I enjoyed some of the more subtle undertones of Beyond the Pale, however... Read more
Published on Aug. 13 2000
4.0 out of 5 stars Keep of Fire is a keeper
Mark Anthony continues to grow in his series. It's tough to be objective when reviewing a friend's work, but I will try. The character development is terrific. Read more
Published on May 26 2000 by Frank E. Tagader
4.0 out of 5 stars reminds me of.........
I have just finished The keep of fire, which I ran out and bought after reading the first book Beyond the Pale, I thought the first an excellent read, and the second a good one... Read more
Published on May 22 2000 by Dom Tailor
3.0 out of 5 stars Lacks originality and purpose
While this author has potential, the digressions into colors of robes, feudal customs and hygiene habits of the protagonists are painfully long. Read more
Published on April 18 2000 by charles l. fritz
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Ingenius
Let's face the harsh reality of customer reviews. They're either 5 stars, or 1 star. Benedict, or scathing. I choose the former, or rather, Mark Anthony earned it. Read more
Published on Feb. 22 2000 by Kyle Keepers
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