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The Keep of Fire: Book Two of The Last Rune Mass Market Paperback – Nov 28 2000


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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
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra; New title edition (Nov. 28 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553579320
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553579321
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 2.8 x 17.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #660,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 the Paperback edition.

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 the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

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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By Chad Cloman on 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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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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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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