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Midori Snyder

Autor(a) de Beldan's Fire

19+ Works 2,159 Membros 57 Críticas 4 Favorited

About the Author

Includes the name: Midori Snyder

Image credit: Photo by Stephen Haessler


Obras por Midori Snyder

Beldan's Fire (1993) 355 exemplares
Sadar's Keep (1991) 353 exemplares
New Moon (1989) 350 exemplares
Except the Queen (2010) 312 exemplares
The Innamorati (1998) 252 exemplares
Hatchling (1995) 175 exemplares
Hannah's Garden (2002) 137 exemplares
The Flight of Michael McBride (1994) 121 exemplares
Soulstring (1987) 88 exemplares
King of Crows 1 exemplar
Jack Straw 1 exemplar

Associated Works

Black Thorn, White Rose (1994) — Contribuidor — 1,102 exemplares
The Green Man: Tales from the Mythic Forest (2002) — Contribuidor — 1,022 exemplares
Black Swan, White Raven (1997) — Contribuidor — 579 exemplares
The Book of Ballads (2004) — Contribuidor — 563 exemplares
The Coyote Road: Trickster Tales (2007) — Contribuidor — 492 exemplares
The Essential Bordertown (1998) — Contribuidor — 400 exemplares
Bordertown: Where Magic Meets Rock & Roll (1986) — Contribuidor — 387 exemplares
The Fair Folk (2005) — Contribuidor — 383 exemplares
Troll's Eye View: A Book of Villainous Tales (2009) — Contribuidor — 344 exemplares
Swan Sister: Fairy Tales Retold (2003) — Contribuidor — 290 exemplares
Life on the Border (1991) — Contribuidor — 255 exemplares
The Armless Maiden: And Other Tales for Childhood's Survivors (1995) — Contribuidor — 249 exemplares
The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Ninth Annual Collection (1996) — Contribuidor — 241 exemplares
The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Sixth Annual Collection (1993) — Contribuidor — 209 exemplares
The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Fifth Annual Collection (1992) — Contribuidor — 202 exemplares
The Beastly Bride: Tales of the Animal People (2010) — Contribuidor — 188 exemplares
The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Third Annual Collection (1988) — Contribuidor; Contribuidor — 183 exemplares
Ravens in the Library: Magic in the Bard's Name (2009) — Contribuidor — 102 exemplares
The Fantastic Adventures of Robin Hood (1991) — Contribuidor — 93 exemplares
The Dark of the Woods (2006) — Contribuidor — 86 exemplares
Charles Vess' Book of Ballads & Sagas (2018) — Contribuidor — 56 exemplares
Xanadu 3 (1995) — Contribuidor — 38 exemplares
The Book of Ballads and Sagas #3 (1996) — Contribuidor — 9 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
Local de nascimento
Santa Monica, California, USA
Locais de residência
Tucson, Arizona, USA
University of Wisconsin-Madison
fantasy writer



This was a re-read of a book read some time before joining Goodreads. I didn't remember anything about the story other than I had enjoyed it at the time, and in fact was pleased to find I enjoyed it this time too, although in places the writing is a little clunky, for example, the writer often uses a character's name when 'he' or 'she' would be sufficient, and on occasion does a bit of head hopping within a scene. However, the strengths of the narration and characterisation overcame these minor issues.

To briefly summarise, the book is set in the country of Oran in the capital Beldan. Many years ago the Queen, seemingly immortal, invited in the armies of Silea, a militaristic country which we assume is nearby, to put down a rebellion or war now termed the Burning. Apart from a few whispers among the descendants of certain groups within the population which go counter to the version of the Burning given by the Queen, the real story of what had happened has been supressed. Gradually an inkling arises that makes it clear to the reader that the Queen is far from blameless, and in fact her conduct makes it clear that she is a ruthless murderer and oppressor of her own people, collaborating in the tyranny imposed by the Sileans.

For the gift of Oran is that many of the population had psychic gifts aligned with the four elements or Quarters - water, air, earth and fire. A Naming ritual imposed since the Burning means that to get work all children of the ruled classes have to be examined by Readers - a family who have collaborated with the Regime to retain their privileges as nobility. Any child found to have the aura of one of the gifts is hanged. The only person allowed officially to have a gift is the Queen herself: fire gifted and supposedly the only individual alive with such a gift. The rest are all air, water or earth related.

Things have been going badly in Oran in recent years with failed harvests, worsening oppression and grinding poverty. Unsuprisingly, this gives rise to a resistence known as the New Moon. The activities of the rebels are then made the excuse for appalling reprisals as are seen late in the story. And in addition to the officially sanctioned murders of the gifted, an individual known to the city's teams of thieves as the Upright Man, has his own reasons for pursuing them.

The strengths of this story apart from the inventiveness of the world building is the characterisation, especially of the thieves and street children, and other working people. Slightly misleadingly, the book begins with the viewpoint of one of the Readers but it soon switches, and he only has a small part in the story. The main character is Jobber, a gangling adolescent brought up on the streets by a now deceased vagger - vaggers are a group of people who roam the land preserving elements of the ancient and suppressed Oran religion and also various fighting skills - and there are major parts played in the story by a woman who is trying to keep alive certain children whom she knows have gifts, and a Gazali woman, another of the groups who used to have a major role before the Burning, and who has an air gift. We also see enough of the Queen, the Silean Regent and his adviser to gain an impression of their indifference to or even enjoyment of the cruelty inflicted on the general populace. The street people have their own slang and the life of the city is well depicted. There is also a great twist about half way through which I will not spoil.

All in all a very enjoyable read, only held back from a full five stars by the little bit of uneveness in writing mentioned above.
… (mais)
kitsune_reader | 8 outras críticas | Nov 23, 2023 |
Volume 3 of the trilogy deals with the final confrontation, not only with the Fire Queen Zorah, but with the might of the tyrannical Silean empire who ravage what is left of the land after Zorah withdraws from any interest in her people whatsoever. Always self-absorbed she now cares only about confronting the emerging young Queens who each have a gift aligned with one aspect of Oran magic - fire, earth, air - and now - water. The final young woman is being sought as the story opens, Lirrel, the air Queen, and two companions travelling to the islands to find her.

Meanwhile, the evil regent who is - unbeknown to anyone else - part Oran through his great grandmother and therefore gifted with magic also - continues to plot to become a power in the land but he has turned his attention from Zorah whose fire magic he craved, and Jobber the young Queen in the wings, to a fixation on the water element queen, although it is not really explained why - I can't remember from an earlier book if his own gift is that of water (although he has been stealing others by drinking the blood of gifted children). And the resistence against the tyranny of both Zorah and the Sileans is growing beneath the weight of the deprivations and injustice, and the awareness that with Zorah's manipulation of Oran's magic things are starting to come apart and the very existence of Oran is at stake.

I enjoyed this volume more than volume 2 although not as much as the opening segment of the trilogy. One thing that detracted from my full enjoyment is that I have found Lirrel an increasingly irritating character with her somewhat hypocritical espousal of non violence - whereby those around her are forced to commit violence themselves in order to defend her against enemies. There is quite an emphasis on her character in this final book. It is also a shame that the magical people of the sea - the Namire - have such a small role to play since they are no sooner introduced than they are all exterminated.

There are some real tour de force descriptions of the literal unravelling of the substance of Oran and of various fight scenes, but some other aspects were a little irritating. For example, Kai, one of the chief characters of book 1, who also had quite a role in book 2, is relegated to a small though important couple of cameo appearances, and we don't see her again after her major final appearance when she avenges not only Lirrel but all the slain children claimed by the regent , not even in the final scene of city life where she and her sidekick Slipper might be expected to make a token appearance. Her sidelining seems to be due to the amount of book space spent on the new head of the Silean army whose strange appearance and ruthlessness is dwelt on and yet who has a rather damp squib exit - and what was that business about him slipping and gashing his leg, which led to absolutely noting? The plot role he performs could have been handled without having to have such a focus on him at the expense of further developing the situation back in the city through the eyes of Kai and her lieutenant.

The final conflict between Jobber and Zorah also seemed to be over too soon, given that the whole of three books had been leading up to it, and I was also not pleased that one of my favourite characters in the series was yet one more in the huge number of characters killed off. Realistic I suppose and yet this was one of the more memorable characters and the body count in this story is really quite alarming. So although I liked this book more than the middle volume I would rate it at 3.5 stars which given Goodreads system has to be rounded down rather than up given that I can't give it the 4 stars that book 1, more enjoyable, earned.
… (mais)
kitsune_reader | 6 outras críticas | Nov 23, 2023 |
After enjoying book 1 of this trilogy I looked forward to the next volume, but found it rather hard going sadly. I suppose it suffers from the 'middle book of a trilogy' syndrome, at least for me, as a considerable part of it dealt with people getting to where they needed to be with not a great deal of actual plot development. We were also introduced to a lot more characters so I found those sparsely developed and even main ones from the first book had less airtime. Some of the characters were so 'similar' that I sometimes couldn't remember who somebody was when they came back into a scene. I also found some of the character quirks which were all right in the city context such as Jobber's pigheadness became a little wearing when the character did not appear to grow, though I could see why this was as the old rivalry between the Fire Queen and her Earth sister is revived through Jobber and the new character Shedwyn who has the Earth gift.

The story starts to gather momentum from the point where Kai, who stayed behind in Beldan, runs into peril. Once things start to build to a battle between the main forces of the 'goodies' and some of their opponents, the book began to interest me more. We also learn what lies behind the history of the Burning and what caused the Fire Queen to turn into the evil tyrant she became. The final showdown with her and another main villain will be the subject of book 3 I assume.

Since reading the book, I have become aware that this series has been republished, by a different publisher than the edition I have, and targeted for young adults. It definitely was not intended as such in its original 1990 publication and this volume not only contains quite a lot of swearing and graphic violence but also has a couple of explicit sex scenes. I suppose the later publisher's view was that quite a few characters are in early adolescence. However, I should just add this as a warning that it definitely is a bit strong, certainly for early teens.

As with the first volume, the writing is a bit clunky here and there. That didn't matter much with book 1 as the story had such interest. However, given the boredom I struggled with in the first half to three quarters of the story, I can only give this 3 stars.
… (mais)
kitsune_reader | 4 outras críticas | Nov 23, 2023 |
weaver-of-dreams | 6 outras críticas | Aug 1, 2023 |



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