by R. Garcia y Robertson
Review by Steve Sawicki
Tor Books Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 0765313561
Date: 16 May, 2006 List Price $24.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK /
Firebird is a blend of folk tale, fantasy and magic realism with R. Garcia y Robertson weaving the three together into a seamless narrative. The book is a collection of work that first appeared, if I remember correctly, in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction as short stories/novellas.
Firebird is the story of Aria, a young orphan girl, raised by the Bone Witch and pushed out into the world when the witch is killed. Aria must survive in the Iron Wood, a place of werewolves and other monsters. Pursued by those who would destroy all magic and those aligned with it, Aria is saved by a handsome knight. On his own quest, the knight carries the egg of the Firebird, and Aria makes it her purpose to return the egg to its nest. As they travel across the land they face peril, are separated, meet gods and princes and discover sex.
The novel has some noticeable seams due to the blending of what was originally at least three distinct parts. Other than this, it is a well crafted, well charactered adventure that should keep your interest while fanning your enjoyment. Garcia y Robertson pulls off quite the story here, more so for the elements he combines but not the less for the way he manages those elements in a narrative flow that is engaging and captivating.