The Phoenix Unchained
Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory
Tor, Sept 2007, $27.95, 400 pp.
When the Flowering War ended, the Darkness was defeated and the land has known a millennium of peace. The elves and the rest of the other folk isolated themselves in the Northern lands. The humans multiplied along with the brownie, fauns, and centaurs, who stayed with them. Tiercel Rolfort reads a book of magic and suddenly can light fires using High Magic that he can learn unlike Wild Magic which people are blessed with instinctively knowing how to use.
There is nobody to teach Tiercel magic as Wild Magic is found only in times of need. Tiercel needs a wild mage because he is kept up nights dreaming about a demonic woman, fire and another entity. They are something evil and Tiercel finally realizes that he is seeing the future and he must journey to where this woman is. First though, he and his friend Harrier journey to find a Wild Mage hoping that one knows how to stop the visions from returning. The journey takes them into the land of the elves where both learn what fate has in store for them.
Set in the same world as the Obsidian trilogy, THE PHOENIX UNCHAINED is book one of the Enduring Flame saga and is a fantastic spellbinding epic fantasy. The heroes Tiercel and Harrier need each other as close friends will during a crisis; the latter especially watches out for the former who gets them in trouble. Their repartee and quips add a touch of humor to a very enchanting quest tale.