Thirteen year old Meghan and Colin Jacoby are twins raised by their Uncle Arnon, and the family has always travelled from one place to the next, never staying in one area for very long. This would have been a lonely life for most people, but the twins have a special talent that most people don't: the ability to communicate with each other with their thoughts. While this link often leads them to feel their own minds are crowded, with no real sense of privacy, it turns out to be a valuable asset when their lives are suddenly turned upside down after a magical attack on the current campground they're staying at. Propelled into a strange world in which magic is a basic fact of life, the twins find themselves unsure of who to trust, while at the same time struggling to understand magical abilities that have lain dormant within their own bodies throughout their lives.
Firemancer was a truly wonderful glimpse into the human mind.
This collection, written for a younger audience (I'd say ages 10-15), can easily be enjoyed by a wider age range. The basic feelings of love, loss, and self-discovery easily transcend age barriers.
At the same time, though, the manner in which the twins respond to problems is clearly appropriate for the age they've been given. I never doubted they were thirteen. The author never imposed a "more mature," adult problem-solving mentality on them, and I found this to be quite a relief.
The result was two real characters with real problems.
D'aigle has a true understanding of human nature. Firemancer was rich with human complexity, and I felt for every single character, whether they were children or adults. Each one had a unique and appealing personality that she breathed a tremendous amount of life into.
Really, the only complaint I have about Firemancer had very little to do with the actual story: Something about the cover just wasn't right. I mean, the cover fit, but there was something "off" about it. I think that perhaps I felt that the cover didn't match the age group the Fated Saga was written for.
Have I mentioned I'm overly picky?
Because this was truly an amazing piece of work. While researching the author, I discovered that there are more books within the Fated Saga that I look forward to reading.
And as much as I disagree with the cover choice for the age range, I have to admit to loving the art anyway. It truly is spectacular.
So give Firemancer a read. Since it's a YA collection written for a younger age range, it won't take very long at all, and when you finish you'll feel as though you've done something great for yourself.