Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Fire Opal” as Want to Read:
The Fire Opal
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Fire Opal

3.25  ·  Rating Details  ·  415 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
There was a time when Maeve O'Tullagh led a simple life; a time when she and her mother, Nuala, collected kelp on the foreshore near their cottage in Ard Macha; a time when she played among the Celtic ruins with her older brothers and daydreamed about the legendary Holy Isles, an enchanted land ruled in a past age by a beautiful goddess.
But after Maeve's sister, Ishleen,
...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 14th 2012 by Bluefire (first published January 1st 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Fire Opal, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Fire Opal

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,775)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Kogiopsis
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sophie Carter
My English class is forced to go up to the ill stocked library once every three weeks, and we are also forced to find and check out a book from the terrible selection. This book was one of them. I picked up this book because it takes place in Ireland. As I began reading, my first impression was that this was a nice, cutesy historical fiction. It starts off with the narrator, Maeve O'Tullagh, finding a strange orange stone on the beach. It then flashes forward into a cute, enjoyable prose about M ...more
Yan
May 09, 2010 Yan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jake Rideout
Jan 29, 2010 Jake Rideout rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I come from a big Irish family, and I grew up hearing tales about selkies, the sidh, the tuatha de Danaan, Finn MacCool, and all the other myths. This book was written in the vein, with all the old lore worked into a pretty fantastical plot. Maeve O'Tullagh encounters a mysterious woman one day, and the woman gives her two small bottles to protect her mother and herself. However, soon after giving birth to Maeve's sister Ishleen, Maeve's mother falls into a strange sleep that she cannot be woken ...more
Sarah Maddaford
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katrina
Jul 03, 2014 Katrina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Just not my thing. Too much imagination not enough development. The Fire Opal was a beautiful prose but in aiming for young adult audiences it failed miserably. It was well written but unsuited for the YA genre in terms of plot and style. The characters while rich in backstory lacked personality and depth giving readers no way to sympathize with them. Maeve's age was the only young adult element. Although she was actually around 20 years she made strange naive choices. Tom was unexplainably evil ...more
Kimberly Gould
For a while the distinct difference between the first and second halves of this book bothered me, until I read this line: It made me sad to think that the female and male world in this house were so divided. That was the difference between the halves exactly! It made it less of a weakness in form and more a demonstration of theme. It made the break make sense, although I still wish they'd been a bit more smoothly integrated.
Diane
Mar 20, 2015 Diane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
This was a BOM selection for one of my groups. The story is set in late 16th century Ireland and centers on Maeve, a young Irish girl.

"The Fire Opal" is a mixed bag. It's as if McBride could not decide what type of novel she wanted to write. The first half is a slow-moving, mostly historical novel with some hints of fantasy, and the second half is a fast-moving mix of Irish myth and adventure. I sort of enjoyed the first part, but the second part was confusing and tedious. None of the character
...more
Kim Johnson
Feb 14, 2012 Kim Johnson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: could-not-finish
Ok so when I said I read this, I meant that I tried to read "The Fire Opal." I wanted to like this book. I really did. But after reading the first one hundred pages and skimming a little after that, I finally had to put the book down.
The main character- I forgot her name already- was just a little too boring. I felt like I was reading a book about a simpleton who wasn't all there. Not very engaging, I thought.
And then there was supposed to be this hot villian that wanted to marry her? Let's ju
...more
Katelyn
May 14, 2010 Katelyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
As an Irish girl I will admit to being somewhat biased coming into this book. With scenery like the brilliant Irish landscapes, laid out for readers to picture while experiencing the journey that was The Fire Opal, what can you expect? I was already half in love with the story before finishing the first chapter.

McBride gives her readers magic, mythology/folklore and realism all wrapped up neatly in her debut YA novel. She has made the cross from writing adult fiction to YA fantasy quite seamless
...more
Jennifer
May 15, 2011 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Maeve O'Tullagh is a young woman growing up in a seaside village in 16th century Ireland.

Her world seems fairly dichotomous. There is the world of men: fiercely Catholic, grounded in reality and consumed with the fight for independence. And there is the world of women: eccentric, descendants of ancient goddesses that used to rule the country and consumed with things that cannot be seen.

Shortly after giving birth to her younger sister, Maeve's mother falls into a catatonic state. This turn of e
...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Ashley B for TeensReadToo.com

Maeve O'Tullagh is a teen living in Ard Macha with her family: Mam, Da, Donal, Fingal, and Ishleen. When still very young, Ishleen suddenly dies, depressing Maeve's mother and father. Once becoming pregnant again, Mam insists that she is pregnant with Ishleen, and she won't let the idea go. A woman at the sea gives Maeve a talisman to protect her mother. But when Mam removes it on the night of the baby's birth, she seems lost and catatonic. Maeve believes
...more
Page (One Book At A Time)
I haven't read many books set in Ireland. But, what I have read seems to have it's own mystical quality. There's something about Ireland that makes it different and I don't think it's just the legends and myths that have been passed down for centuries. This book is no exception. I think the place and some of the events that are in the background of the story are real. But, it never feels real if that makes sense. It's almost as if the entire story takes place in a fog. It's beautifully written.

W
...more
Stephanie
Mar 02, 2016 Stephanie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hardcopy, 2016
This book was okay but not as good as I had hoped for when I read the synopsis. It took a long time for anything really good to happen and when it did it felt rushed and I just was not that interested anymore. There were parts of this book that I did enjoy the setting was cool and rich in history and the characters were pretty good. I fond it hard to explain my thoughts so I will just say this was alright but not great.
Ruth
Aug 02, 2011 Ruth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Personally, I thought this book was overall just plain awful.I thought the characters were dull and forgettable, the main character, Mauve, cared more about a possibly dead Spaniard than the actual story,and Tom, the main villain,showed some promise at the beginning, but by the end he was just plain annoying. I thought the plot itself was lame and didn't keep readers engaged the way it should. This book was to rush at all the important parts and lingered to long on the boring insignificant parts ...more
Angela
Part of Adventures in Reading post on Bewitched Bookworms.
I read five books. In five days. This was one of them. =)

http://www.bewitchedbookworms.com/201...

Set against the backdrop of the English invading Ireland, Maeve must fend off the advance of a villainous suitor while saving the souls of her mother and sister, all the while searching for her true love.

I liked it, nearly loved it, yet I was constantly confused and overwhelmed. And I must admit the ending left me wanting. I feel like there s
...more
Ange (Libby Blog) Schmelzer
Maeve is a fiery and spirited young girl who watches as both her mother and then her sister become shells of their former selves. Will she be next? Has she really become mad as her father and brothers believe? Or are the things she's hearing on the wind and in her mind real?
This an amazing 1st Young Adult novel for McBride! WOW! The Irish seaside is described in incredible detail to the point that you can also hear the sea and smell the air blowing in. The only issue I had was the ending which
...more
Brittany
Jul 25, 2011 Brittany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-challenge
I picked this up at my library based primarily on the cover. I also liked the cover blurb referencing old Irish Mythology. I was pleasantly surprised that this book was amazing. I don't normally like YA books, primarily because they all seem to have very similar plots. This book definitely has a very original plot and has very good mystery and action aspects. The only reason I gave this a 4 out of 5 instead of a 5 out of 5 was the ending. It left me wanting more. I want to know if she ever finds ...more
Alyssa
Good god. I'm never reading this ever again. I tried to read it, I really did, but I barely made it through the first three chapters and decided it wasn't worth it. The pace was too slow, and I didn't feel like I was part of the story. The narrating seemed so detached and distant, and the book is just a piece of descriptive writing. What happened to the excitement, to being alive and real???!!! NO! Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Really disappointing. I looked at the synopsis and was like wow the cover is ...more
Jen
Jan 06, 2015 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book kept me interested the whole way through. I really enjoyed it.
Elia Maxwell
Jun 03, 2015 Elia Maxwell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i loved it. but i wish i knew if she ever found franscico
Keri
Aug 16, 2010 Keri rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
As a huge fan of Regina McBride I waited a long time for this book to come out only to be disappointed. “The Fire Opal”, being her first young adult novel, did not possess the same lore as her earlier novels. As I read the book I kept hoping that it would get better and, for me, it never really did. The writing seemed too forced as I felt she tried to imitate the magical or fantasy fiction that seems to be so popular among today’s authors. However, I will continue to be a fan of Ms. McBride’s an ...more
Tiffany Michele
This book did not meet my expectations.
Brenne
Feb 19, 2014 Brenne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2014-books
I can honestly say this book had the weirdest plot. And the ending was kinda bleh. I gave it three stars because it kept my attention for the whole book, which is a bravo.
Cheryl
Aug 05, 2014 Cheryl rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Did not care for it
Jemma_serre
Oct 02, 2010 Jemma_serre rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Theodosia of the Fathomless Hall
Atmosphere: 5/10 Not so good-was not immersed.

Characters:6/10 Maeve is probably the bravest heroine I've come across.

Plot: Meh 4/10 Mainly on account of the writing style.

Writing: Okay, but not good.

Cover: What made me check this book out, 7/10

Overall I would not recommend this novel, warning: this comes from a stand alone novel, snob and this probably would be enjoyable to many a reader but not to me.
Arra Bonacua
It is good. The quest was amazing. Though, her love story sucks at the same time cute. I totally like Francisco but he's nowhere to be found. So I rated it three stars. :)
Molly Slenker
read the first 100 pages and just could not get connected. Putting it back in the TBR pile.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 59 60 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 12, 2015 12:42PM  
  • The Forest of Adventures (Knight Trilogy, #1)
  • The Princess's Dragon
  • Dark of the Moon
  • Merlin's Harp (Merlin's Harp, #1)
  • Forbidden Sea (Forbidden Sea, #1)
  • The Summer of Shambles (Ondine Book #1)
  • Anxious Hearts
  • Folly
  • Wildwing
  • Warrior Princess (Warrior Princess, #1)
  • Gateway
  • Enchanted Ivy
  • Libyrinth (Libyrinth, #1)
  • The Crab (Legend of the Five Rings: Clan War 5)
  • Nightschool: The Weirn Books, Vol. 3
  • Green
  • The Swan Maiden
  • Everlasting (Everlasting, #1)
71686
Regina McBride is the author of The Nature of Water and Air, The Land of Women, and The Marriage Bed. She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Her poems have been widely published in literary journals and magazines, and her book of poetry, Yarrow Field, won an American Book Series Award.

She grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexi
...more
More about Regina McBride...

Share This Book