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Ring of Fire (Century #1)

3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,328 Ratings  ·  173 Reviews
Every hundred years, four kids from four cities must save the world.

Rome, December 29.

A mix-up with their reservations forces Harvey from New York, Mistral from Paris, and Sheng from Shanghai to share a room with the hotel owner’s daughter, Elettra. The four kids discover an amazing coincidence—they all have birthdays on February 29, Leap Day. That night, a strange man giv
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 27th 2010 by Random House Children's Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,764)
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Teo Sohn
Dec 13, 2015 Teo Sohn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about 4 kids with the same birthday, 2/29, that meet up in a hotel and gets delivered a briefcase with mysterious clues. I recommend this book to anyone who loves mystery, and anyone who wants a quick read. It’s because the book is very short and has a decent plot. Speaking about the plot, it was decent, but not enough in my opinion. The reason is that compared to other good mystery books, the plot was not that suspenseful and didn’t get me “scared.” Also, the author left so many fa ...more
Dec 13, 2009 Tyas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of hystory and mythology
Recommended to Tyas by: Dicky - actually he forced me to buy it! Haha
Shelves: fantasy
Four children, every century, must pass a test: and mysterious figures try to stop them from doing so. Sounds cliched and tired already? Well, let's check.

The author of Ulysses Moore, check.

One of the characters looks like 'the singer of Oasis, only shorter', check - and his three new friends are also interesting. Plus, they were all born on February 29th.

A murderer who plays a hypnotizing violin and uses the bow as a tool to slit people's throat open, check.

An adventure in Rome, with great deta
Oct 29, 2010 Katrina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 39 Clues Read-a-Like
Shelves: teen, juvenile, fiction
An intriguing mystery of four 12 year olds (two boys, two girls) thrown together with peculiar similarities and strengths. I really liked how this story follows the protagonist kids AND the antagonists out to get them. The story is gripping, original and very clever, with unforeseen twists and turns that keep you on your toes. Baccalario did a good job keeping the solutions to clues just hard enough that you can't guess that answers right away but not so hard that you couldn't figure them out wi ...more
Sep 23, 2009 Crystal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very fun book and very suited for age 9/10 and up. I enjoyed reading about Elettra, Harvey, Mistral and Sheng. Four kids from across the globe who happen to meet in Rome just before New Years and stumble upon a man on the run. The man presents them with a briefcase whose contents they must figure out, and then a short while later the man is murdered. The contents of the briefcase are part of a greater puzzle and it's revelation needs to stay out of the hands of the bad guys. It's a great adven ...more
Sierra Abrams
Ring of Fire by P. D. Baccalario (Century Quartet #1)
Pages: 304
Release Date: September 8th, 2009
Date Read: 2011, November 12-22nd
Received: Borrowed
Rating: 2/5 stars
Recommended to: 10+

Fernando of Melodia, owner in part of the Domus Quintilla hotel in Rome, has made a huge mistake. He came to the airport, expecting to pick up a French woman and her daughter to transport them to the hotel - but now three other families are all saying they booked the same room for the same night! Fernando's
To be perfectly fair--as a child I read a lot of books from the 40's/50's that were about 12-13yr olds solving mysteries. Not just Nancy Drew, the Boxcar Children and the Hardy Boys, but random titles I found in my elementary school's library of books no one probably has heard of. For me, Ring of Fire felt like those. A 'feel good' story that has a little bit of drama, a little sadness, a little violence...but overall is meant to encourage and reassure. Not scare and worry a kid.

As a twenty-some
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for

The week of New Year's Eve in Rome is crazy, but this year, it's even crazier.

Elettra's father accidentally overbooks a hotel room - three times over. On December 29th, three families show up expecting a room. Now, Elettra and her family are struggling to find space for their guests. Three teens end up all bunking together with Elettra, where they discover they have something in common.

Their birthdays all fall on the same day - a day that rarely ap
Eva Mitnick
This adventure has a strong Da Vinci Code feel to it, with a mysterious object that links ancient events to modern times, secret groups, and strange events that occur regularly over the centuries. Rome makes a fine backdrop for the kids' adventures and is brought to life by a full-color "scrapbook" of photos of the buildings the kids visit, receipts, maps, and all the clues they find. There is nothing particularly clever about the clues or the way the kids figure them out, but that makes the sto ...more
Jake Rideout
Jul 13, 2009 Jake Rideout rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes! This is going to be the perfect series for fans of Percy Jackson. Four twelve-year-olds find themselves thrown together in an implausible coincidence. The reader knows that it's not really a coincidence--four mysterious adults are guiding the fortunes of these four children who happened to be born on exactly the same day. Elettra is a headstrong Roman girl, Mistral is a quiet Parisian girl, Harvey is a sullen American, and Sheng is a boy from Shanghai (who totally reminds me of Hero Nakamur ...more
Ronald Roseborough
"Century, The Ring of Fire," is an excellent book for young adults. The author, Pierdomenico Baccalario, a native of Italy, sets this treasure hunt in Rome. His searchers are an international quartet of preteens, all born on February 29. They are drawn together by unknown forces to find the mysterious Ring of Fire. The book blends the right amount of fantasy and reality to keep the reader enthralled. It is impossible to read slowly through the book, as the action and mystery draw you enticingly ...more
Ένα καλό βιβλίο που είναι ικανό να ενθουσιάσει τις μικρότερες ηλικίες αναγνωστών. Πολύ καλή περιπέτεια στα χνάρια της Κάθριν Νέβιλ και του Νταν Μπράουν (σε παιδική εκδοχή) , οι περιγραφές είναι πολύ πολύ καλές με αρκετή δράση και πολύ μυστήριο. Στα συν το σκληρό εξώφυλλο και οι ιλουστρασιόν έγχρωμες σελίδες με χάρτες και φωτογραφίες (δήθεν σημειωματάριο) στο κέντρο του βιβλίου… με ενθουσίασαν!!! Στα μείον ότι παρότι οι πρωταγωνιστές είναι δεκατεσσάρων χρονών, έχουν μια αφέλεια και ηθική μερικές ...more
Oct 22, 2014 Mariae rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Très déçue! J'espérais voyager dans la Rome antique, en fait pas du tout du tout !
Four kids with their birthdays on Leap Day, Fubruary 29, end up in the same hotel in Rome, three days before the new year. Next thing they know, they're on the trail of a very powerful ancient artifact and being chased by people who will stop at nothing to get what those kids are looking for. They're looking for the Ring of Fire.

I think Ring of Fire starts off weird and you're only starting to get it at the end of the book.
But I would recommend it for people who like mysteries that are a little
Feb 05, 2016 Msmedlock rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: daisy, rebecca
“Der Ring des Feuers” ist der erste Teil einer Tetralogie, eines Vierteilers, der mich vor allen Dingen durch die tolle Aufmachung (auch ohne Schutzumschlag ist das Buch sehr schön) und die interessante Inhaltsangabe zwischen die Seiten gelockt hat.
Wir haben es, das ist bei solchen Büchern nichts Neues, mit vier Protagonisten zu tun, die einem großen Rätsel auf der Spur sind.
Das Rätsel ist wirklich sehr spannend. Die Hinweise, die “Schätze”, die am Anfang des Buches an die vier Jugendlichen über
Conan Tigard
Nov 13, 2015 Conan Tigard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ring of Fire is an interesting adventure book that takes place in Rome, Italy. It is the story about four children who are destined to meet. Every one hundred years, four children meet who are destined for greatness. This century, it is time for Elettra, Mistral, Sheng and Harvey to meet and find the Ring of Fire. All four of these main characters are highly likable and the villain, Jacob Mahler, is quite a nasty piece of work. He can lull people to sleep with the playing of his violin and then ...more
Apr 24, 2015 Ikigai rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Actual rating: 2,5 stars

Recensione completa:

Premessa: io sono una bambina sotto molti aspetti, tra cui quello letterario. Non sono mai cresciuta, rimanendo affascinata da quei libri fantasy pieni di magia e mistero. Trovassi un libro con un protagonista sulla mia età immerso in un’atmosfera del genere, probabilmente ne farei il mio libro preferito. Non essendo ancora inciampata su un libro così (è un’incitazione a trovarlo voi per me), mi butto su libri c
Jan 23, 2015 Joshua rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a sort of a love-hate relationship with the Century Quartet. On the one hand, it’s a really suspenseful story of a worldwide hunt for an unknown secret starring some amazing protagonists and featuring esoteric parts of ancient history that is always fascinating to read about.

On the other hand, the plot can be incredibly clichéd at times, the villains border on the ridiculous, and occasionally I have no bloody idea what’s going on. The writing style can be stilted and awkward one moment,
Apr 12, 2014 Shaleh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is about twelve year olds, but I read it anyway. There were some things that should probably warrant a four star rating, but I have a case of over-rating-itus. Everything I rate probably should have one star taken off.

Reasons it should be four stars?

The MAIN reason is that these four kids, from all over the world, with different accents, and appearances pretend to be nephews/nieces of an Italian dude, and it is almost completely unquestioned! Maybe that's racist or something, but my family
Matthew Dennis
Sep 26, 2014 Matthew Dennis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Matthew Dennis 9/26/14 Block A

Ring Of Fire

Do you think you would like a story of 4 kids from 4 cities with the same birthday born at the same time and the same year. This happens every 100 years and the people this happens to are the chosen ones. They're chosen to save the world for mankind.These four kids are from Rome, Paris, New York, and Shanghai. There names are Elettra, Harvey, Sheng, and Mistral. They later on discover that they are chosen ones and get told secret things that can help t
Gorjana Bojadzievska
I would not recommend this book. It's boring .
Danie P.
Aug 18, 2010 Danie P. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books, y-a
Good adventure book but it seemed like nothing really outstanding happened. The general feeling I got from this book is that it is basically setting up the next book.
Four children born on February 29 are chosen for an unknown purpose by unknown persons for something that happens once every 100 years. That's basically the summary.
Sep 06, 2015 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Το θέμα φάνηκε ενδιαφέρον από την αρχή: 4 παιδιά αναζητούν ένα αντικείμενο στην πόλη, ενώ πρέπει να λύσουν ταυτόχρονα κάποια μυστήρια που προκύπτουν, για να οδηγηθούν στο επόμενο στοιχείο. Και όλα αυτά εμπεριέχονται σε ένα μεγαλύτερο μυστήριο, το οποίο όμως τα παιδιά δεν το ξέρουν ακόμα και οι αναγνώστες το μαθαίνουν από κάποιες μυστήριες συζητήσεις που έχουν μεταξύ τους, στις οποίες μάλιστα μέχρι το τέλος του βιβλίου δεν ξέρουμε ποιοι ακριβώς μιλάνε.

Η πλοκή ξετυλίγεται αρμονικά, η γραφή του εί
this was a really great book. fantasy, adventure, evil villains, magic, one quest... my kind of stuff. I really liked this book! It was even translated from italian to english it's that amazing. I'll lend it to anybody who wants to read it!
Dec 26, 2014 Christina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, mystery
Four kids who end up staying at the same hotel room in Rome find out they have something in common as they get mixed up in a dangerous mystery, involving a murdered man with a suitcase, a strange box full of strange artifacts, and a killer who's now after them for that box. Oh, and then there's a little bit of magic. I liked the mystery but it just wasn't well written enough to thrill me. I found it confusing. I can see it trying to be a kids' version of The DaVinci Code, with all the references ...more
Fans of Artemis Fowl and Alex Rider should enjoy this series.
Every hundred years four children are selected to take on the task of ...something. Even after finishing the book I'm not entirely sure what that task is. The four children, Elletra, Harvey, Mistral, and Sheng, find themselves thrown together by the oddest of circumstances. It becomes obvious that these circumstances have been set up to place these four key players in the correct position to begin.

And so it does Rome. The descriptions of the city were quite nice and my version include
Robyn Hawk
Sep 26, 2009 Robyn Hawk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews, young-adult
Good Opener - left me with lots of questions......but isn't that what the first book in a "series" should do?

What is up with all the "haters"? Why so many negative reviews on Amazon? How many of you are teens or young adults? or readers of YA literature? I think this was a fun set-up for what I am hoping will be a great series.

It left me with unanswered questions - what is Aunt Irene's story - really? I get that the parents weren't involved as much as they should have been in real life - but I a
Jan 17, 2012 Yoel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 26, 2014 Mara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, mystery
I'll say it right now: this wasn't as good as the Ulysses Moore books. For one thing, it's written in present-tense, and unless I am just utterly losing my head, Ulysses Moore wasn't in present-tense. Sometimes present-tense can work, but very, very rarely, and in this case, it just made everything so very movie-ish, and anyone who has read my reviews before knows how much I dislike the movie feeling in literature.

On top of that, there just wasn't a single character that I particularly cared abo
Apr 16, 2010 Jennifer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2010
This review was originally posted on my review blog :

Elettra is the daughter of a hotel owner in Rome, and she has always done her part to help with anything the hotel needs. When there is a mix-up with reservations, she offers to allow three children from different cities of the world to spend their time in her bedroom with her. Their first night, they discover that not only do they now share a bedroom as their sleeping quarters, but the same birth date, F
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P. D. BACCALARIO was born in Acqui Terme, a beautiful little town in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy. He grew up in the middle of the woods with his three dogs and his black bicycle. He loves seeing new places and discovering new lifestyles, although, in the end, he always returns to the comfort of familiar ones.
More about Pierdomenico Baccalario...

Other Books in the Series

Century (4 books)
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