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The Fire Chronicle

(The Books of Beginning #2)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  7,328 ratings  ·  667 reviews
After the tumultuous events of last winter, Kate, Michael, and Emma long to continue the hunt for their missing parents. But they themselves are now in great danger, and so the wizard Stanislaus Pym hides the children at the Edgar Allan Poe Home for Hopeless and Incorrigible Orphans. There, he says, they will be safe. How wrong he is. 

The children are soon discovered by t
Paperback, 448 pages
Published August 27th 2013 by Yearling (first published 2012)
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Arsheen may be we can read it online bt i am unable to get a site where i can read it for free
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4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,328 ratings  ·  667 reviews

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Jeff Raymond
Putting aside Harry Potter, the landscape of children's fantasy is...strange. You have your classics (Redwall, various magical series from Lloyd Alexander, Fablehaven, etc), plenty of modern attempts to replicate Harry Potter or Tolkien (Eragon, anyone?). The modern stuff in particular repeatedly leaves me cold, though. Especially when you're looking for fantasy books with appeal to all genders, since most of the middle grade fiction that's not about sports or various wimpy/nerdy children is gea ...more
Mar 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After the huge success of Harry Potter, there has been a veritable explosion of fantasy novels aimed at the youth market. But like Harry Potter, some of these books have crossover appeal to teens and even adults.

A case in point is John Stephens enjoyable series "The Books of Beginning", which had its start in April 2011 with the publication of the first book in the series "The Emerald Atlas". In Stephens capable hands, this fantasy comes alive and shines. If you have not had a chance to read it,
Oct 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: on-the-shelf
I actually enjoyed this book more than the first one. Probably because, of the siblings, my favorite is Michael and this is his story. I was about to give this 5 stars ... until I read the ending. Yes, I know it's not a bad ending but knowing the third book won't come out until next year (please let it be next year!) was kind of a downer. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!!! lol.

When I said on my Emerald Atlas review that Emma was the least I liked ... I take it back lol. She really grew on me a
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I liked the second book of this trilogy better than the first. I think author John Stephens developed all three sibling's characters, although once again they are separated as Kate time travels back to the turn of the 19th century Chicago when the magic world went into hiding. Her time there, and her relationship with Rafe and his troupe, was well done, and we are provided with helpful background about the evil Dire Magnus. Meanwhile, Michael leads an expedition to recover the Chronicle into a m ...more
Feb 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Initial thoughts:

1. Michael was both sweet and that sibling/brotherly way. Lot's of great character development and introspection with his character.
2. So much magic and adventure! Fun, fast-paced read. CRAZY CLIFFHANGER CHAPTERS.
3. There were quite a few Dumbledore-eque moments with Dr. Pym. It was awesome. :)
4. Which reminds me, there were quite a few elements that reminded me of Harry Potter and LOTR... Not too sure how I feel about that. Just something I noticed.
5. Lot's of fun
Jul 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade, audio
My first thought upon finishing this was dismay - oh NO, it's over and I have wait until the next one is published to find out what happened. When am I ever going to learn my lesson about the middle book in a trilogy. This was even better than the first one, even if (again) we have children of destiny and magic books and, now, elves. And the obligatory visit to Manhattan.
This story is Michael's, and he doesn't disappoint. We also meet Rafe - oh man, Rafe.
I should point out that I am reviewing
Hannah White
This book was amazing. It started out kind of slow, but after about 50-60 pages in, I was hooked. Haven't been able to put it down all day. So good! A lot of things were kind of predictable (at least for me) but that did not withdraw from how much I enjoyed this novel. I love the themes of this book. I love how real all the siblings are and how relatable I find them. I love Kate, how loving and selfless and kind and strong she is. I love Emma, how stubborn and brave she is, and I can't wait to s ...more
Michael Fitzgerald
The potentially powerful aspects of this story - taking on the sins of another - are squandered by the juvenile crap and dreadful touchy-feely presentation. "Choose life!" What is this, the gospel according to George Michael?

The star of this book is Michael, but he is a very unappealing character and (partly through Jim Dale's narration) the elf princess is awful in her syrupy sappiness. The elf vs. dwarf dichotomy is very poorly translated from Tolkien via the LOTR movies and reaches a new low
Clare D
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just can't put down this series! I felt this book did not have an ending, but I am not disappointed because who wants a good book to end?
Miss Clark
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Since I gave the first book in this series four stars, I feel I simply must give this one five, as the series merits at least four and this second book in the trilogy may, in fact, and most unusually, be even better than the first. It really deserves much more buzz than has come my way, and many more readers. I'm going to have to find more ways to highlight and recommend the series while we wait for the final installment.

Early on, this book gives a nice little summary of the first one (though th
I wasn't overly thrilled with The Emerald Atlas and even less so with this middle-of-the-trilogy book; the influences of Rowling, Tolkein, Lewis and others was just so overt and the new blend didn't work for me.

Example? A Big Bad who is supposed to be dead, but somehow still lives in an incorporeal form (and is looking to find a "new" body). Example? A world of magic and a world of 'normal' that exist side-by-side but with the normals not realizing (at least, they don't after the Great Separatio
AAAUUUUGGGGGGHH! So I IMMEDIATELY need to start the final book. John Stephens, you are a very cruel man. I'm glad that I read them now so that I didn't have to wait and wait and wait for the last book.

So much for development in this one and insight into what drives our characters. Rats, trying not to give anything away here. Nope it's hopeless; can't do it. Anyway, thought that this was excellent and did not suffer from what many bridging books in a series do with that tedium till you get to th
Jan 22, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
How could this book possibly be any better than The Emerald Atlas, the first in The Books of Beginning? Well, if not better, it is at least as good as the first, and now I can't wait for the third (which is not even titled as of yet). Harry Potter, make room?

Kate, Michael, and Emma are a year older and in the grip of grave danger. There are plenty of surprises, with much re-thinking of previous conceptions (mis-conceptions?). Lots of character growth here, and again leaves one asking "who to tr
ullianachase (hiatus)
I could not tear myself away from it. And as a result, i've read this book in one day! 500 pages in russian in one day without long breaks. This book remings me of The Chronicles of Narnia, a little bit Harry Potter and Sisters Grimm! Truly funny, adventurous story with fantastic siblings relationship.

Already started reading the third and final book.
Literary Princess
I still like this series, but it's a bit too much "Harry Potter meets Lord of the Rings" for me to truly appreciate. I crave original fantasy! I did rather enjoy the parts where Kate was off in history, but not so much Michael and Emma's journey and battle.

Also, perhaps part of my problem is that I listened to Jim Dale read this. All of his voices for this are the same as his Harry Potter voices.
Ashley Brooke
Oct 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book three, please! On the double! (please!)

While 'The Emerald Atlas' was Kate's book, 'The Fire Chronicle' is Micheal's time to shine! Don't miss out on this sequel. It is just as cleverly written as its predecessor and will stick with you well after finishing the last sentence on the last page.

Book three can't come soon enough!
Rick Stuckwisch
May 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This second book has maintained the excellence of this riveting, well-woven trilogy. Really engaging and thoroughly enjoyable. Masterful story, constantly moving forward on a complex but coherent path. Believable, realistically flawed, and sympathetic characters. I'd compare the books favorably to those of Harry Potter and the Mysterious Benedict, sitting comfortably between those two series.
Oct 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's done, and now I have to wait for the third episode in this trilogy. Jim Dale's narration adds to the enjoyment of the three children seeking books of power as well as their parents, who went into hiding to protect their offspring as well as the books. It's a wonderful fantasy, with dwarves, trolls, elves, and wizards. It's not just for young adults!
Sandy Irwin
Nov 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
A very exciting adventure/fantasy novel. There were some parts that were clearly inspired by the Lord of the Rings, but otherwise, it was a very original story. I am looking forward to the final installment!
Elaine Lowitz
Mar 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Story! Can't wait for the final book! It is a young adult novel in the fantasy genre, with terrific characterizations of the three children who are the main characters, loaded with excitement, humor, suspense and cliff hangers. Well done by John Stephens!
Jul 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love The Fire Chronicle! I finished this one and started the next one immediately so I don't really what happened in which book, but I loved Jake and Beetles. I'm considering opening up a shop. Anyway this was a great sequel to and awesome first book and the whole series this far is amazing.
Aug 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm consistently impressed by TV authors who take up novel writing. Minus a few awkward passages, this is an excellent follow-up to "Atlas!" Highly recommend! Truly, this is the heir apparent "Potter" fans have been waiting for.
Diana Braxton
Wow. Going back, I am remembering all the things I loved about this series. The characters are so real and genuine, and everything about this book I hold close to my heart. I'm excited to finally read The Black Reckoning and finish the series I started almost eight years ago.
Kaatje Welsh
Aug 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was AMAZING!!!!!!! I can not even explain how good this book is....
I highly recommend this book!!!
This is a great book for ages 8-12. This is an amazing book...
Aug 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I also loved this one!
Jan 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even better than the first, he is really fleshing out the characters and creating a cool world!
Enjoyable, but not nearly as good as the first one. Michael can be really annoying at times, though his heart is good. Will listen to the last one, but gonna take a break from them first.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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The Fire Chronicle (Spoilers) 20 74 Feb 23, 2016 05:49PM  
Book Three 4 30 Jul 29, 2014 02:10PM  
Book Three Title Speculation 12 36 Dec 30, 2012 06:24PM  

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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

John Stephens spent ten years working in television and was executive producer of Gossip Girl and a writer for Gilmore Girls and The O.C. He holds an MFA from the University of Virginia. John and his wife have a dog named Bug and live in Los Angeles. His debut book 'The Emerald Atlas' is the first in a series of

Other books in the series

The Books of Beginning (3 books)
  • The Emerald Atlas (The Books of Beginning, #1)
  • The Black Reckoning (The Books of Beginning, #3)
“The point of life isn't to avoid pain. The point of life is to be alive! To feel things. That means the good and the bad. There'll be pain. But also joy, and friendship and love. And it's worth it, believe me.” 25 likes
“Dragons are notable for their lust for gold, not a bad quality taken in moderation. Dragons are immune to fire, obviously. All dragons are terrifically vain, indeed as to who is more vain, a dragon or an elf, I would not want to be the one to decide. Hint: an elf. A dragon should never be engaged in conversation as they are inveterate liars and tricksters, though if you're actually talking to a dragon, you're pretty much toast anyway. Never, ever call a dragon a worm, no matter how much they're asking for it.” 11 likes
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