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Fire Bringer

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  13,168 ratings  ·  460 reviews
Young buck Rannoch was born on the night his father was murdered and into a herd of deer where hunger for power has gradually whittled away at all that is true and good. He knows he must escape to survive. Chased by stags, with their fearsome antlers sharpened for the kill, he begins a treacherous journey into the unknown, and ahead of him lies a shocking and formidable se ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 498 pages
Published 2002 by Firebird, Penguin Putnam, Inc (first published October 8th 1999)
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Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  13,168 ratings  ·  460 reviews

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Dec 03, 2008 rated it it was ok
This book tries to be a Watership Down with deer. The problem is it is too much of a Watership Down with deer. It doesn't really stand apart from Watership. It is a pale imitation for three reasons. The first is many of the characters are cardboard cut-outs, either based off of the rabbits from Watership or off of stock characters that appear in novels. The second reason is that the world-building that Clement-Davies does for the deer doesn't fully make sense. There are small errors in it that s ...more
May 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I've discovered that what most people think when they look at this book is "It's an epic fantasy about deer? Well, unless you're some kind of deer lover, it's got to be boring, right?"


In his debut novel, Clement-Davies spins a world of incredible, realistic fantasy. Much as he did later in "The Sight," he populates this world with prophecies, myths, dark forces, spirits, gods, and unlikely heroes and heroines. And the result never ceases to amaze me.

High in the hills of Scotland, amid one
Mallory Shepherd
Jan 16, 2015 rated it did not like it
I barely made it through the book. The author does not understand the storytelling concept of "don't tell me, show me." Instead of that he gives you "I will show you and THEN also tell you in case you missed it the first time. And while I'm telling you I'm going to explain the significance just in case you weren't paying attention to the story or are too dumb to follow along." It was arduous trying to make it through and completely distracted from the story, which wasn't a strong narrative to be ...more
Jan 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: animal lovers and people who are ready to read about something new
Recommended to Oxy by: my crazy mind
Shelves: 5-star-pre-2015
One thing - I really really REALLY don't like Clement-Davies' writing. You might even come to say that I despise it with a fiery passion. But it seems like no matter what I do, I keep being drawn to his books. First The Sight, which I really despised. Then The Telling Pool, which was so boring that I seriously felt myself losing brain cells. WHY did I keep reading his books if i absolutely positively hated did not like them??? Well, I was browsing books, and I wandered over to the C's. I saw "Fi ...more
Jun 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
AJ Nolan
Aug 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I should change my category of "children's literature" to young adult literature, but I digress. My nephew recommended this book with rave reviews, and he was dead on with that. As soon as he finished this book, he read it a second time, which is quite a commitment in a rather long book, with much smaller print than most young adult novels. This book is reviewed as being a "Watership Down" but with rabbits, and that seems like quite the fair assessment. It is set in Scotland about 400 years ago, ...more
Kailey (Luminous Libro)
As a little fawn, Rannoch is born with an oak leaf mark on his forehead that signals the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy. When his father is murdered on the very night of his birth, Rannoch must be hidden and kept safe from the eyes of the tyrant deer lord, Drail. As Drail gets closer to discovering Rannoch's true identity, Rannoch and his friends must flee to the North, propelling them on an epic journey towards freedom and healing for all the deer in Scotland.

It took me awhile to get into t
Jul 14, 2011 rated it liked it
A Watership Down for Deer!

It took me about two pages to get into this book. To be honest, I know almost nothing about deer and I was a bit lost at first by the descriptions of their bez tines and trez tines but that turned out to be a very small hindrance indeed. The writing is superb and I found myself frequently thinking back to the story during the day between readings and wondering what would happen to the characters and whether or not they would be OK without me.

The parallels to the nativit
Jan 02, 2020 rated it liked it
I didn't realize until this rereading that the plot of this story is lifted almost wholesale from Watership Down. Obviously, there are some adjustments for species, as rabbits and deer don't behave in precisely the same way, but the amount of overlap on major plot points is large enough that I'm surprised I didn't notice it sooner.

That said, I don't think this is a bad adaptation. In fact, I think it's very well done. This is still one of my favorite books, and I will fall back to reread this on
Jenny Nielsen
Sep 06, 2010 rated it did not like it
This book is Watership Down with deer. Seriously. It's the same story, but with deer. We have the strange deer who are be raised by men, stories of the deer god, the evil authoritarian deer, the seer deer, and pretty much every detail word for word of Watership Down except each word "rabbit" is replaced with "deer". It even ends with *the exact same scene.* I can't believe Richard Adams actually gave this book a positive review. He must have forgotten his own story or been too flattered/innocent ...more
Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a TOTAL must read. I simply loved this book. Yes, there was bloodshed. Yes, some parts were sad. But this was AMAZINGLY written. To write so perfectly from the POV of a deer? Wow. This book deserved all 5 stars even though, as I admitted, it's gory and very sad at times. And the ending is happy...but sad. READ THIS IMMEDIATELY. ...more
Barak Fredrickson
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Solid character development throughout. Lots of characters to keep track of though. It is a very long, but worthwhile read.
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I borrowed a copy of Fire Bringer from a far-away friend I only see in person once a year. It got buried in my TBR stack until I found it about a week before my yearly visit with that friend. "It says Young Adult on the back!" I assured myself. "I'll just finish what I'm reading now, then I'll have three days or so to read it. That's more than enough time for a quick YA book."

I hadn't considered that Fire Bringer was published in 1999, and "Young Adult" wasn't then what it is now.

Fire Bringer fo
Feb 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is easily one of the best books I have ever read. Fire Bringer is about a young fawn named Rannoch who is born with a whit fawn mark shaped like an oak leaf on his brow. Becausde of this mark, he is believed to be part of The Prophecy. Meanwhile, Lord Drail, the herds leader, is plotting to take over all of the herds in the Low Lands. Brechin, Rannochs father, is murdered that same night and some deer realize that Rannoch will be in danger. Fern, Alyth, Bracken, Shira, Canisp, and Breach ar ...more
Aug 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: any child or young adult
Shelves: my-favorites
This book is for any animal lover or not, a gripping tale of a struggle from a deer's point of view. A young adults' book but older and younger people could enjoy it also.
"There is a prophecy among deer. One day, a fawn will be born with the mark of an ok leaf upon his forehead. His courage will lead the deer to freedom; his strength will defeat their greatest enemy."

Rannoch is born the night his father is murdered. As the attention is turned to him, he must run for his life as stags who won t
Anna Pappas
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fire Bringer quite honestly blew me out of the water. With the depth of the plot, the creatively woven conflicts, and bold character development, it’s hard to know where to start. I did not think this book was going to be as detailed and thought-out as it was. It’s one of those engaging stories where you learn seemingly insignificant information in the beginning and you facepalm when everything falls into place at the end. It’s a cliffhanger start to finish. I was so enthralled that I finished i ...more
NS - Cami Houston
Appropriate 9-12-"Firebringer" did not disappoint. A good book for me captures my attention from the beginning; I don't have much patience for books to grow into something. The establishment of characters and gorgeous setting, the tyranny of the politics mixed with the theme of animals to compare to people, are all great elements set up in the first chapter. This book is not without its surprising twists and turns, and I guarantee a reader won't get bored with this novel if they're into animal-t ...more
Maddie Laidlaw
Aug 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Rannoch is a young deer with a oak leaf mark on his head. Little does he know, there is a prophecy among the deer that says that the oak leaf marked fawn will lead the way to peace and happiness. Well the Lord of the Herd, Drail, didn't like that since it would damage his power so the night Rannoch was born, the night his father died, he sent out the Dralia to find and kill him. The Dralia are young stags that protect Drail. Rannoch had to hide and eventually escape. To find out the details and ...more
What a masterpiece this adventurous fantasy novel was. Rich in detail that applies to all of the senses, carefully crafted chapters, skillfully-worded scenes make this MG book as good as it gets. Sending readers on a wild ride in early Scotia, David Clement-Davies leaves nothing out yet trims his paragraphs to perfection. An epic tale of learning who you are, destiny, war, and friendship. Highly recommended. 5 out of 5 stars.
Oct 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Definately one of my all-time favorite books. If you liked Watership Down, this story has a lot of parallels. It's an adventure story with philosophic and moral insights enough to intrigue the reader whom, like me, won't read a book unless it'll change me a bit but not so much that it overwhelms you. ...more
Feb 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites

that is what this book is about. I was so sad that it ended, very sad. I loved this book - and even though I don't really read about deers, it was very interesting. I loved it so much and I am sad that it ended. If I had to chose a book to read again, I would so read this one.
Aug 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
I've had this book since i was about 13 and have read it so many times. I love it, its so exciting and epic, its like an animal lord of the rings full of adventure, betrayal, loyalty and courage and it has a great moral background of fighting for what you believe.A thrilling ride =D ...more
Carolyn Klassen
Feb 02, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021
Basically knock-off Watership Down but done badly with deer. This misses the whole allegory about authoritarian governments and herd mentality that Richard Adams employs and makes a mediocre "chosen one" story. ...more
This is a childhood favourite and while it stands up to the test of time I am sad to say am I not as enarmored with the story as I was when I was younger.
Also, its darker than I remembered.
Nov 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-middlegrade
I never read this as a kid, but my sister did and told me a lot about it. All the issues I have with it are the same ones she had back then: it's just a copy of Watership Down by Richard Adams, with less understanding of how to combine actual animal behaviour into an anthropomorphised culture.

This doesn't mean it's a bad book, per say. I did really enjoy the writing! It has a nice mix of grand mythology and everyday description, and there are some really original moments in the story itself...W
Samantha de Mattos
I loved this book. I didn't think that a story told entirely from the point of view of animals would have a place in literature outside of stories directed to children, but this completely changed my tune on that.
Thrilling from start to finish!
The lives of the animals are so well thought out considering their natural life cycles, and I say that speaking as a zoology graduate. Couldn't put this book down
Mads Whitmarsh-Jones
Fire Bringer is one of those titles that sticks with you, one of the ones you heard all about at one time or another; it was the book that all the cool kids had read and that everyone knew about. For me, this was a middle school sentiment. It was with those memories in mind when I took it down off my shelf, where it has waited patiently for years.

It's also worth mentioning that I had read The Sight, also by Clement-Davies, when I still was in middle school. About the only things I can recall abo
Lamonica Williams
In the lands of Scotland lives a herd of deer. Among this herd is Rannoch, a special deer with a prophecy chasing him. On the night he was born, the head deer, Drail, and his second, Sgorr, were killing certain members of the herd called Outriders. Rannoch's father was killed forcing several other deer to leave in hopes to get away from all the trouble. As Rannoch grows he learns more about the prophecy and how he plans on stopping Drail and Sgorr.

I chose to read this book because I read David
Jan 10, 2016 rated it did not like it
This is a boring story marred by left-wing ideology.

“Man is cruel and cold. He eats up everything he touches. He enslaves Lera and breaks the laws of the forest. Because, Rannoch, he is the only creature that hunts without need.”

Clement-Davies dearly wanted to write an equal to William Horwood’s Duncton Wood, complete with a character named Bracken, but ended up writing a repetitive, boring story filled with one-dimensional characters. While his writing is clean with good grammar, the story itse
Jul 21, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
So Devin picked this book up off the shelf for me, and in skimming the dust jacket, I read "grand epic of old Scotland" and thought, "cool, a Scottish legend? that sounds neat." However, it was not really a legend, but the author's own creation (or perhaps, not even that, it seemed an awful lot like Watership Down). That said, the story was SOOOOO slow. I just couldn't get into this book, and it took me over two months to read the first 180 pages. Not very much happened and it just followed a sm ...more
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What's the Name o...: Book about deer society...? [s] 6 27 Dec 15, 2014 06:50PM  
Fire Bringer by David Clement-Davies 10 33 Jul 22, 2014 02:29AM  

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David was born in 1964 and went to Westminster School and Edinburgh University. There, Clement-Davies read History and English Literature, specializing in the Italian Renaissance, and Russian Literature and Society. For many years, he dreamed of one day becoming an actor taking a drama course and working in theater. However, he was also interested in writing and soon became a freelance travel jour ...more

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“Mamma," whispered Rannoch as he nestled by her side, "what is man?"
Bracken looked into her calf's eyes. "Man? Man is something you must always fear."
"But why must I fear him?" asked Rannoch.
"Because, my little one...man is cruel and cold. He eats up everything he touches. He enslaves Lera and breaks the laws of the forest. Because, Rannoch, he is the only creature that hunts without need.”
“On his brow a leaf of oaken, Cangeling child shall be his fate. Understanding words strange spoken, Chased by anger, fear, and hate.” 20 likes
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