This series is written by a professional map-maker or cartographer. He definitely takes his story from the point of view of the landscape. He adds detailed maps to the books. The maps are good in case you get lost trying to find out where various parties of characters are in that world. I've read some reviews that say there are too many characters to keep up with - but I didn't find that to be so. His characters are well-developed for the most part. Some characters seem to have a hard time "finding themselves". Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. Since it is to a large extent a story of the world I was glad that there were frequent breaks in the reading and change over to different characters and where they were on the journey. It allowed me to take a breather. The usual inconsistencies are included - long trek in hostile lands with little to no access to food and water although there never seems to be pressing deprivation despite the lack of ability to carry supplies. Just a small thing.
I only made it half way through this book and have now reposted it. In short, the title is accurate. The author is a professor of Geography in New Zealand, and the story follows a long journey of a small group of adventurers "Across the Face of the World." While the long journey is a tried and true literary vehicle, this one was unexciting. The characters saw lots of natural sights, and the plot developed a bit, but overall I didn't much care about the characters or the story. It was too much about the face of the world and too little about telling a good story.
Book 1 of the trilogy. I thought this book started a bit slowly, but sticking with it was certainly worth the effort. Very quickly I became caught up in the world Kirkpatrick has created and gained an emotional link to the characters. I have just started book 2 and can't wait to see what happens next. These books are ones you can truly get lost in.
In this book, five villagers set out on a quest to warn of an invading army. Many obstacles are set against them, and they face many struggles - both internal and external -along the way. It's a really great book! I liked it very much: the imagery and scenery are superb without being overwhelming, drawing you in without inundating you. This world is very vividly created, down to the smallest details. Like Tolkien, you get the feeling that you're entering a real world, rather than persuading your imagination to overlook implausibilities. A great read - I recommend it for sure!
AL F. (JandAinAZ) reviewed Across the Face of the World (Fire of Heaven Trilogy) on
Helpful Score: 1
I got about half way through this book and gave up. It really has a lot going for it but sadly it did not pan out, at least for me. I put it down a few times and tried again after awhile, but at last gave up and am now posting it. Good descriptions of the landscapes, but unintriguing characters. One point which stuck in my craw was that the group was leaving the village in winter, which was played up to be very harsh in their part of the world and that to even leave the village for a short distance was hazardous, Instead an old fat, out of shape mayor, a 16-18 year old girl who is basically kidnapped with no prep for the trip, two teen boys and a 70 year old man seem to have no problems hiking for weeks and getting through it.
If you like outdoor imagery you may enjoy it. As an adventure read it fell very flat for me
I managed to plow my way through this book but never got really excited about the characters. There were so many implausible scenarios it would be impossible to list them all in this short space. How exactly do you hold a sword between someones shoulder blades when you are both riding on the same horse, I just cannot picture it. But the descriptions of the scenery and the geography of the land they traveled through were very evocative. If this author were to write a travelogue I would be first in line to purchase it.