20 February, 2012

Review: Wind and Shadow by Kathy Tyers

Bestselling author of the Star Wars books, The Truce at Bakura and Balance Point, Kathy Tyers rewrote Firebird, her first and favorite science fiction novel, to deal more fully with questions of salvation and a search for faith. She has a gripping writing style and a mind for melding science and politics with a faith-based plot to make an intellectual, romantic, entertaining story that you can’t put down.
The first time I read it, I was awake long into the night as I attempted to finish it in one read. It remains my favorite of all her books (and in the top ten of my all-time favorite novels). The story is continued in its sequels: Fusion Fire and Crown of Fire. I highly recommend all three and would give the trilogy five stars.
I wrote the above review about three years ago, when I had once again re-read my favorite of Kathy's books. Now, after many years of torturous silence for her fans, she has returned with the fourth book in this series in Wind and Shadow, published in 2011 by Marcher Lord Press.
Wind and Shadow picks up Brennan and Firebird's story by following the lives of the three Caldwell children, now all grown up. While their younger sister Tiala has devoted her life to spiritual intercession on behalf of her people, twins Kiel and Kinnor have allowed their own opposite interests and beliefs to take them in very different directions from one another. But when the Sentinels' ancient enemy rises again on a familiar world, events bring the brothers together in ways they could not have foreseen as both of their lives are put at risk. Enter Wind Haworth, a Mikuhran diplomat whose desire to see peace between her people and the Sentinels is thwarted by both sides' mistrust of her. With no place to call her own, Wind finds a chance to belong when she and Kinnor Caldwell are thrown together. But will he trust her? The decisions Kinnor and Kiel make on one shattered planet will determine more than just their own fate – they will affect the outcome of entire worlds.
I was anxiously excited to read Wind and Shadow. It did not disappoint. As usual, Kathy's expert ability to tell a thrilling story while weaving the plot in and out of her characters' decisions and weaknesses shines in every part of this book. Familiar faces made me feel at home while the new characters led me into yet another rich layer of the Whorl that I thought I knew. The plot is fast-paced and so full of stunning descriptions that I felt the need to start it over again the moment I had read the last page, just to try and catch it all.
I particularly enjoyed the difficulties between the Caldwell brothers. Everything I had imagined they would be when reading about them as babies in the second and third books was wiped away in their actuality. For the better, in my opinion. Real struggles and sometimes difficult familial interactions made them lunge off the page.
In short, they captured my imagination.
Once more, Kathy has created a rip-roarin' good time and a gripping adventure as she leads readers in the exploration of tough theological questions. I loved this addition to the Firebird universe and cannot wait for the conclusion to this amazing series in the soon-to-be-published Daystar in April 2012.
My recommendation? Read it. Science fiction fans – and even those who aren't – will not be disappointed by this master storyteller.
Wind and Shadow and the newly released Annotated Firebird are available in both eBook and paperback formats from Marcher Lord Press, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon.
Sound off on your own thoughts on the novel - or any of Kathy's work - in the comments below. You can visit her author site here. And, please, spread the word on this amazing author by liking or tweeting this post.


  1. Thanks so much for the sweet review, Jessica! I really appreciate all the kind things you had to say (I'm Kathy's literary assistant.) I'm also looking forward to Daystar's release -- and I hope you enjoy it as much as Wind and Shadow. :)

  2. Hi Jamie! I really did enjoy it and I'm all for helping to promote Kathy's books. I plan to post about Daystar as soon as I get done reading it. :)


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