The Firestone is the first in at least a three book series by Francesca Tyer. These are marketed as young adult fantasy, although I think they read as middle grade, with an older target audience. Francesca also sells her books at Mynt Image Craft Fairs, although we overlap our chosen areas.
The Firestone (The Elemental Prophesy #1)
by Francesca Tyer
In the early hours, just after midnight, a power cut strikes and in an abandoned street, a broken clock starts ticking…
James Fynch doesn’t believe in magic. He is an ordinary boy, immersed in the world of modern technology, until on his fourteenth birthday something extraordinary happens. Turning the dials of an ancient clock, he finds himself mysteriously transported to a magical, parallel world. Here, he begins to learn of the firestone, one of four mythical crystals able to defeat the rising darkness. The barrier between worlds hasn’t been broken for centuries, but with dark powers rising, it is more fragile than ever before. Confronted with darkness, danger and death, James must begin a perilous quest to find the firestone…
The Firestone is the first book in Francesca Tyer’s spellbinding The Elemental Prophesy series. If you enjoyed His Dark Materials , The Lord of the Rings , The Chronicles of Prydain and Harry Potter , you may just love The Firestone. [goodreads]
I could list many more titles that I’ve read that seem more in keeping for the readership guide than the four listed. But I suppose ‘young person discovers magical powers on his/her birthday and spends a long time being mystified by a new world before being drawn into a quest’ is a popular theme.
This is a well-constructed quest story, with magical ingredients that the protagonist, James, does not have in his own world (ours). Miniature clocks (I love clocks), mysterious clan-like signs, and lack of electricity all have their place. James’ mobile phone doesn’t work (but the light does, which is useful). Yet something seems to affect it, turning it on in the middle of the night.
Ms Tyer is strong on details of her world, and includes a map, which is probably useful. However the relationship between the different countries and their vegetation and terrain is beautifully described. Even some smells are included, which is very difficult to do well. The writing style shifts between a slightly old-fashioned ‘tell’ style to a more active engagement with the protagonist for action scenes. I wondered whether this was partly due to it being a first book.
The elements of the plot are carefully brought together, with clue being laid on red herring. James and his new friends have plenty to occupy them in their search to uncover the mystery. It might be interesting to see how this develops in the second and third books. I think the fourth is due this year.