The Fire

Katherine Neville, Author . Ballantine $26 (451p) ISBN 978-0-345-50067-0

Fans of Neville’s debut, The Eight (1988), which long before there was a Da Vinci Code featured a complex historical setting, ciphers, conspiracies, puzzles and a hunt for an object that could change the course of the world, will welcome this stellar sequel. Alexandra Solarin, child chess prodigy now grown, finds herself immersed in “the Game,” searching for a legendary chess set, the Montglane Service, which when assembled spells out the formula for the secret of immortality. The quest for the set ranges from the harem of Ali Pasha in 19th-century Albania to present-day Baghdad and Washington, D.C., and involves such historic figures as Charlemagne, Isaac Newton, Lord Byron and Napoleon. Despite the staggering amount and quality of the research, nothing feels shoehorned or extraneous. The story’s relentless pace is matched by characters both sympathetic and real. In the end, readers will be heartened to find signs pointing to the continuation of the Game in future novels. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 08/04/2008
Release date: 10/01/2008
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-986-133-311-3
Paperback - 704 pages - 978-0-7393-2749-4
Paperback - 451 pages - 978-0-345-50068-7
Compact Disc - 978-0-7393-5708-8
Open Ebook - 310 pages - 978-0-345-50964-2
Mass Market Paperbound - 560 pages - 978-0-345-50924-6
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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