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Blue Fire Burning
Tales of the Pahleen

Hobb Whittons

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : AuthorHouse

Published : 2011

Copyright : Hobb Whittons 2011

ISBN-10 : PB 1-4520-9393-8
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-4520-9393-2

Publisher's Write-Up

In the dead of night, a covered wagon driven by a hooded, faceless being is careering through the forest at breakneck speed. Inside the wagon, sit two jittery Goblin men: Grot and Mouldy. Suddenly, the contents of the sack they are staring at begin to glow...

Consumed by the desire for revenge, the Goblins' wicked Dark Mistress sets diminutive winged telepaths, the Pahleen, a riddle they must work out if they are to get back what they have lost and save the world known as Wadjamaat.

Desperately, King Kilron searches high and low but finds no clue. Then, something unexpected happens in Haggles Cove and the race is on again...but there is a sting in the tail. To have a chance of succeeding, Kilron must now face the prospect of doing something always forbidden to his ancient race.

Meanwhile, unaware of the planet's 'ticking clock', the cosmopolitan human population of the walled naval port of Bellana are busy getting their wondrous Mermaid Stadium ready for the grand Argia Final. With canine companion Wolf in tow, country girl Hahmi Merkin gets a hostile reception when she enters the city. She heads for the sanctuary of blacksmith friend, Aristide Brindle's house where she leaves her horse and cart. Entrusted with his son's 'paddywhack', she sets off for the stadium. What happens after that is beyond even her wildest imagining...

Throughout this magical and marauding tale, love, trust and a craving to belong do battle against prejudice, religious fanaticism and the lust for power - and the stakes could not be higher.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Chrissi (020711) Rating (8/10)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 8/10
This is a charming story about the Pahleen, a race of small beings that inhabit a world which they share with humans. Long ago they chose not to disclose their presence because of the vices that they saw in people and undisclosed they remain. Some people, though, are good, and although they have hard lives, they manage to remain so and the main character of the piece, Hahmi, is such a person.

Hahmi is a girl who lives with her dog and a pretty awful woman who would appear to be a rather nasty piece of work. Hahmi is different and some narrow minded people treat her badly because of that, but her close friends are gallant and brave and when things go awry, they set out to help her.

Hahmi gets hurt fleeing from Nocturnia, a dark and nasty being who uses magic to manufacture dead servants and to control her goblin horde. In her unconscious fragile state she is protected by the Pahleen, and when she wakes up she feels that she has to go to find the presence that she knows protected her, describing it as two hearts beating together. As she is trying to leave, driven to find this presence, her friend Tahnia is taken by Nocturnia and Hahmi and her friends become involved in an undertaking to rescue Tahnia and destroy Nocturnia, assisted by the Pahleen.

For a first novel, this is quite something, well structured, well edited and nicely paced, I read it in something like five sittings. Although Mr Whittons does not say for whom he wrote this story, I would place it well in older child / young teenager territory, there is loss and some rather gruesome bits, involving goblins and cadavers, but there is charm, bravery, friendship and a disreputable dog called Wolf.

It is kind of like a fairy story, but it is more than that, there are lovely flights of imagination and description, with games and excitement and a really horrible villain who so deserves her comeuppance. The goblins and the winglets amused me, although I was a bit thrown when I first heard the goblins speak; Mr Whittons uses some lovely northern phrases for them, it gave them a definite character and made them much more engaging, in spite of being slightly odious beings with obsessive and somewhat gross appetites.

All in all, I enjoyed this, it is entertaining and clever and smart and charming, I can see it being a big hit with small people, particularly girls, too young for something like Twilight but old enough to be reading stuff like Garth Nix’ Keys to the Kingdom or the Ragwitch. Oh, and the blue eclipse image on the front is kind of cool, too.
Chrissi (2nd July 2011)

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