It is always hard to review the middle book of a trilogy. I don’t want to give anything away to those who have yet to read The Summer Tree, but how can you review a book without at least mentioning some plot points?
The Wandering Fire opens, as did book 1, in our world. But this time the character are dealing with the knowledge of Fionavar, and are having to cope with what happened to them there. Wondering did Kim’s last message get through to Aileron and the others, waiting to figure out how to get back.
When I first read this series this was in a way my favourite of the books, mainly because of something that happened towards the end that is wonderful in its subversion of the Tolkien elves sailing from the Grey Havens, and yet at the same time honours that image.
This time, however, it seems much more of a middle book. The difficult in-between one. There is no real beginning as we have been introduced to the world and the characters in book one, and there is no conclusion because we are still waiting for book three. Despite these problems I think that GGK does a good job of keeping the story moving, and creating a certain amount of closure at the end of this story.
The Wandering Fire also introduces us to the character of Arthur, of British legend, and we find out that his destiny is linked to one of the original five (I won’t tell you who). Here, Arthur is known as The Warrior, he has fought countless battles in many different worlds. And always he is forced to endure his curse, that of the triangle between himself Guinevere and Lancelot, and always he dies before the end. Will it be the same this time?