Emily, Trellis, and Vigo visit Algos Island, where they can access and enter lost memories. They’re hoping to uncover the events of Trellis’s mysterious childhood — knowledge they can use against the Elf King. What they discover is a dark secret that changes everything. Meanwhile, the voice of Emily’s Amulet is getting stronger, and threatens to overtake her completely.
Description taken from Goodreads.
This is a middle-grade novel, but I’m posting it here because it deserves to be read by anyone who has enjoyed a graphic novel or comic of any kind (and many other people who have never even touched a graphic novel or comic before, but that’s beside the point).
The point is that this story is epic and far-reaching and will drive you crazy, utterly insane, waiting every year for the next book to come out.
Before I read Firelight, my favorite in the series was the third volume, The Cloud Searchers, for many assorted reasons but mostly because of the magic that was talked about and the characters, new and old, who were fleshed out.
It’s too soon to tell, but Firelight might be my new favorite for exactly those reasons. This one has brought together everything about the magic, and the world of these novels, and smushed it all together to create suspense and disbelief (the best kind) and this inexplicably fascinating plot and world. I was sucked into this series as all over again, Firelight reminded me why I loved it so much in the first place.
More than that though, this volume delves into the characters, specifically Emily. If there’s any true main character of this series, it’s Emily. From the beginning, the narrative has centered around her, and all the reasons why she had to be the main character are finally showing up. She’s threatened more than ever in this novel, and she comes to question everything about who she is, why she’s working with the resistance and if she’s strong enough to resist the power of her stone.
Another thing I really admired was how well the author explains the magic of the stones and why stonekeepers are the people that they are. This is also the first time in the series that I felt like I truly understood the series’ purpose and what the end might be like further than just overthrowing the Elf King.
A few minor details: why does Leon not make any kind of appearance? He’s one of my favorite characters. Honestly, it’s been a long time since I read the fourth and fifth volumes, so I’m not sure where exactly we left him, but I was watching out for him in this one and didn’t find him. I’m assuming he’s going to matter in later books? If something happened to him or there’s a reason why he’s gone, feel free to correct me.
On the other hand, I thought that Max’s absence and the continuity of the plot after his death was very well-handled.
Moving on, I’ve never had a problem with Kibuishi’s minor characters before, but there was one specific deviation from the main plot that I didn’t understand. No spoilers, but Navin and crew end up working part-time jobs in order to obtain transportation. I can guess a few reasons for this. It introduces some potentially important supporting cast members, alerts the reader to the idea of the Elf King’s advances on Navin and crew, etc., but it felt out of place to me. Almost like it was nothing more than a drawn-out transition. It also slowed the pace of the story.
Nevertheless, I loved this book, and I’ll be going back through the series to find out exactly what’s happened with everyone so far. Firelight is gorgeous, Kibuishi’s art always is, but this one contributed the most to the plot, the series and our understandings of the characters. Beautiful novel, and I’m dying for the next book. I can’t say I don’t have my own assumptions about what will happen now that the book ended the way it did, and it if goes the way I think it will I’ll probably be disappointed, but I trust Kibuishi will surprise yet again. 4.5 stars.
pg count for the paperback: 224
Series: Amulet Volume 7