fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewschildren's fantasy book review Patrick Carman Atherton 2. Rivers of FireRivers of Fire by Patrick Carman

Rivers of Fire is by far the strongest book in the ATHERTON trilogy. From beginning to end, the plot moves quickly, the characters develop and play to their own strengths, mysteries are resolved,  bravery is tested, lives are lost, radical changes begin anew, foes are slain. And all while Atherton shows its true self.

Rivers of Fire picks right up where The House of Power left off — in the middle of a battle — so it gets going very quickly. All the way through Rivers of Fire there are major (and quite interesting) plot developments, and there is very little obvious ‘just setting up’ for the final installment, The Dark Planet. This makes for some wonderful story telling. By the end, there are  many answered questions and  a few large (but somewhat distant) unanswered ones. Thankfully, this installment doesn’t end with a major cliffhanger.

The characters in Rivers of Fire are exceptional. Even the minor characters have a meaningful role to play. From evil overlords to quiet shepherds, they are deep, well thought out, and some surprise us at the end.

I highly recommend Rivers of Fire, for it makes up for where the first installment fell short: It’s got non-stop action, great plot development, and deeply felt characters. Young readers, Rivers of Fire will grip your imagination from page one to the end.


Atherton — (2007-2008) Ages 9-12. Publisher: From the creator of the Land of Elyon comes a riveting adventure set in an extraordinary satellite world — created as a refuge from a dying Earth — that begins to collapse and forever change the lives of its inhabitants. Edgar, a gifted climber, is a lonely boy scaling the perilous cliffs that separate the three realms of Atherton: a humble fig grove; a mysterious highland world of untold beauty and sinister secrets; and a vast wasteland where he must confront an unspeakable danger that could destroy the people of Atherton. When Edgar discovers a book which contains the history of Atherton’s origins and ultimate apocalypse, his world — quite literally — begins to turn inside out.

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  • Skye Walker

    SKYE WALKER, who has been on FanLit’s staff since September 2014 (after a brief time on staff as a YA reviewer in 2007-2008), is from Canada. Their HBA in Anthropology and Communications allowed them to write an Honours paper on podcasting as the modern oral tradition of storytelling: something they will talk about at any and all opportunities. Skye is a communications professional in the non-profit sector. These days their favourite authors include Ursula K Le Guin, Bo Bolander, and Chris Wooding. They can be found on social media @tskyewalker