262 pages
ISBN 0-00-639194-X
DDC jC813'.54




Reviewed by Anne Hutchings

Anne Hutchings, a former elementary-school teacher-librarian with the
Durham Board of Education, is an educational consultant.


Firewing is the sequel to Kenneth Oppel’s critically acclaimed
Silverwing and Sunwing. We meet Griffin, who, in trying to live up to
the reputation of his legendary father, Shade, attempts to steal fire
for the bat colony. In doing so he causes the death of his best friend,
Luna. Grief-stricken and ashamed, Griffin hides in a tunnel deep in the
roots of his Tree Haven home. An earthquake splits the forest, and
Griffin plunges through a fissure into the cold, grey, lifeless Land of
the Dead.

Shade must now find Griffin and bring him home quickly and safely. And
he must do this before his old nemesis, Goth (of Sunwing fame), can
capture Griffin and sacrifice him to the evil god Cama Zotz. A desperate
race ensues as Griffin and Luna, with Shade following, attempt to reach
the Tree—their passage into the next world—before Goth can reach

While having read Silverwing and Sunwing would increase understanding
and enjoyment of Firewing, the novel can certainly stand on its own.
Packed with action, vivid description, narrow escapes, questionable
decisions, and uncertain schemes, this suspenseful fantasy will keep
readers turning the pages right to the end. Even those who have
previously only barely tolerated bats will feel sympathetic toward
Griffin and his kin. Firewing is destined to be just as popular as it
predecessors. Highly recommended.


Oppel, Kenneth., “Firewing,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed February 21, 2024,