The Wandering Fire: The Fionavar Tapestry Book II


298 pages
ISBN 0-00-223044-5





Reviewed by Sam Coghlan

Sam Coghlan was Deputy Director and Senior Consultant of the Thames Ontario Library Service Board, Southwestern Ontario.


One must read The Fionavar Tapestry, Book I, in order to comprehend Book II. I did, and found myself wishing for a book three. The story tells of five Canadian young people who attend a lecture by a well-known mystic. They become involved in an adventure in another reality, in a place called Fionavar where magic works and they are important to the resolution of the cosmic struggle that is about to confront that world.

Fantasy fiction of this sort can be so predictable. But not only does Guy Gavriel Kay not rely upon trite predicaments and solutions, he creates characters that are as enthralling as the magic they spin. Creating an alternate universe is a matter of imagination, creating one that captures a reader’s imagination as Kay has done requires talent.

I distrust novels that offer lengthy lists of characters at the beginning, but when I began this second novel, discovered that I knew who all the characters were and where they fitted into the scheme of things. Most impressive was the fact that for many of them I remembered a distinct personality.

It is not important to tell what exactly the five characters do in Fionavar. You won’t believe it anyway, until you’re reading the books.


Kay, Guy Gavriel, “The Wandering Fire: The Fionavar Tapestry Book II,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 23, 2024,