Book 2 of the Fionavar Tapestry finds five Canadian students returning to an alternate universe where they continue to fight an epic battle against a demonic demigod and step further into their unique destinies.
As with any good second book in a trilogy, The Wandering Fire deepens the Fionavar mythology and heightens the stakes for all involved.
At the outset of the book, the blandly named Kim, Jennifer, Kevin, Dave, and Paul have been back in Toronto for several months, attempting to assimilate all of the drastic changes they underwent in book one. Paul has returned from the brink of suicide, thanks to his redemption on the Summer Tree. Kim wears her preternaturally white hair as a token of her transformation into a seer. Kevin and Dave find academic life dull after the rigors of preparing for war. But it’s Jennifer who’s suffered the most. Ravished by the demon Maugrim, she’s seven months pregnant with his child. Maugrim meant for her to be killed, but Kimberly rescued her in time. Now, Jennifer believes that her son is random, existing outside the tapestry, and must live–even if it kills her.
Our five return to Fionavar, bringing with them a most unlikely companion: King Arthur, raised from the dead with a vital role to play. Maugrim has inflicted a crippling winter on Fionavar, thwarting their attempts to uncover the source of his power. Kay takes each character to surprising and even frightening places. His creativity is astonishing, and the storytelling full of surprises.
I do have another quibble with Kay. I got a little frustrated with how our five always ended up having knowledge of things they couldn’t possibly have known and have not been told. They are able to put pieces together in a way that’s impossible for the reader, and sometimes I felt that these scenes were underwritten. I don’t mind working while I read, but there were some places where I felt that more explanation could’ve really helped.