“With its distinctive setting and intriguing plot, The Fire and the Light is an engaging
start for a fantasy series for teens...Tracy Akers employs the classic elements of
fantasy that readers love. Her intricate portrayals of the various regions, with all their
political and social tension, make Aredyrah come alive and invite readers to become
fully immersed in the setting. A dangerously powerful Priestess of Tearia, a mysterious
prophecy, and the promise of a coming battle between good and evil create suspense,
tension, and a sense of adventure.

The pacing of the novel is particularly suited for a fast read. Short chapters and the
race to rescue Dayn and Alicine from Tearian guards make the book a page turner ...
Topics such as social injustice, religion, and prejudice allow for further exploration
and conversation.

As the book comes to a close, readers suddenly confront a variety of unresolved plot
lines, such as the revelation of a portion of the prophecy and glimpses into the
Priestess’s growing control over the Tearian kingdom. With these teasers. Akers sets
the stage for her subsequent novels and leaves the reader wanting more.”

                   -- ForeWord Clarion Review

“Picking up shortly after where the first Souls of Aredyrah book, The Fire and the
Light, left off, The Search for the Unnamed One preserves the adventurous and
exciting spirit of the series as Reiv and Dayn face new challenges that test their
courage and define who they will become...

Akers further develops her characters in this second novel. Dayn overcomes the pain
of his past and finds self-worth as he fights for justice. Reiv loses much of his prideful
nature and, more importantly, any remaining longing to rejoin the Tearians after his
otherworldly experience shows him the cruel truth of their reign. The fact that the
characters exhibit new behaviors and emotions in this sequel only increases the vested
interest readers have in their fates.

Although this book ends with more finality than the first, there are a few hints that
Reiv’s role is not yet fulfilled. There is also plenty of potential for Dayn and Alicine’s
story to continue in this enjoyable series.”

                   -- ForeWord Clarion Review

“The Taking of the Dawn, the third installment in this exciting series, follows the two
main characters, Dayn and Reiv, through parallel journeys as they face evils more
powerful than ever before. Akers builds on the strength of her previous novels,
creating the strongest and most enjoyable book of the series thus far. Her ability to
develop secondary characters that are fully integrated into the novel allow the reader
to get to know Falyn and Sheireadan, Dayn’s love interest  and her brother, and Eyan,
Dayn’s cousin. Akers also deepens the character of Reiv, allowing him to grow into his
role as leader while tempering his earlier selfishness and impulsive nature with more
thoughtful behavior...

Akers’ typical fast pace creates an even higher level of intensity in this novel, and the
easy transitions from Dayn’s story to Reiv’s make for a quick read. Although events
spill out one after another, the author allows for subplots outside of the main story arc.
By not dwelling on any one plot element in particular, Akers keeps the reader from getting too bogged down in backstory or narrative.

Akers also expands on some of the themes from the first two books as she explores
religious and cultural ideology, sexuality, and identity...

Similar to her previous novels, The Taking of the Dawn is a great introduction to the
fantasy genre. Akers has written another entertaining and exciting story that will captivate teens and adults and leave them anticipating her next book.”

                   --ForeWord Clarion Review

"The Fire and the Light is a spellbinder, a book to treasure, a novel of rare power and originality, brimming with, yes, fire and light. Its fascinating, multi-layered plot examines, in mythological terms, a societal system webbed in isolationism and superstition. Sensitive, and richly-textured, the lives of its vividly-realized characters achieve compelling dimension as they struggle to break free of the prejudices and lies that have distorted their existence.
Tracy Akers is a new talent to celebrate. Here's a classic in the making, with (happily!) many more adventures to savor in future volumes. Highly recommended."

                   --William F. Nolan
                       Award-winning author of the Logan's Run series

"Akers brings to life Dayn, Ruairi, and their cast of characters in a coming of age story where cruelties lie on the surface and new truths will lead them to doubt everything. In the end, the boys emerge from opposing worlds only to discover that their beliefs are equally flawed. This is the first of the Souls of Aredyrah series, leaving you anxious for the next and pondering the characters long afterward."
                   --The Eric Hoffer Awards

"Written by teacher Tracy A. Akers, The Fire and the Light is book one of The Souls of Aredyrah series. A fantastic adventure set in a world where nothing is as it seems, The Fire and the Light follows an ordinary boy and a prince, bound together by bonds of blood and prophecy, in a land cursed by darkness, ignorance, and fear. Both boys crave only a normal life, but the shadowed world around them is desperate for transformation, even though sparking a rebellion could well bring about their own destruction. A poignant epic fable, highly recommended for all ages.”

                   --Midwest Book Review

"A fantastic young adult fantasy! Highly recommended!" -USABookNews.com

The Fire and the Light, Finalist, USABookNews.com Best Books 2006 Award;
Fiction & Literature: Young Adult

"Coming from completely different worlds, two young men, one with fiery red hair and a short fuse, and the other with white-blond hair and a sweet disposition join forces in the fantasy The Fire and the Light, book one in a series by Tracy A. Akers. Although Dayn and Ruairi grow up in separate parts of the region, both of their lands are ruled by superstition, prejudice, and tradition. Each boy endures a series of tragic events--brought on by romantic feelings for long-time loves--that hurt them physically and emotionally. Ultimately, however, their tragedies bring them together to form a new bond, one of trust, blood, prophecy, and love for Alicine, Dayn's sister.

The three share adventures together, some comical, some uncomfortable, some painful, and most of them dangerous. Throughout their adventures they--like all teens everywhere--must come to terms with their physical appearances, and change, challenge, and define their identities as they struggle to become adults.

The bullying, violence, and budding sexuality help move the story along and are mild
enough not to offend most readers. Young adults might best identify with the teenaged heroes in this novel, although the story is fast-paced, interesting, and fun for readers of all ages. Unlike many simplistic young adult works that feature adults as cruel taskmasters and mindless buffoons, The Fire and the Light depicts heroes and victims in all shapes, sizes, sexes, and ages. Off to a wonderful start, Akers is planning five books in her Souls of Aredyrah Series, with the next to arrive in 2007."

                 --Leslie Halpern, author of Dreams on Film (McFarland & Company)
and Reel Romance: The Lovers' Guide to the 100 Best Date Moves (Taylor Trade

Trade Publishing)

"The Fire and the Light is a beguiling novel, with compelling characters and a plot
that will keep you turning the pages to the end and then asking for more."

               --E. Rose Sabin, award winning author of A School for Sorcery, A
Perilous Power, and When the Beast Ravens (Tor Starscape Books)

"...a saga with great promise and relevancy to events current in the world...it
could teach young readers valuable lessons about the cruelty of prejudice..."
               --Marlene Y. Satter, ForeWord Clarion Reviews

"...Akers creates a wonderfully developed world that you are swept into, with a plot that immediately demands your attention. Her characters are richly developed, their personalities and emotions clearly depicted through their words and actions. The descriptive writing style is never overdone, with just enough flavor to immerse you in the surroundings. The dialogue is crisp and concise, makes you believe in the characters, and leaves the impression that you are right in the story with them...This is a must read for fantasy lovers of all ages, although with good news and bad news. The good news is that you will be hopelessly spellbound with this wonderful story. The bad news is you will not be able to stop turning the pages, and then must twiddle your thumbs until the next book comes out. Highly recommended.”
               --Gregg J. Haugland, Allbooks Reviews

"The Fire and the Light is a fast-paced and intriguing story that wears its message
of tolerance and compassion lightly. Tracy Akers has created vivid characters and a
world with enough complexity to sustain a whole series."
               --Kate Constable, author of the Chanters of Tremaris Series

© Tracy A. Akers, 2006


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