Lady Firebird Angelo is the daughter of the Queen – but don’t assume this means she has an easy life. She is a “wastling”, distant enough in the life of succession that she is expected to sacrifice her life for the good of her planet. It seems abhorrent to us that a child could be raised without love, with the sole destiny of being wasted, but growing up in that culture, she feels an obligation to fulfil her destiny.
This book is the story of Lady Firebird, a protagonist with a long journey ahead of her. She will be forced to rethink everything she has ever believed: the value of her life, her political allegiances, even her religion. This is the story of a person discovering who she really is, and what really matters to her.
Kathy Tyers creates a rich universe which feels much bigger than the small corner in which most of the story is set. She gives Firebird an interesting and believable character arc.
This book is almost more ‘space fantasy’ than it is science fiction: more akin to Star Wars than Star Trek.
Running behind all of this is the very creative idea that the Judeo/Christian God created this fictional universe, where there is no Earth. In the author’s words “The Firebird series isn’t a spiritual allegory, but only an exended-slow-motion-parable of conversion”. The Old Testament story of Israel waiting for her Messiah takes place in space rather then on one planet. Personally, I thought this aspect of the story could have been given greater focus. It feels like we barely scratched the surface of the possibilities that this “what-if” question raises. I suspect that subsequent books in the series will delve more deeply into this.
This is a classic in the still-too-small Christian Sci-fi genre, but don’t assume it is only of interest to Christians. I believe this book warrants a much wider readership than that.