|Country||United Kingdom, United States|
|Series||The Last Dragon Chronicles|
|Publication date||January 6 2011|
|Preceded by||Dark Fire|
|Followed by||The Fire Ascending|
Fire World is the sixth novel in Last Dragon Chronicles series by Chris d'Lacey. In an interview with ThirstforFiction on the publication day, Chris d'Lacey stated that Fire World would be set in an alternate universe, and that all of the recurring characters from the previous novels would return, but in different guises.
Part One Edit
It opens on the planet Co:pern:ica with Counsellor Strømberg (an auma counsellor) talking to Professor Harlan Merriman and his wife Eliza, and then their son David walks in. They talk about dreams that David has been having as they watch a video they had recorded while he was sleeping. On Co:pern:ica, they have commingled with Fain to make themselves higher beings, although there is a power called The Higher which governs those on Co:pern:ica.
The dream is very strange and David has been visited by Firebirds (one of only the two creatures that live on Co:pern:ica) and they are seen blowing their special fire over him. It is later shown that a temporal rift had opened up and the fire birds came to close it up. Although Bernard Brotherton believes that David imagineered the fire birds, they come to the conclusion that someone, somewhere on another universe had been calling out to David.
Eliza and Harlan travel back to their pod where they decide to commingle their fain and produce another child, a daughter for when David comes back. To be able to have a child on Co:pern:ica they must be assessed by an agent of the higher, one of the Aunts. They request the Aunt they had for David but she is otherwise engaged and are given Aunt Gwyneth. Gwyneth denies them to have a child, but says that Eliza could become an Aunt. Eliza reluctantly agrees and the next day she is taken to the Dead Lands and begins to learn more about the world they live on. Gwyneth also states that Eliza spent her childhood with her and that she was brought back into the system at the age of five.
Whilst Harlan is at work at the Ragnar Institution of Phy:sics, he brings in data from the research on David and asks his partner Bernard to put the information into SETH, which we are lead to believe is some sort of super computer. The equipment that they have set, is meant to open up a controlled rift and let someone pass through it almost like a tele:port.
Strømberg suggests sending David to a librarium, which is a huge building going up past the clouds to be tutored by Charles Henry and have an 'adventure'. Eliza and Harlan drop David off there and they a meet a young girl called Rosa who says that the Librarium is hers. She tells Harlan and Eliza that they may leave and Rosa and Mr Henry will look after David. After a meeting with Mr Henry, they both tell David that to get around the Librarium they have to think of where to go and picture it in their heads. David practises by finding the toilet and a wardrobe where he dresses a little like Rosa. David enjoys his time with a Rosa, they become friends whilst cataloging the library for Mr Henry. Whilst they are cataloging they ask Mr Henry how to get to and above floor 43, because although they have searched for it they have never been able to reach it. Mr Henry says they must work hard to be able to access the secrets of the upper floors and it is revealed that there is a huge Firebird eyrie up there.
One day David and Rosa are teasing each other about a book each wanting to put it into their own collection when Rosa challenges David that when she throws the book out of the window whoever reaches it first will be able to catalogue it. When Rosa throws the book it hits her Firebird Runcey and David rushed down to help him telling Rosa to fetch Mr Henry.
When Rosa and Mr Henry reach David they find Runcey gone and David has entered a state of Melancholia, because a seemingly evil large, Red Firebird named Azkiar finds Runcey and David, and the Azkiar flies away with Runcey. Rosa finds a book about Dragons which she accidentally mispronounces as 'drargones', and fearing that Strømberg and Mr Henry will take the book from her, she runs for a place to hide. Rosa manages to find the door to floor 43 but the door is locked and there is no visible lock to the door. Gwyneth then appears and asks why she is trying to go up there and Rosa lies several times, Gwyneth asks about the dragon book and Rosa tells her. Gwyneth tells Rosa the correct pronunciation, but forbids her to read it. Then Gwyneth, who is visiting to check on David, demands to be taken to David and Mr Henry.
At first Gwyneth wants David to be de:stroyed but Strømberg steps in and says they should assess David as he is a very special ec:centric.
Back in the Dead Lands, it begins to rain as Eliza finds clay and begins to model with it, eventually making an egg. The rain then becomes very strange as it is driving Eliza away, although when the drops fall on the ground they recreate images of dragons (long since died out on Co:pern:ica). Eliza finds them beautiful and then they start to scare her until she shouts 'I AM ELIZA!' and they turn away. Then the lead dragon, described as bony and almost human like to Eliza breathes over her. Eliza collapses into a heap.
Sometime later, a group of Firebirds find Eliza and they are trying to take care of her, when they discover the egg and wonder how one could have gotten out of the eyrie.
Two days later, Harlan, Bernard and Strømberg are about to open up the rift when it cuts to Aunt Gwynteth in the Dead Lands. She finds a trail of stones leading towards some caves. Reaching the cave she sees that Eliza has created lots of clay dragons acting almost as guardians to the slope that they are on. Gwyneth furiously confronts Eliza about the heresy she has committed and Eliza shows that she has a baby daughter and cracked the family anomaly.
Back at the Librarium, a fire bird named Aurielle, picks up the fire tear enclosed in one of David's own tears, a daisy chain that Rosa made for David earlier in the book and the egg that Eliza created. Aurielle thinks about these things as she flies back to her perch and looks at a woven tapestry that she likes, depicting the last scene of Dark Fire, where there are dragons, humans, the ix and darklings. Aurielle and the other fire birds know about the darklings which they call "the shadows of ix". The tapestry is apparently named Isenfire. As Aurielle is thinking about all of this another firebird comes along and warns them that a portal is opening somewhere and they need to be there.
Rosa and Henry and the whole of Co:pern:ica feel the rift opening. Rosa has read and re-read the book about Dragons to David, after Strømberg overruled Aunt Gwyneth. Rosa manages to figure out how to read Dragontongue and believes she knows how to get up to the upper floors, just as Harlan switches on the machine. Suddenly Rosa passes out and then when she wakes up, she finds David waking up as well, and they have discovered that they have aged about eight years.
Part Two Edit
David and Rosa try to find out what has happened to the two of them and whether it is just the people inside the librarium, or everyone. Rosa says that just before David woke up there was something like a time quake. They talk for a while before travelling to the door and Rosa tries and fails to open the door. David has a go and effectively speaks in Dragontongue saying "something" and the door opens. When they get through the door they find that all books are already ordered. David and Rosa look around and David finds a book entitled Alicia in the Land of Wonder (alternative to Alice in Wonderland). They both then see Azkiar, and they run, but not before they find that he was sitting on a plaque entitled 'FICTION'. David tells Rosa to go and find Mr Henry, which she does, and David runs off down the corridors of shelves until he gets cornered by Azkiar. Fearing that he will have to throw books at it he prepares to do so, picking up a Steven Kinge novel. But Azkiar does not attack David and instead looks at him puzzled. David takes the opportunity and walks away, and commingles with the book's auma. David leaves the floor and goes to Mr Henry's office, where Rosa is kneeling on the floor, and discovers that Mr Henry is now dead.
Harlan steps through the door and they both see that they have all aged. Harlan says that when he started his experiment, everyone connected to it aged and Mr Henry obviously died because of aging. The experiment failed and Harlan was devastated by what he had done. Knowing that he will be arrested and taken away by Re:movers he gives David a micro:pen, that he says has all the relevant information that he needs. The re:movers come in. They assess Mr Henry and conclude that he died of natural causes. Aunt Gwyneth comes in and they see that she too has aged slightly. Gwyneth sees that Harlan passed David something and when she demands to see it, David quickly imagineers it into a gold wedding ring and explains his father wanted him to give it back to his mother. She explains that she is taking Harlan away and that Eliza has called for David to be released and brought back, where she and his sister are waiting for him. Gwyneth explains that Rosa cannot go, because she can only leave the librarium if she is called. Because her parents have been missing for several years and she has been officially declared an orphan, no-one can call her. Gwyneth states that the Librarium is under the Aunts control for now whilst they complete an evaluation and get a new curator. She summons two Aunts; Primrose and Petunia. Whilst David is walking away Rosa calls that if he does not stay with her, she will never let him come back. David promises that he will return and changes the ring back to the micro:pen.
Meanwhile up on floor 108 Azkiar has flown to Aurielle to tell her that he has seen humans on the upper floors. Aurielle asks whether it was Mr Henry and the answer is 'no', and Azkiar tells her it was David. This confirms that something has happened to everyone involved and connected to the experiment because even the fire birds feel and look different.
After Azkiar has told Aurielle about the aging incident, Aurielle tells him she must meditate on the matter and Azkiar, angry with her, flies up to the tapestry. Looking at it he sees two humans and makes the connection that two of the humans are David and Rosa, and that they were the ones who had been found on floor 43.
Back at pod 42, David is settling in with his mother and sister although they display some sibling rivalry. Eliza quells this by saying that she loves them both the same. Eliza warns David not to mention Harlan in front of her and tells David that Penny was born from an egg and that Eliza has brought clay back with her. Eliza says that she saw lots of things outside of the Great Design and that they were flawed like Boon. One of the dragons, the ugly one, guided her toward the cave. Eliza had taken the clay with her and that was how she had created an egg which she left outside the cave, and then a dragon came down and kindled it for her. When Gwyneth came back she destroyed all of the guardian dragons. Eliza only just managed to bring back a small bit of clay without Gwyneth noticing.
David goes to Harlan's study and finds the com:puter wiped. Using the memory stick he manages to find out what his father discovered, and also that fire birds tried to close up the rift, but something else was coming through.
David is interrupted by Penny, who tells him that she has found a black fire bird feather and both Eliza and David tell her that there are no black firebirds. Penny gets upset, and goes and gets ready for bed.
When Penny is ready, David goes up and starts reading Alicia in the Land of Wonder to her , imagineering the story with her so that the characters come to life. Something goes wrong and Penny gets scared, and David gets carried to bed by Strømberg, who felt the auma shift.
David wakes up two days later to find that Strømberg has gone and that he cannot stay in one place for too long, because he has gone into hiding. David tells his mother that to find the answers that he needs he either needs to go to the Dead Lands, which he knows she will not let him do, or go back to the Librarium. David prepares to go back to the Librarium when Penny walks in and tells him about the night he read to her. David begins to remember, and Penny shows David a picture that she drew of what the White Rabbit changed into. David knows that are no creatures like this on Co:pern:ica, and wonders how she could have gotten the detail so right for it.
Eliza tells David, before he goes that he needs to meet up with Strømberg on Bushley Common in the evening. When David asks which evening, she replies any, and that he will know how to find David. David goes to the common and plays with a katt whilst he waits for Strømberg to arrive. Strømberg tells David that the society they are in is failing, and Aunts are plotting to overthrow the Higher and that the Higher resides in the Librarium. Strømberg and Mr Henry believed that the Higher operates through the firebirds. They talk some more and Strømberg is impressed that David and Rosa managed to get to the upper floors, whilst Stromberg and Mr Henry had tried for 20 years and failed. Before Strømberg leaves, he urgently tells David that he must go back to the Librarium and retrieve the Book of Agawin which he believes will tell the whole history of Co:pern:ica and of Dragons, and then contact him.
David tells Strømberg of the story telling, and that his adopted imagineered character turned into a black fire bird. Strømberg is confused, and then David tells him that when he slowed the video down of the experiment, he believes something came through and infected a normal fire bird and turned it black. Stromberg tells David that if this is true, then he must get to the Librarium that night, if possible and find the book.
As Strømberg walks off, David puts the katt down and walks off himself. The katt suddenly turns into Gwyneth, meaning that she has heard the whole conversation which was meant to be private.
Meanwhile back in the Librarium, Rosa is not getting on well with the Aunts. They at first make her clean out a room for them and will not let her order any more books. This frustrates her greatly. One of the demands is the Rosa must block out the window and to do this she has to use books, which breaks her heart and the Librarium itself does not like it. After she has finished the task the Aunts come in and rip pages out of the books and stuff them in the gaps between them. This is too much for Rosa who leaves running. Rosa wants to return to floor 43 but does not dare because Gwyneth found her easily the previous time. Rosa finds herself missing Mr Henry. Whilst Rosa is asleep, deserted even by Runcey, the firebirds who are worried because they have not seen a fire bird since the time quake, including Runcey come down to examine her changes, and they conclude that the girl in the picture (Zanna) and Rosa do match, although Rosa does not have the Mark of Agawin (Oomera). Aurielle decides it is now time to consult the Higher about this situation and flies up over 100 hundred floors to be able to speak to him.
Aurielle reaches the roof and thinks that it does not matter how many physical floors one must climb or fly, it is how determined they are and how much they need to get there. She flies onto a balcony and hears the Higher's voice speaking to her. Aurielle flies into the sensory matrix of the Higher known as the IS and speaks to him. The Higher calms Aurielle down and tells that what will be, will be, and that he allowed the science experiment to take place. The Higher also tells her that where there is order in the Eyrie, there is order in the rest of the world. Aurielle asks about the Isenfire, and the reply is that she always knew it was David, and she knows this is true. Aurielle now knows what to do. She must drive out the Aunts and bring David back so that he may be the new curator, and protect the higher itself. The Higher tells her that Isenfire is upon them all. Finally, Aurielle tells the Higher about the egg that Eliza made, and the Higher replies, 'Beware of the thread.' When she asks what the thread is, the reply is, 'The thread is time and She will come from an egg.' Aurielle has one final question it is 'What is the Higher?', and the Higher tells her that it is pure Fain. The Higher tells her that she must become like a piece of bone that she found on the roof, and although she feels upset that her part is over, the Higher explains she will be an agent of the universe. Aurielle asks to see it, and she sees what fire birds will become. Not larger birds, not dragons, but they would have paws.,,
Rosa also does not like the situation she is in. The Librarium is despondent and desolate and the Aunts have locked themselves in their room with a big sign saying, 'KEEP OUT.' Rosa knows that she needs to find out what is going on and so comes up with a plan, after finding a book about mushrooms (because all Aunts like mushrooms), she makes a mushroom dish that is secretly drugged, and Rosa knocks on the door. 10 minutes later, Rosa gains entry to the room. There is a strange digi:pad on the floor, and she picks up a book reads the information. Then the pad scans the book and it tells her the books auma level. Flicking through the book, Rosa is furious and distraught to find that it has been wiped completely. Rosa tells the fire birds to tie up the Aunts and wait for them to wake up. When they have woken, Rosa gets one of the fire birds to torture Primrose's feet, knowing that they will both feel it as they are twins. Rosa questions the Aunts and finds out that the pad is an auma scanner, and that they have taken the auma from almost every book in the room. Rosa asks if it can be put back, but the energy can only be transferred and Gwyneth is the one who knows what she is going to do with it. They confirm that once the auma has been harnessed, the Aunts will attempt to take over Co:pern:ica.
The Aunts distract Rosa by imagineering David and thus enabling them to break free. They then create a fire, which the three firebirds present cannot put out on their own and Aurielle tells Aleron to go and get the other fire birds who are already aware that the building is on fire. The Aunts manage to get the digi:pad by using their fain to catch it when Rosa throws it at the bed which is burning. When they switch it on it releases the auma into the room and there is nothing they can do and the Aunts run, the released auma travels into Rosa, through the mark of Agawin (or Oomara). On the window sill, Aubrey appears (the one who is the black fire bird) and the other fire birds are pleased to see her but puzzled as to her colour and the blood around her neck. More firebirds arrive and manage to put out the fire. Then suddenly, David climbs through the window to take control of the Librarium.
Part Three Edit
Harlan and Bernard are being taken to the Dead Lands where they know their fain will not work. The two of them wonder how they are going to survive once they have been dropped off. They watch the taxi disappear and then check their surroundings. They believe the can see lights in the distance and sure enough six people reach them holding lights. One of the men introduces themselves as Matthew LeFarr and explains that he was brought to the Dead Lands because he asked too many questions in the wrong places. The men give them clothes and they decide to travel to the Isle of Alavon where there is a settlement of twenty two people including Harlan and Bernard. Whilst they walk, Harlan and Matthew talk, and Harlan believes that if Matthew is not the leader of the group, then he should be, because he has leadership qualities.
After some time, they manage to reach a hill, and looking over it they see the Isle of Alavon. Matthew explains that this was where they believed Agawin used to reside. The group see a fire bird flying over head and many people race to catch it and Harlan goes with them to see what will happen. An old man, Roderic, is told to take Bernard back to the settlement. Bernard believes that the men are going to kill the fire bird. However, he manages to catch it when it flies to him, and Matthew tells him to put it onto the ground and turn its head away. The fire bird then cries its fire tear and a field of corn grows in its spot. Matthew congratulates Bernard, and says that the field will be called 'Bernard's field'. The whole party then goes back to the settlement where they settle in.
Harlan and Bernard know that life will be hard outside the controlled Central but believe they can get along. They learn that fire birds have brought them a great many gifts including cooking utensils and crops.
Matthew's ballsack tells them that there will be a big meeting for everyone to get to know each other. After the meeting, Harlan asks about the tower up on the crest of Alavon and wants to journey up to it. Matthew agrees to take him and Beranard up to it, although warns that many of the tribes have gone mad since returning from the tower.
The journey is uneventful up until the point, near the crest, when Harlan is taken over and is told to be wary of the "shadow of the ix". Harlan is then thrown down and the rest of the party wonder what happened to him, as they help him into the building. Harlan tells them about what happened, and says that the dragons name was Gawain. They move to the central dais where there is a carving of a winged man and they manage to get the creator to show itself, appearing as a talon (like the one in Fire Star, The Fire Eternal and Dark Fire).
The group then decide to come back down the hill to go back to the settlement, where Harlan tells everyone what happened up the hill. He shows everyone the Creator, and then a darkling shows up and demands the Creator from Harlan, who at first denies it, but when he begins to fight it, Harlan drops it accidentally, and the darkling takes it off of him, and flies back to Co:pern:ica central.
Harlan reveals that he wrote Isenfier on the sheet of paper that LeFarr gave him and believes that is what brought the darkling upon them. The man who went up the hill with is called Colm Fellowes and Harlan asks him how to destroy the Re:movers, and he tells that it is water. Harlan then comes up with a plan to get everyone back to Co:pern:ica so that he can protect David, by turning the tower of Agawin into a massive beacon. Many of the group are sceptical and believe that the Re:movers will not come, but agree to go along with the plan.
Meanwhile the darkling travels back to Co:pern:ica and sees the fire in the Librarium. Landing on the window sill, it prepares to take over Aurielle's body, but gets seen and the fire birds question whether it is really Aubrey. The darkling flies up a few more floors to an abandoned level and prepares to wait another day before getting a new body. On this floor Gwyneth appears, furious at Petunia and Primrose and their incompetence, and sees the darkling and manages to capture it, and takes the Creator, and knows it is from a dragon. Gwyneth talks to the darkling and agrees to commingle with it. The Ix try to take over her body but Gwyneth just manages to break it up, warning the Ix that if it tries to do anything like that again, she will destroy it piece by piece, and the two of them share information. The Ix tells her that they are all part of something, and three worlds are connected: Ki:mera, Co:pern:ica and a low plane world where Isenfier is taking place. Gwyneth asks what planet Isenfier world is called, and the answer is Earth.'