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Reflections on Enchantress from the Stars
NEW! Click here for a more detailed and formal presentation of things I have been saying about the story in my FAQs and elsewhere for many years--comments on interpretations that trouble me. Please read it, especiallly if you are a teacher who has discussed the book with young readers.
Which book should I read first?
My novels are very different from each other and people sometimes don't realize that they might not have begun with the one they would be most likely to enjoy. Here are some suggestions for choosing where to start.
If you are in 5th or 6th grade you should start with Enchantress from the Stars, and you probably won't like any of the others until you are older.
If you are in 7th or 8th grade you should start with Enchantress from the Stars, This Star Shall Abide, or -- if you are a girl who likes romance -- Journey Between Worlds. (I don't recommend The Far Side of Evil to readers below high school age.)
If you are in 9th or 10th grade, you will want to read Enchantress from the Stars if you enjoy stories told in the style of fantasy, but you don't have to read it first. And if you prefer books that aren't at all like fantasy, you should start with This Star Shall Abide, The Far Side of Evil, or Journey Beween Worlds.
If you an adult or a high school junior or senior, you can start with any of the above, but may prefer to read Children of the Star or Defender of the Flame first.
If you are an adult and the controversial medical theme of Stewards of the Flame appeals to you, then read it before the other "Flame" books. If it doesn't, then Promise of the Flame can be read first. Neither of these is suitable for YA readers, and neither needs to be read before Defender of the Flame if you prefer to skip them. Some adult readers like Defender much better.
Titles not mentioned above are sequels and shouldn't be read until after the books that precede them.
If you haven't read Defender of the Flame, now is a good time. You don't need to have read the Hidden Flame duology, which is an entirely separate story set two centuries earlier. The first novel of the Hidden Flame duology, Stewards of the Flame, is a controversial book and readers tend to love it or hate it. I'm rather sorry that it was published first -- though I had no idea when I wrote it that there would be more -- because most of the people who didn't like it didn't go on to the other "Flame" novels, which are quite different. Defender, the first in the Rising Flame duology, is my personal favorite. It is faster moving than the earlier duology and many readers have told me that they prefer it. It's also less inappropriate for teens than the preceding duology; though I wouldn't recommend it to middle schools, older high school age readers may enjoy it.
Explore My Site|
Here's what you'll find with the navigation tabs at the top of the pages:
ABOUT ME: My bio, awards, links to interviews and profiles, plus a complete bibilography of my published work.
MY BOOKS: The books I have written, with their covers and links to their description pages.
FAQ: Answers to frequently asked questions about my books and my personal life.
REVIEWS: Short quotes from the editorial reviews of all my books.
ESSAYS, ETC.: Links to all my essays, guest posts, and the commentary at this site, including the background articles on psi and medical issues for Stewards of the Flame, which are of wider interest than the novel itself. Some things are also linked under other headings, while others are accessible only from this page. I will be adding new essays to it from time to time.
SPACE: Main gateway to my space advocacy section. (Its individual pages are also listed on the ESSAYS page.)
MISCELLANY: Pages that don't fit under other headings, including one about my cats, a memorial to my mother who wrote YA books under the name Mildred Allen Butler, an explanation of ebook formats, and more.
CONTACT: How to reach me by email, plus a form for sending me a message and/or signing up to be notified when I add material to this site. I love hearing from readers -- please say hello!
Children of the Star trilogy
Book 1: This Star Shall Abide
Book 2: Beyond the Tomorrow Mountains
Book 3: The Doors of the Universe
Omnibus: Children of the Star
THE HIDDEN FLAME
Book 1: Stewards of the Flame
Book 2: Promise of the Flame
Omnibus: The Hidden Flame
THE RISING FLAME
Book 1: Defender of the Flame
Book 2: Herald of the Flame
Omnibus: The Rising Flame
Enchantress from the Stars
The Far Side of Evil
Journey Between Worlds
The Planet-Girded Suns: The Long History of Belief in Exoplanets
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