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The Search for Fierra (Empyrion, Book 1) [Paperback]

By Stephen R. Lawhead (Author)
Our Price $ 14.44  
Retail Value $ 16.99  
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Item Number 150120  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   900
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.2" Width: 4.42" Height: 1.97"
Weight:   1.01 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 31, 1982
Publisher   Lion UK
ISBN  0745918727  
EAN  9780745918723  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Traveler, debt-dodger, itinerant critic, and writer of history books nobody buys, Orion Treet is astonished when he's invited to accompany a top-secret mission to observe and document an extraterrestrial colony on a newly discovered planet. But when Treet and his companions reach the paradise planet they have been promised, they find themselves enmeshed in an ancient and deadly conflict between two highly evolved civilizations. Can the free and perfect world of Fierra escape annihilation? Treet, with a handful of rebels, stands alone against the evil might of Dome, as events move inexorably towards a world-shaking climax.

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More About Stephen R. Lawhead

Stephen R. Lawhead Stephen Lawhead is an internationally acclaimed author of mythic history and imaginative fiction. He was born in 1950, in Nebraska in the USA. His early life was lived in America where he earned a university degree in Fine Arts and attended theological seminary for two years.

His first professional writing was done at Campus Life magazine in Chicago, where he was an editor and staff writer. During his five years at Campus Life he wrote hundreds of articles and several non-fiction books.

After a brief and unsuccessful foray into the music business—as president of his own record company—he launched his free-lance career in 1981. In the Hall of the Dragon King was his first novel.

In 1986 the Lawhead family moved to Britain so that Stephen could conduct research for the PENDRAGON CYCLE books. They settled there permanently in 1990, with some years spent living in Austria and a sabbatical in the United States.

In addition to his twenty-four novels, he has written nine children's books, many of them originally offered to his two sons, Drake and Ross. He is married to Alice Slaikeu Lawhead, with whom he has collaborated on books and articles. They make their home in Oxford, England.

Stephen's non-fiction, fiction and children's titles have variously been published in twenty-four foreign languages. He has won numerous industry awards, and in 2003 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by the University of Nebraska.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Another Good Book From Lawhead  Jun 12, 2008
I don't usually read science fiction, preferring instead fantasy and more recently historical fiction, but I enjoyed the two books that made up the Empyrion duology. It's all a little confusing at first, but as the plot unfolds and details get masked out, what develops is a nice story of "good" triumphing over "evil." Although it's sci-fi, Lawhead does a nice job of mixing in futuristic elements with modern day realism. As in his other books, Lawhead provides a cast of characters that grow and develop throughout the course of the story. I didn't feel quite as connected to this world as I did in Byzantium and the Song of Albion series and both books have sections that dragged on a bit, but all in all it was a fun read.
Great!  Jan 12, 2008
A very good book. Very different from Stephen Lawhead's traditional style, but that makes it all the better. The story is most certainly one that will keep you guessing, with many intriguing plot twists that are written with flawless skill. I very enjoyable read, though the ending was a letdown in one way, but not so much as to take away from the whole of the book.
Liked this book  Dec 12, 2007
As both an author and reader of fiction, I was impressed with "Empyrion". Maybe it is because I have always enjoyed a book that could hold my attention and make me think at the same time. Give this book a try.
The fiction book that I have written main story theme is about ten years in the life of a little girl who was "chosen by God" to be the next Madonna in the second coming of Christ. Yes it has cloning in it.
Tommy Taylor
Author - The Second Virgin Birth
Highly entertaining  Dec 21, 2006
I read these books more than 20 years ago, and decided to re-read them again recently. Originally two separate books, I was pleased to see them bundled into a single package here. As another reviewer has stated, and I quite concur, the first book leaves far too much unresolved, and the second book really cannot stand alone. It simply can't be read as anything other than one lengthy saga rather than two stand-alone books.

Elsewhere, Lawhead has been categorized as being in the "Christian fiction" genre but I must take strenuous issue with this. It pigeon-holes his work far too much and sends a message to non-christian readers that they needn't bother picking up this fine author's novels unless they share his faith. This would be a true shame. Lawhead's books are not at all typical of so-called christian fiction which is almost always written for a distinctly evangelical audience and culture. In contrast, although Lawhead's novels always contain a certain amount of spiritual subject matter such as the existence of evil and suffering, the existence of God and truth, and similar topics, they are neither preachy nor overbearing, and the material isn't really presented in a way that I would even consider to be indicative of organized religion. It's actually often presented in a much more mystical fashion that some Christians may even find mildly objectionable because it ocassionally mixes elements of paganism and Christianity.

Regardless, most Christian readers will find Lawhead's books enjoyable because the author's worldview will be largely consistent with their own and he tells a great story without resorting to profanity, gratuitous sex, and other salacious props (in that regard, he is similar to John Grisham). Non-christian readers: don't make the mistake of dismissing this and other Lawhead novels as suitable only for the shelves of the local Bible book store. It is a wonderful read regardless of your spiritual views and I seriously doubt any readers will walk away feeling preached to at any level...any more than readers would likely feel preached to by John Grisham's "The Testament."

To my knowledge, this is Stephen Lawhead's only foray into the sci-fi genre, and he does an admirable job. For those unfamiliar with Lawhead, he shines the brightest in Celtic historical novels, and I believe some of his best work is in the 5-book "Pendragon Cycle," a multi-generational saga that follows Merlin, King Arthur, and others from the famous "Knights of the Roundtable" lore. But, enough of advertisements for his other books.

In the 2-part "Empyrion" saga, we follow the adventures of Orion Treat, a sort of Joe Average from sometime in earth's non-specified future. Treat is offered 8 million dollars for reasons he cannot quite contemplate to journey to a distant planet where a manned exploratory vessel has found a planet that may support life. The vessel's crew sends several cryptic, partially intelligable messages back to earth, but then communications cease entirely. Treat's task, along with 3 fellow travellers, is to venture to the planet, find out what became of the explorers and their vessel, and report back.

--- Warning: partial plot spoilers here. Skip ahead if desired ---

To get to the distant planet, Treat's ship must pass through a wormhole, compressing a journey that would normally take years to just 10 months. However, upon arriving, the travelers eventually realize that they have travelled not just many lightyears from home, but also thousands of years into the future. They arrive at the planet not as it was when the first messages were sent back, but as it exists after hundreds of generations of people have lived and died since the first group of marooned humans arrived and began populating the place - almost like a cosmic Noah's ark. Like the first group of explorers, Treat and his companions find they've bought a one-way ticket. There is no way to get a message back to earth, and no way to return.

The novel takes us to two distinct civilizations of humans on the planet - those who chose to dwell beneath a gigantic dome in a rigid caste-like system, and those who split off to live outside the dome across an impassible desert in an Eden-like utopia. The novel chronicles the state of the decaying dome-dwellers' civilization, contrasted with the purity and ascendency of the utopian culture built by those outside the dome (the Fierri). An inevitable battle erupts as the two cultures that had remained separate for dozens of centuries poise to intersect once again, with Treat and his companions battling to prevent the repeat of a nuclear holocaust from the planet's distant past.

--- Plot spoilers over ---

It's a wonderful story that I thoroughly enjoyed, pitting the age-old ingredients of good against evil, while giving us numerous glimpses of what the world could be like if man would consistently choose good rather than evil.

My only critique is that some of the battle scenes are drawn out a little too long and this caused the story to bog down in places. Overall, the books come to a fine and highly satisfying conclusion. However, hard-core sci-fi fans who are looking for lots of cutting-edge science won't find it here. It's really a story of good and evil that simply uses science fantasy to carry us into a solar system thousands of years in the future where the age-old tale of hate and fear versus love and courage can carry itself out on a virgin planet. It's a story that could have just as easily been set thousands of years in the past as thousands of years in the future.

A superior story told well  Jul 31, 2006
Empyrion is an epic science fiction story by Christian writer Stephen Lawhead. Originally two books, The Search for Fierra and The Siege of Dome, the first book ends with too much unresolved and the second cannot stand on its own. The two books of this volume are in fact one story.

All too often Christian fiction is second-rate fiction but this is not the case with Stephen Lawhead and Empyrion. This story is excellent science fiction. However, Empyrion is not just the story of four travelers to an Earth colony in the Epsilon Eridani system; it is the spiritual journey that explores the eternal battle between good and evil.

While Empyrion investigates religious themes, it is not overtly Christian. Another reviewer stated that the story is rich with Allegory. I agree. Dome represents evil, an authoritarian society of demon worship and hate. Fierra, is a utopian paradise, a city populated by people who have either fled Dome or were thrown out. After years of wandering, they have come to know and love the Eternal Father. Even the air of Empyrion and Dome become allegories for purity and death.

The best fiction writers present their stories through setting, action, thoughts, and description. Many Science Fiction stories suffer from lengthy paragraphs of telling. While Empyrion does have some telling, it is blessed with ample setting details that allow you to visualize the alien environment, the bleakness of dome and beauty of Fierra.

As a Christian and a lifetime reader of Science Fiction, I recommend Empyrion to fans of the genre. Don't let the spirituality or length of the novel deter you from sharing the adventure.

Kyle Pratt

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