How Niels and Festie Faced the Skyfire by Oliver Atlas tells the story of a boy who goes on an extraordinary adventure when he befriends a young phoenix. Daring Niels has his own laboratory deep in the earth, accessed by an elevator, and is always up for anything. By contrast the phoenix-with-a-very-long-name—shortened to Festie—is timid and insecure. She comes from a family of noble birds for whom fire is a natural element. From their headquarters in a lofty sequoia, the great birds chase down lightning—the skyfire--before it can strike and be destructive. Festie is afraid of lightning, but after she and her new human friend travel the world chasing three secret mythical fires, she’s ready to prove herself as a huge storm bears down on her home.
A crisply-written story laced with beautiful, poetic descriptions, How Niels and Festie Faced the Skyfire brought me into a soaring story of friendship and courage against a majestic world of clouds, pyramids, sunsets and rolling storms—even the Moon! Oliver Atlas really captures what going on adventures with a fiery phoenix would be like and made me feel like I was flying and getting in the thick of things along with Niels as he helped Festie search for the Sandfire, the Icefire, and the Moonfire. But the sweep of action with an exuberant dose of fun is combined with a quite real, child-like little phoenix who just needs a friend and can’t begin—she’s sure—to live up to the grand expectations of her family. More than just an adventure story, the book has some outstanding characters who propel the plot through their chemistry together, making a fulfilling tale that winds to a wonderful conclusion.
This is the companion for Sarah Scheele's newsletter blog. In it I share reviews for books I'd recommend/are similar to my own.