I used to write for the Yahoo! Contributor Network, which later became Yahoo! Voices, and is now non-existent altogether. Periodically, posts may appear that are my articles I wrote for YCN, and they will be labeled as “YCN Archives.”
Original publish date: July 31, 2011
I have never been able to settle for just contemporary fiction. Growing up, I was only allowed to read Christian fiction or children’s fiction. Christian YA and children’s fiction is surprisingly full of fantasy and science fiction, and I always enjoyed those the most. So, when I began to read more mature books, I began to search out Christian science fiction and fantasy. Imagine my surprise when I discovered there was hardly any of it (this was not quite ten years ago).
One of the first series I stumbled across was the Firebird series by Kathy Tyers. I’ve never been a big Star Wars fan, so I never equated her name with the Star Wars novels. What I was excited about was the fact that I had actually found a Christian science fiction series! Kathy Tyers had a struggle to get published, though. When she first tried to get a Christian publisher interested, there wasn’t a known market for Christian science fiction. It took a few years, and Tyers published the first two books in the series (Firebird and Fusion Fire), through Bantam Books before Bethany House Publishers approached her about the series.
The Firebird Trilogy has one recurring theme – “In this whorl of imagined star systems, God created not earth but different worlds. One world’s people lived by false doctrine and death. Light-years away, faithful exiles awaited the Messiah of all creation. On a third world, they met.”
Imagine the Old Testament of the Bible taking place over galaxies, rather than a single planet.
Now take that thought, and imagine three different cultures. The first main character, Lady Firebird Angelo, lives on Netaia. She is a wastling – an extra heir to the throne conceived simply to be there if anything happened to the heirs in line before her. She had a total of three older sisters, but one was killed when they were younger. Since both of Firebird’s older sisters have been confirmed as heirs, though, it is now her fate to die honorably, either in battle or by suicide. Given an advantage because of her noble birth, in spite of the fact that she’s not allowed to live, she is given a promotion in the Netaian Planetary Navy and is commanded to lead her squad in battle against the Federates.
Brennen Caldwell, a member of the Federate, is a Sentinel. A Sentinel is a descendent of a genetically altered race that is able to access the minds of others. This terrifies Netaia, and is one of the reasons they refuse to join ranks with them, and also because they believe they will steal their wealth. Netaia is corrupt, though, and their wealth is going to disappear if they don’t join the Federate.
Firebird and Brennen meet on the battlefield. When her closest friend is shot down with his tagwing jet, she realizes that she has only one option left – suicide. When the Federates catch her in an electromagnetic snare, she has to use the poison her mother gave her for just this scenario.
On the Federate side of things, Brennen has been shocked. He felt Firebird’s grief when her friend was killed, and that alone suggests the phenomenon of connaturality. Sentinels who find someone connatural with them are essentially soulmates. Since they are on a battlefield, Brennen expects to find a man that will become his closest friend. What he finds is the woman he is destined to love.
The first book, Firebird, is about Firebird learning to become her own person apart from the expectations of Netaian society, and learning that she has more value than simply being a wastling.
The second book, Fusion Fire, is about Firebird and Brennen’s relationship, and she learns exactly what she got herself into when she married Brennen. She really had no idea that he was the heir of powerful religious prophecies. Because of this, Brennen and Firebird must face the Shuhr. The Shuhr are from the same ancestry as the Sentinels, but they do not restrain their powers and have no moral code.
In Crown of Fire, the third book, Firebird is called back to Netaia because her oldest sister has abdicated the throne and the next heir in line has been murdered. This is where they truly are tested as a twisted Shuhr plot rolls into play to murder Firebird and take over the financial and natural resources of Netaia. Firebird must recognize that her will must be surrendered to God’s if she truly wants to change the fate of her people.
KathyTyers.com – Author Bio