Background information on the timely issues dealt with by the story, such as government-controlled health care
Grips the attention with the raw immediacy of the problems. . . . An inquiry and commentary on the nature of what it is to be human, and where evolution can take us from here. It asks the sort of questions only SF can pose, and paints a vivid picture of where failing to answer those questions might lead. . . . Stewards is the kind of SF Ive been craving!
Jacqueline Lichtenberg, author of the Sime/Gen SF series
Extremely entertaining. . . . A cautionary tale that Big Brother is coming through the government medical complex.
Harriet Klausner, MBR Bookwatch
The sequel to Stewards of the Flame
The gripping drama of the first volume continues . . . Engdahl has produced high-quality work over a forty-year period, but this is one of her finest achievements.
Nicholas Birns, author of Understanding Anthony Powell
It is not necessary to read the first [book] in order to be enthralled by the second. . . . Although clearly a work of science fiction, the ideas and futuristic possibilities are disturbingly real and will remain with the reader long after theyve finished the book. Peggy LaVake, IndieReader Staff Review, July 2010
Spoiler warning: Promise of the Flame is complete in itself and can be read independently, but reading it first, or even reading the description, will spoil some of the suspense of Stewards of the Flame. So if you plan to read both books, dont go to this page until you have finished it.
Promise of the Flame is a stand-alone story that doesnt depend on having read the preceding book, and may be more to the taste of those to whom that books controversial view of trends in health care policy didn't appeal. Its issues are further removed from our own society, but important to anyone interested in interstellar colonies, the future development of the human mind, or the question of how high a price should be paid for freedom of choice.
A fabulous twisting outer space thriller that will keep readers wondering what next will happen to the protagonist.
Harriet Klausner, Alternative Worlds, May 2013
Starship pilot Terry Radnor, involved in a secret mission after training that gives him extraordinary physical and psychic capabilities, finds fulfillment in love and in commitment to a cause--until an ironic twist of fate tears him away from everything he cares about. He is forced to build a whole new life, far from all that has previously mattered to him. Is there any hope that he can fulfill his pledge to protect the world whose safety is crucial to the future of humankind?
While this novel completes the trilogy begun with Stewards of the Flame and Promise of the Flame, it is a completely independent story set two hundred years later, and can be read alone. Unlike Sylvia Engdahl’s other previous novels, it is not a Young Adult book and is not appropriate for middle-school readers. (If you are wondering why, please read the Flame Trilogy FAQ). However, it will be of interest to adults and mature high school students who have enjoyed Enchantress from the Stars and The Far Side of Evil, as it deals with some of the same themes.
Sylvia Engdahl is the author of six highly-acclaimed Young Adult novels that are also enjoyed by adults, all of which were originally published by Atheneum and republished by different publishers in the 21st century. Her novel Enchantress from the Stars was a Newbery Honor Book, winner of the 1990 Phoenix Award, and a finalist for the 2002 Book Sense Book of the Year in the Rediscovery category. While the single-volume edition of her trilogy Children of the Star was issued as adult science fiction, Stewards of the Flame and Promise of the Flame are her first novels written specifically for an adult audience. Unlike her earlier ones, they are not Young Adult novels and are not appropriate for children or young teens.
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Stewards of the Flame
Paperback, 5.25 x 8 496 pp.
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Promise of the Flame
Paperback, 5.25 x 8 494 pp.
$17.50 less 20% = $14.00
Defender of the Flame
Paperback, 5.25 x 8 454 pp.
$16.50 less 20% = $13.30
Sylvia Engdahl's Interviews about Stewards of the Flame
that are still online as of June 2012