This fantasy book is the second in the "Codebearers Series" by the Miller Brothers and is published by Warner Press.
Hunter Brown and the Consuming Fire is written for kids ages 10 and up. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.
In Solandria, Xaul, an evil Xin Warrior, hates the Codebearers. To avenge his people, Xaul has a Veritas sword fashioned for his own evil purposes. Meanwhile, in the city of Destiny, Hunter Brown adjusts to being back at Destiny High School as a sophomore. No one believes his stories about Solandria, and Hunter tries to figure out how to live according to the Author's Writ around those who do not believe.
There is a new student at Destiny High named Rob. Hunter eventually realizes that Rob is also a believer, and during an excursion to the local fair, Rob, Hunter and a girl named Trista are forced to fight against the Dispirits from Solandria. They are quickly transported by Hunter's old friend Faith to Solandria and to the freezing cold of Galacia Shard.
Three years have passed in Solandria since he left. He is disheartened to find the Resistance scattered and Shadow in control. Petrov, the commander of the Resistance, is slowly dying from a wound inflicted by Xaul and the refashioned Veritas sword. But Petrov still has hope; he has been given the Flame. Hunter is drawn to it, and Petrov reads to him the prophecy. Hunter is given the mission of taking the Flame to its next destination to find the others to be marked by it, seven in all. Rob and Trista go with him.
Throughout the mission, the three teenagers mature individually and in their friendship. Rob becomes bold, Trista begins to believe in the Author, and Hunter grows in strength in his own beliefs. Six out of the seven are found and marked by the Flame when Hunter and Trista are drawn back into the world of Destiny to help Cranton, the bully of their school, in a life-or-death situation. Hunter succeeds in saving Cranton's life, and as emergency personnel check him and Cranton, Cranton is taken away in an ambulance, and Hunter is placed in a white van. While saving Cranton, Hunter became the seventh to be marked by the Flame. Those in the white van notice the marking. They give him a shot, and he gets the feeling that something is wrong.
The Author's Writ is true, full of life and prophecies. The Author has a purpose for everything and whatever He does is perfect. The Author's plan is not always obvious, but there is no such thing as luck, and the Author is always in control. The Author gives the disciplines to those who study the Code of Life, and people are transformed. The Author gives assurance, power and hope when needed. Because the Author created everything, all things — even bad circumstances — have a purpose. The Author helps Sam, Hunter's former teacher in Solandria, in his time of need.
The Codebearers are able to see the Author in all circumstances and place their trust in Him. Plus, they know that no one deserves to be chosen by the Author. The Codebearers quote the Author's Writ while fighting battles, and because of the Author, they know that they are never alone. They also know that it's impossible for anything to come from nothing; something is responsible for the creation of everything.
Petrov, the leader of the Resistance, reads the Author's Writ and prays. Petrov points out that he can only give what the Author has given him, but he is willing to part with what the Author has given him at any time.
After Aviad, the Author's Son, united the two Bloodstones in himself, He died and the curse of death was lifted.
Hunter has visions, and the Author's Words are spoken through him.
Hunter listens to the voice of the Flame and trusts the Flame to lead him in the right direction. Hunter is also able to forgive because he remembers how the Author has forgiven him. At one point, Hunter has nothing left so he has to completely trust the Author. Toward the end of the book, Hunter is miraculously healed.
Hope, Hunter's companion, is from the Author. Eventually, Hunter has to release Hope and trust the Author's plan. At the very end of the story, the Author sends Hope to save Hunter.
In this book, Hunter's mom is now working full time at a job that takes a lot of her time and energy. She is not around much. Hunter's sister is responsible for waking Hunter up for school. She is bossy and is easily exasperated by Hunter.
Mr. Strickland is the new high school principal. He is an ex-military man and deals with students accordingly. He was going to suspend Hunter without giving Hunter a chance to defend himself, but Ms. Sheppard, the school counselor, interrupts the process of suspension. Ms. Sheppard takes over and tries to get Hunter to talk about his life. Eventually, he opens up to her about Solandria. She tries to convince him that he has his own inner strength so everything is his choice, not the Author's or anyone else's. She suggests to Hunter that the whole world of Solandria is a fantasy that is only in his mind. It helps him deal with what is going on in his life. This is confusing to Hunter as is the crystal ball that Ms. Sheppard has.
Hunter and Trista become prisoners of the Scourge. Their names are taken away, and they are known only as numbers. If they disobey any rule, they are punished severely. They are given a way to escape: If they are willing to denounce the Author, they can leave the area of punishment.
The Scourge and Xaul both try to have authority over Hunter by making him doubt the Author's plans and his part in them.
On the other hand, Petrov, the commander of the Resistance, wants to hear Hunter's story and listens carefully to it. Hunter also finds Sam again and watches as Sam refuses to keep quiet about the Author, regardless of the punishment. Sam even stands up to Sceleris and is willing to die for his belief in the Author.
Mr. Tanner, Hunter's biology teacher, insists that everything happens by accident. He believes that given enough time, anything can happen.
Ms. Sheppard tries to persuade Hunter that the Author and Solandria are all in his mind. She believes that everyone has an inner strength and a second vision.
Sceleris tells the prisoners in Dolor that if they are willing to serve him instead of the Author, they will be free.
The Xin believe that they are the Author and that the Author is in them. They are in charge of their own lives. They believe that they are perfected through pain — the more torture they endure, the better they are. They have to earn their way to be worthy of perfection and power.
If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:
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