This concluding volume of the trilogy features fast-paced action, poetic language, and carefully constructed characters. The first half of the book describes the journey of twins Bowman and Kestrel, their family, and the remnants of the Manth people to their ancestral homeland. They face an attack by bandits, who take Kestrel and other young women captive; a "passion fly" that brings out the hidden sides of people's natures; and a valley in which happiness is the greatest danger of all. As the time of "the wind on fire" begins, the focus shifts to Bowman's preparation for what he thinks will be his role in moving the world from cruelty and danger to the time of kindness. The twins' relationships with one another and with other characters give emotional depth to the action and Nicholson's sure use of detail gives even minor characters clear personalities and a role in exploring the book's themes. While Firesong will have an especially strong appeal to fans of The Wind Singer (2000) and Slaves of the Mastery (2001, both Hyperion), enough background is provided to make this an independently powerful fantasy that will appeal to fans of Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy (Knopf).