Fire Bringer cover
|Genre||Young adult, Fantasy|
|Publisher||MacMillan UK (UK) & Puffin Books (US)|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Pages||512 (US Paperback)|
This is the story of Rannoch, a red deer born in ancient Scotland. The story begins on the night his father, Brechin, was murdered, and his mother, Eloin, taken by the servant of the Lord of the Herd, Sgorr. But Rannoch is no ordinary deer; he is special, for he bears a white mark on his forehead resembling an oak leaf. This mark is called a fawn mark. This is special because this very oak leaf is the sign of Herne, the deer god.
To the Herla, as the deer are called among the world of the animals, this white mark holds great meaning and power. It was stated in a prophecy that the deer who was born with the mark would bring freedom to all Herla in the future, and that the bearer of the oak mark would be a healer and have the ability to communicate with all animals.
The Lord of the Herds, Drail, wants Rannoch killed out of fear of The Prophecy. Drail is tricked and murdered by Sgorr, who has militarized the herd by making the stags sharpen their antlers, training and drilling the young bucks, having them bore each other in the forehead to make permanent scars, and will take no resistance. He realizes the threat Rannoch poses to his leadership. Rannoch escapes from the herd, accompanied by Bracken, who is not his real mother (Eloin pretended that Bracken's dead fawn was her own so that Sgorr would believe Rannoch had died), and his companions Thistle, Tain, twins Peppa and Willow, Quaich, Bankfoot and their mothers and Bhreac, an old doe who promised the herd storyteller to protect Rannoch.
Growing up outside of the herd, Rannoch struggles to choose between the life of freedom he now has and the future laid out for him by the prophecy. He knows that he must return to unite the deer and end Sgorr's reign of terror.
When the Lore is bruised and broken,
Shattered like a blasted tree,
Then shall Herne be justly woken,
Born to set the Herla free.
On his brow a leaf of oaken,
Changeling child shall be his fate.
Understanding words strange spoken,
Chased by anger, fear, and hate.
He shall flee o'er hill and heather,
And shall go where no deer can,
Knowing secrets dark to Lera.
Till his need shall summon man.
Air, water, earth, and fire,
All shall ease his bitter pain,
Till the elements conspire,
To restore the Island Chain.
First the High Land grass shall flower,
As he quests through wind and snow,
Then he breaks an ancient power,
And returns to face his foe.
When the Lord of Lies upbraids him,
Then his wrath shall cloak the sun,
And the Herla's foe shall aid him
To confront the evil one.
Sacrifice shall be his meaning,
He the darkest secret learn,
Truths of beast and man revealing,
Touching on the heart of Herne.
Fawn of moonlight ever after,
So shall all the Herla sing.
For his days shall herald laughter,
Born a healer and a king.
- Brechin (Red Deer)
Rannoch's father and Eloin's mate. He's an Outrider captain, who is killed early in the story when Sgorr takes over the herd.
- Eloin (Red Deer)
Rannoch's mother and Brechin's mate. She successfully saves Rannoch from Drail and Sgorr at the beginning of the book so that Rannoch can later run away with Bracken and the others. She is later forced to become part of Drail's (and later Sgorr's) harem. She believes that Rannoch is dead until he and the Outriders fight against Sgorr and the Sgorrla.
- Rannoch (Red Deer)
The main protagonist, son of Brechin and Eloin. He runs away with Bhreac, Bracken, Fern, Alyth, Shira, and Canisp, and their fawns, Peppa, Willow, Bankfoot, Tain, and Thistle. He endures a long journey with his friends, before falling into a hunter's hole. He spends a fair amount of time with a human family that helps him heal his broken leg, but eventually escapes in order to find his friends. With them, he scales the Great Mountain and overthrows Herne's Herd, becoming a Healer to all Lera. He grows very gentle, and is uncomfortable with fighting. After his mother is killed, he decided to take his own herd to fight Sgorr. His efforts are successful, and Sgorr is defeated. He grows old with Willow and his herd, and dies peacefully.
- Sgorr (Red Deer)
The main antagonist, he was once a member of Herne's Herd, and was revealed later on to have killed an infant human. Sgorr lost an eye due to a wolf, leading him to kill many Lera, and has no antlers, though he makes up for this by having sharpened teeth.
- Bhreac (Red Deer)
An old doe who helps Rannoch on his quest.
- Blindweed(Red Deer)
An old, wise storyteller, who is friends to Rannoch and Eloin.
- Bracken (Red Deer)
Rannoch's foster mother; Bracken pretended Rannoch was her fawn so that he would be safe from Sgorr, who wanted to kill Brechin's offspring. She is later killed by one of Sgorr's spies.
- Drail (Red Deer)
The old antagonist, who is later betrayed and killed by Sgorr.
- Tain (Red Deer)
A very good friend to Rannoch, who becomes an Outrider.
- Thistle (Red Deer)
An initially jealous friend of Rannoch, who often challenges him. Rannoch is submissive, but Thistle challenged him until Rannoch realized that he needed to fight against Sgorr, and to win Willow.
- Bankfoot (Red Deer)
Rannoch's best friend, who was often bullied by Thistle as a fawn, but became strong and a Captain of the Outriders after Sgorr is defeated. He had a stutter.
- Peppa (Red Deer)
Willow's' twin sister and Bankfoot's love interest. She was very kind and gentle, but was killed in the battle against Sgorr.
- Willow (Red Deer)
Peppa's twin sister and Rannoch's love interest, who later becomes his mate.
- Birrmagnur (Reindeer)
A reindeer whom Rannoch confuses with Herne at first, who aids Rannoch.
- Colquhar (Red Deer)
An antagonist towards Rannoch and the Home Herd. But he later becomes a protagonist when he tries to buy the Outriders time by fighting Sgorr.
A young buck who gives Brechin his message to the supposed "council meeting" which will actually lead to his demise, but he'll later on try to warn Eloin of her impending doom.
Sgorr's loyal servant.
A stag of the Slave Herd.
A doe of the slave herd.
A raven who helps Rannoch while on his adventure. He gets many birds to help in 'The Final Battle.'
A wolf who gets saved by Rannoch, and later gets his pack to help in 'The Final Battle.'
A seal who helps Rannoch by telling him about the ocean and man.
A roe deer who informs Rannoch about Hernes Herd.
- The mole
A friend to Rannoch while he is being tamed by Liam, and helps him realize Rannoch has been tamed.
An Outrider of the Herd on the Loch.
- The boy (Liam)
A human boy who manages to tame Rannoch, but later releases him. Later in the story, Liam kills Sgorr but lets Rannoch live.
One of Rannoch's' friends who stayed in the Park with his mother due to his weakened condition, but later returns to fight Sgorr.
- Dave Jenkinson (17 September 1999). Fire Bringer "CM Magazine". Retrieved 20 May 2010.