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Fire Bringer

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Publication date  2000
ISBN  0-330-39010-4
Author  David Clement-Davies
Country  United Kingdom
4.2/5 Goodreads

Language  English
Pages  512 (US Paperback)
Originally published  2000
Followed by  The Sight
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Publisher  MacMillan UK (UK) & Puffin Books (US)
Media type  Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Genres  Young adult fiction, Fantasy
Similar  David Clement-Davies books, Deer books, Fantasy books

Fire Bringer is a young adult fantasy novel by David Clement-Davies published in 1999, in the United Kingdom and 2000, in the United States.


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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, to stand by Drail as his mate. But Rannoch is no ordinary deer; for he bears a white mark on his forehead resembling an oak leaf. This is special because this very oak leaf is the mark discussed in the Prophecy and the symbol of the deer god, Herne.

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. He decides that he will do whatever he has to to the fawns of Rannochs age, even kill or torture them. When Eloin finds out, she steals away to warn Rannoch, and his foster mother, Bracken. Bracken, Bhreac (an old doe), and Eloin warn the other mothers of their fawns safety, however, only five listen. So Rannoch, Peppa, Willow, Tain, Thistle, Bankfoot, Quainch and their mothers embark on a journey to find a place of safety for their fawns. They reach one herd, where a great misfortune befalls Rannoch, leaving every deer thinking him dead, while really he is in the hands of a human. Meanwhile, the herd leader turns against the rest, and gives them up to Sgorr. 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 slowly expands his territory over many herds, wishing to become lord over all the land around him.

Rannoch must struggle growing up without a herd, until he meets his friends again, and they embark on a journey to the mountains to find Herne's herd. It turns out this herd is not all it is said to be, and after Rannoch disperses it, he and his friends form their own herd, sheltering other stragglers from Sgorr. But with his new herd now thirsting forSgorrs blood, Rannoch must decide between action or peace. However, it is too late, and his friends leave him, to fight against Sgorr. Rannoch discovers Sgorrs terrible secret and returns to his friends on the battlefield to defeat Sgorr, aided by all Animals in the forest.


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 was a respected Outrider captain, who was killed early in the story by Drail and Sgorr.

  • 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 could 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 was targeted by Sgorr and Drail due to having a white oak leaf mark on his forehead. 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 of all Lera. He becomes very gentle and isolated, and is uncomfortable with fighting. However, 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 in a wolf attack, leading him to hate and kill many Lera (animals besides deer). He also has no antlers, though he makes up for this by having sharpened teeth. He was very harsh and violent, and was responsible for the creation of 'The Great herd' and the deaths of many Lera. He had a personal army of deer called 'Sgorrla' that had scars on their foreheads and sharpened antlers.

  • Bhreac (Red Deer)
  • An old doe who helps Rannoch on his quest. She died saving Quaich from a river.

  • Blindweed(Red Deer)
  • An old, wise storyteller, who is friends with Bhreac, Rannoch, and Eloin. Blindweed was killed by Drail and Sgorr after he was overheard talking about the prophecy.

  • 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 assassins.

  • Drail (Red Deer)
  • The first antagonist and 'Lord of Herds', who is later betrayed and killed by Sgorr.

  • Tain (Red Deer)
  • One of Rannoch's good friends, who later became an Outrider captain.

  • Thistle (Red Deer)
  • One of Rannoch's childhood friends. When the time comes to fight Sgorr, Thistle leads the deer that are willing to fight. An arrogant and cocky character, Thistle was constantly challenging Rannoch to fights. Rannoch never fought though, which caused Thistle to loathe Rannoch. He was killed by a Sgorrla in the Final Battle.

  • Bankfoot (Red Deer)
  • Rannoch's best friend, who was often bullied by Thistle as a fawn because of his stutter and weight. However he eventually became a Captain of the Outriders.

  • 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 and one of Rannoch's good friends that was brought to the High Land by men.

  • Colquhar (Red Deer)
  • An antagonist at first, Colquar was an Outrider who turned Rannoch's friends over to Sgorr. He later killed the lord of his herd and became lord himself. However, after being called to meet with Sgorr he was captured, blinded, and forced to live in Sgorr's herd. Colquar later becomes a protagonist when he bought the Outriders time in the battle against Sgorr.


  • Bandach (Red Deer)
  • A young buck who gives Brechin his message to the supposed "council meeting" which will actually lead to Brechin's demise, but Bandach later warns Eloin of the approaching Dralia.

  • Narl (Red Deer)
  • Sgorr's loyal servant.

  • Haarg (Red Deer)
  • A stag of the Slave Herd that later supports and befriends Rannoch.

  • Liath (Red Deer)
  • The head doe of the Slave Herd.

  • Crak (Raven)
  • A raven who helps Rannoch while on his adventure. He gets many birds to help in 'The Final Battle.'

  • Wolf
  • A wolf who gets saved and healed by Rannoch, and later gets his pack to help in 'The Final Battle.'

  • Rurl (Seal)
  • A seal who helps Rannoch by telling him about the ocean and man. He later takes Rannoch to the island where Sgorr's secret is buried.

  • Teek (Roe Deer)
  • A roe deer who informs Rannoch about Hernes Herd.

  • The Mole
  • A friend to Rannoch while he is being kept by Liam, he helps Rannoch realize that the boy has tamed him.

  • Shira (Red deer)
  • Tain's mother. She was kept alive by Sgorr so that he could threaten killing her to keep Eloin in line.

  • Canisp (Red Deer)
  • Bankfoot's mother. She was kept alive by Sgorr so that he could threaten killing her to keep Eloin in line.

  • Alyth (Red Deer)
  • Thistle's mother. She was killed by Sgorrla while Rannoch's friends were fleeing.

  • Braan (Red Deer)
  • An Outrider of the Herd on the Loch.

  • Liam (Human Boy)
  • A human boy who manages to tame Rannoch, but later releases him. Later in the story, Liam kills Sgorr but lets Rannoch live.

  • Quaich (Red Deer)
  • One of Rannoch's friends who stayed in the Deer Park with his mother due to his weakened condition, but later returns to fight Sgorr.


    This book has been compared to the novel Watership Down by Richard Adams, who is also a British author.


    Fire Bringer Wikipedia