Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Harpist in the Wind by Patricia A. McKillip

Book Jacket

Though Morgon the Riddle-Master was reunited with his beloved Raederle, his purpose in life and the reason for the stars on his forehead remained a mystery.  All around him, the realm shook with war and disaster as mysterious shape-changers battled against mankind.  Without the missing High One, Morgon must assume responsibility for all his world.

After leading an army of the dead to protect his island of Hed, he and Raederle set out for Lungold, where the wizards were assembling against the evil Ghisteslwchlohm.  And behind them came Deth, the crippled harpist, Morgon's friend and betrayer.

But Lungold was only the beginning of the quest that would lead him to the truth of ancient struggle and the fate of the High One, until at last he could solve all mysteries and know his own awesome destiny!


McKillip must be some kind of genius for getting me to read her entire trilogy.  Her fantasy world of magic and shape-changers is incredibly cerebral and image-heavy.  Not my favorite thing.  And in each of her three books, I'm tempted to just give up on the story halfway through.

But then something happens.  A new question, a hidden motive, and I have to know what will happen.  The plot jumps forward at a neck-breaking speed, and there are more characters to keep track of in too short of time, but....somehow she makes me care!  I don't even know how.

You might have noticed I have mixed feelings about this series.  I suppose I can most easily say that Morgon's story is one I adore, while the way it is described is not my favorite.  That said, I kind of want to read them again someday, to see how hints led the way to the big reveal.  And because now I have a grasp on who is who and how things get done.

All that aside, Morgon and Raederle make up one of my very favorite couples in all of literature.  They are both powerful, both flawed and scared.  They fight for each other and against each other, and they care about each other very deeply.  I wouldn't mind having a romance like theirs.

Four out of five towers.

Release Date:  1979
Reading Level: Grade 7+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection: Not currently part of Dunlap's collection.

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