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Rhapsody: Child of Blood [Mass Market Paperback]

Elizabeth Haydon
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (319 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 15 2000 Rhapsody Trilogy (Book 1)
The brilliant new saga is born ...

Rhapsody is a woman, a Singer of some talent, who is swept up into events of world-shattering import. On the run from an old romantic interest who won't take no for an answer, Rhapsody literally bumps into a couple of shady characters: half-breeds who come to her rescue in the nick of time. Only the rescue turns into an abduction, and Rhapsody soon finds herself dragged along on an epic voyage, one that spans centuries and ranges across a wonder-filled fantasy world-- a world so real you can hear the sweet music of Rhapsody's aubade and smell the smoldering forges deep within the Cauldron.

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Product Description

From Amazon

Rhapsody is high fantasy, descended from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings through Eddings's Belgariad and Malloreon series, complete with an elf-like people, cannibalistic giants, fire-born demons, and dragons. Inquiring fantasy readers will wonder whether it can live up to such distinguished predecessors. The answer is yes. Haydon's first fantasy is a palpable hit. The three protagonists are well-realized characters whose adventures are by turns hilarious, horrific, and breathtaking. Best of all, though elements are drawn from familiar sources ranging from Norse myth to Mozart's The Magic Flute, Haydon's magic worldbuilding is convincing, consistent, and interesting.

Rhapsody, a young woman trained as a Namer, can attune herself to the vibrations of all things, tap the power of true names, and rename people, changing their basic identities. Her magic lies in music: "Music is nothing more than the maps through the vibrations that make up all the world. If you have the right map, it will take you wherever you want to go," she tells her adoptive brothers. They are "the Brother," a professional assassin able to sense and track the heartbeats of all natives of the doomed Island of Seren, their homeland, and his giant sidekick Grunthor, a green-skinned Sergeant Major who enjoys making jokes, using edged weapons, and honing his cannibalistic palate. Inadvertently, Rhapsody has renamed the Brother Achmed the Snake, breaking his enslavement to Tsoltan the F'dor (a fire-born demon). Tsoltan sends minions in pursuit to rebind Achmed. The three escape into the roots of a World Tree, Sagia, emerging transformed into another country and century. But have they truly escaped the F'dor's evil? And how does all this relate to the prologue's story of Gwydion and Emily, two young lovers brought together across history and then separated by the mysterious Meridion?

Like most first volumes, Rhapsody contains a lot of background information and foreshadowing, though Haydon ties up numerous plot lines at the end. The dislocations in time can be confusing, and some readers may find that the very 1990s dialogue clashes with the epic storytelling of the descriptive passages. Overall, however, Rhapsody is a smashing debut that delivers hours of great reading and will have you impatient to read the rest of the series. --Nona Vero --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Distinguished by superior wit and intelligence, this fantasy debut opens what looks to be an outstanding saga. In the ancient city of Easton, Rhapsody is learning musical magic after a brief time as a courtesan. While running from trouble caused by one of her ex-clients, she encounters two strangers, the assassin Achmed and the gigantic mercenary Grunthor. By hailing Achmed as her brother, Rhapsody not only saves her own life but breaks the control that the sorcerer Tsoltan, a servant of the fire demons known as F'dor, had over the mercenary. The three companions flee both human and magical forces that pursue them by climbing down the root of the Great Tree; as they pass through the fire at the center of Earth, their situation is magically transformed. They emerge not just on the other side of the world but 14 centuries in the future, when the land is torn by ethnic, religious and magical warfare arising from a multitude of realistic motivesAall depicted in exhaustive detail. But their demonic pursuers have also crossed time and space in pursuit; to counter them, Achmed determines to become king of the barbaric Firbolg. This huge and complex novel draws expertly on deep scholarship in Celtic, Norse and animist folklore, myth and history. With exemplary skill, it weaves these elements into its characterizations, world building and depiction of magic to create a narrative that grips throughout. This is one of the finest high fantasy debuts in years. Agent, Richard Curtis. 100,000 first printing; major ad/promo.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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He moved like the shadow of a passing cloud, unseen, unnoticed, even by the wind that blew around him as if he were not there. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different book July 9 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The approach to this book is so different from the usual Fantasy novel, that I found myself drawn in from the beginning. Nicely written and well paced, it is a distinct departure from the slash-em up's of Salvatore or the wasted time of Jordan. I highly recommend this book to people who are fans of fantasy as well as non-fans who are looking for an introductory novel. Bravo!!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time Jan. 7 2004
By Liz
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I love sci-fi/fantasy and I was suckered in by many of the good reviews here. It did sound interesting, three people transported hundreds of years into the future, so I gave it a shot. I still can't believe I wasted two days on this book and the two following it. I curse the fact that I'm one of the sort of people that needs resolution, even if it means wading through three books of complete drivel.
Achmed and Grunthor were the only reasons I didn't use this book to start a bonfire. Those two are actually interesting characters, even if they're turned into metaphorical eunuchs later on. I skipped pages to read more about them and to get away from Mary Sue--oh, sorry, I mean Rhapsody.
Let's talk about Rhapsody. How perfect does a character really need to be? This woman is blond, thin, beautiful beyond description, modest, magically talented, an expert swordswoman, loves all children -- excuse me while I go retch.
She started out fairly well, a former prostitute trying to escape from an over-attentive client, but it all went downhill after that. When she's "reborn" in the fire and becomes Ms. I'm So Perfect, she becomes utterly unbearable. Page after page is spent talking about her beauty and the affect it has on everyone around her -- which she, of course, has no knowledge of. I was grinding my teeth before I even made it a third of the way through the book.
The horror that is Rhapsody herself aside, this book has way too many other flaws for me to recommend it. How much of a history lesson do we really need? Personally, I was almost put to sleep every time a character felt the need to lecture us for pages on end about their world's history and politics. It's boring. In fact that pretty much sums up the majority of this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love it Dec 8 2010
By rooster
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you love strong female characters, imaginative new lands, fantastic story telling. You will love this book!
I would also recommend the Kushiel Series by Jaquelin Carey and the Black Jeweled Trilogy by Anne Bishop if you enjoy this genre of Fantasy. :)Kushiel's Dart
Black Jewels Trilogy #1 Daughter Of The Blood
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely awesome. March 15 2005
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I found this book very interesting and hard to put down. Haydon does an awesome job with her characters.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book I've Read July 1 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I love fantasy, and I'm currently reading like 5 fantasy books. Someone recomended Rhapsody to me, and I reluctantly bought it. I read the prologue at school and finished it the same day at home. I love it! I'm in the middle of the second one right now. Haydon has a way of brining you into the story and keeping you there. You feel as though you can relate to the characters. Each character is brought to life, and you feel for them. The second book so far is even better than the first, if thats possible. Everything about this book is amazing. One of the best fantasys ive read in a LONG time!!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars The start of an outstanding trilogy June 19 2004
By Angel
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I first bought this book with no knowledge of how much acclaim it has gotten. One thing that interests me is how Haydon utilizes the skills of a bard. Haydon has created one of the most modest heroines I have ever seen, and with grace I might add. This tale offers the background on each of its main characters giving some understanding on how each came to be and why they are the way they are. On the surface, Rhapsody seems like a dainty woman that could be easily taken but in reality Haydon has made a character that had been through much and can withstand just about anything, even if it does frighten her. The bond that's created with the three is commendable and the journey through time is indescribable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent start to Symphony of Ages June 17 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Being a great lover of fantasy dash with just a bit of romance and wit, I have to say that I have found everything I have been looking for(and more)in this very excellent novel.
Elizabeth Haydon has created a wonderful world where the good are truly good and the bad are really horrible. The characters in 'Rhapsody' are well-crafted although Rhapsody herself borders on the unbelievable side cos she is just too perfect. However, Achmed the Snake and Grunthor the jolly giant are characters you can't help but love; the former for his wit and skills, the latter for his jolly disposition and gigantic frame. Ashe, the enigmatic part-dragon also makes an appearance at the end of the book and I am looking forward to seeing more of him in the later books.
'Rhapsody' opens with the mysterious Meridion with his Time Editor machine which can (surprise surprise) manipulate time, in the process bringing together 2 children from different Time and parts of the world who discover their love for each other.Sam and Emily are later torn apart again (Why?) But do not think that it's the end of the story cos the scene then changes to that of Rhapsody, a former courtesan. The story continues with her meeting up with Achmed and Grunthor and thus beginning their epic journey which crosses Time.
The description of the book is exellent, but the changes in the Time may prove a bit confusing, making the reader often having to refer to previous pages.But overall, this is truly an amazing series judging by the first book. Haydon ties up soon loose ends here, letting us know how the prologue is related to the story, but still leaving us hanging, anticipating the continuation of the story. There is no doubt that Elizabeth Haydon can be compared to great authors like Tolkien and Robert Jordan.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Why?
From the blurb on the back of this book, i thought, ahh, this sounds promising. But unfortunately, half way through i thought, why bother? Read more
Published on July 6 2004 by Suzanne
4.0 out of 5 stars I bought this for my wife, but I enjoyed it instead
Rating System:
1 star = abysmal; some books deserve to be forgotten
2 star = poor; a total waste of time
3 star = good; worth the effort
4 star = very good;... Read more
Published on June 7 2004 by Erik1988
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
At first I was drawn away from this book, simply because the back of the book made it sound completely cheesy. Read more
Published on May 31 2004 by Jessica G.
2.0 out of 5 stars I could write a better book.
I've read my fair share of fantasy novels, and judging by the reviews given to Elizabeth Haydon's 'Rhapsody', this was a terrible book. Read more
Published on May 16 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars TOO perfect
This book is good, but not as good as I had come to expect after reading most of the reviews.
I expected it to be at almost the same level as Jordan's WheelOfTime or Martin's... Read more
Published on May 4 2004 by sdeb
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 Stars, Deserves Much more!!!
WOW!! Okay, I was a bit hesitant when I first picked up the book, but decided to give Rhapsody a shot, and wow... It left me in awe! Read more
Published on April 18 2004 by Myros
1.0 out of 5 stars How many trees have been cut down for this awfull trash
I read a lot of fantasy (Tolkien, Eddings', Martin, Goodkind f.e.), but this is one of the worst I ever read. I think only Katherine Kerr could have beaten it. Read more
Published on April 9 2004 by Nightfall
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