Riddle-Master Paperback – Mar 1 1999
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About the Author
Patricia A. McKillip is a winner of the World Fantasy Award, and the author of many fantasy novels, including The Riddlemaster of Hed trilogy, Stepping from the Shadows, and The Cygnet and the Firebird. She lives in Oregon.
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Top Customer Reviews
As the author hints in her introduction, this trilogy lacks the maturity of her later works, such as "The Book of Atrix Wolfe," "Winter Rose," or the recent "Song for the Basilisk." Yet all the elements are evident that have contributed to making Patricia McKillip one of the finest authors writing fantasy fiction today: beautiful, at times lyrical, prose, imaginative and original themes and characters, and a wondrous sense of the magical that infuses both her world and story throughout. Each world she creates is unique and thoughtfully rendered, with elements designed to provoke both thought and wonder, and her characters are some of the most striking found in fantasy fiction--no small accomplishment indeed!
While I understand the exuberance behind some earlier reviewers' comments--this work is special and deserving of wide readership--some of the praise here goes overboard. Compared to the second two books, "The Riddle-Master of Hed" is a rough cut, both in conception and in terms of its writing.Read more ›
"Riddle-Master of Hed" opens with the discovery of a jeweled crown under Prince Morgan's bed -- a sign that he outriddled a king who had never been defeated before. Along with the crown, he wins the right to marry his pal's sister, Raederle, the second-most beautiful woman in the continent of An.
But Morgan is stopped on his way by a shipwreck and news of something dark and sinister creeping into the lands. Strange shapeshifting creatures are entering the lands, the wizards have vanished from the land, and somehow the three stars on Morgan's brow are connected to their presence and how to stop them. He heads off to Erlenstar Mountain, to find the High One -- and finds more than he bargained for...
"Heir of Sea And Fire" very slowly resolves the cliffhanger ending of "Riddle-Master," focusing instead on Princess Raederle. The land-rule -- a sort of sixth sense given to kings -- of Hed has passed to Morgan's brother, meaning that apparently Morgan is dead -- but Raederle and her father don't believe it's true. She sets off with a few faithful friends, and encounters the semi-sinister harpist Deth, the shapechangers, armies of the dead rampaging through her father's lands -- and disturbing news about her and her heritage.
"Harpist in the Wind" continues from the end of "Heir," with Morgan and Raederle planning what to do next.Read more ›
She carries the reader only so far into the mystery and then deftly skips from A, B, C to E, leaving D undefined and implied. But she never pushes it too far into the esoteric and eternally unreachable. The act of filling in the blanks gives the reader a sense of discovery that makes the story appear just that much more realistic and enjoyable. You are driven, as a riddler yourself, until the very end when it climaxes the way you predicted and yet you are so startled and overjoyed at the discovery in which you've been granted participation, that you aren't disappointed with predictability. Instead, you can't help but feel a terrible sense of loss at having come to the conclusion of such a beautiful thing. While the ending is left wide open, she resolves the plot difficulties she set out to resolve and doesn't waste time or energy on superfluous baggage.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This trilogy is my favourite of all her works. I re-read it often and enjoy it more each time. A truly wonderful, complex, emotional, heart-rending tale and so beautifully written,... Read morePublished on July 8 2012 by Angelfire
This trilogy is closest to my heart, even after forty-five years of reading fairy tales, mythology, fantasy, and science fiction. Read morePublished on June 3 2006 by Grand Sophy
The hero whines a lot, suffers inexplicably over things that don't seem too troublesome, and is loved unreservedly by every good guy in the book. Read morePublished on June 25 2004 by lady_of_mercia
The Riddlemaster of Hed was the first of Patricia McKillip's books that I read. I was drawn in by the disarming simplicity of words combined with such lyricism, such beauty, such... Read morePublished on June 13 2004
I just wanted to give it 5 stars to support its rating and offset some of the bad reviews (hee hee). Read morePublished on June 4 2004 by Lori
I grabbed a copy of this book to read on a plane to Ireland. The plane landed when I had finished all but one chapter, and I ran to the baggage claim to sit down and finish... Read morePublished on April 14 2004 by Jessica Price
I fell so lucky to have the priviledge to read this beautiful story. I have read other McKillip's books and so far, this is the BEST!! Read morePublished on March 24 2004 by Spy Groove