The Bards of Bone Plain

Patricia McKillip, Ace, $24.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-441-01957-1
World Fantasy Award–winner McKillip (The Bell at Sealey Head) offers a rich, resonant story of poetry, riddles, mystery, and magic. Phelan Cle never wanted to be a bard—that's his decidedly unmusical father's ambition for him—but now that he's about to graduate from Bardic School at Caerau, he's determined to make it easy on himself. He chooses what should be a straight-forward thesis topic: Bone Plain, where legend says all poetry originated, where Nairn the Wanderer, the Fool, the Cursed, the Unforgiven, one of the greatest bards in history, failed the mysterious Three Trials and disappeared forever. History surrounds the school and the nearby standing stones, where archaeologist Princess Beatrice digs up an unusual artifact that may hold the key to the mysteries of Bone Plain. McKillip seduces readers with lyrical prose; intriguing, complex characters; and resonant riddles-within-riddles. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/25/2010
Release date: 12/01/2010
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