Thomas, the Rhymer

Ellen Kushner, Author
Ellen Kushner, Author William Morrow & Company $18.95 (247p) ISBN 978-1-55710-046-7
Reviewed on: 03/31/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
Based on the famous ballad of the medieval minstrel who was abducted by the Queen of Elfland, this romantic fantasy is a happy blend of discreet scholarship and literary style. A Boston-based radio producer, Kushner ( Swordspoint ) is at ease in Middle-Earth where Thomas, insouciant harper and rhymer, appears at the humble dwelling of a weathered crofter and his wife. Dazzling them with stories of the king's court, the damsels he's won and the sights he's seen, he also enthralls young Elspeth, a neighbor. Their mutual attraction is frustrated when Thomas suddenly disappears, and for seven years is held captive by the silken Queen of Elfland, who releases him with a questionable gift, the inability to speak anything but the truth. As Thomas renews his earthly life with Elspeth, the gift leads to interesting complications. Kushner creates a lavish microcosm where riddles and runes and magical transformations govern. (Apr.)
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