cover image Hero's Song: The First Song of Eirren

Hero's Song: The First Song of Eirren

Edith Pattou, Author, E. Pattou, Author Harcourt Children's Books $16.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-15-233807-7

Collun, a timid gardener and herbalist, is forced to leave his safe soil and predictable plants for an epic journey to save his kidnapped sister, Nessa. What begins as a simple quest soon involves the future of an entire kingdom. The reluctant hero is accompanied by three other characters, including a trusted friend, Talisen, who dreams of becoming a true bard--``one who must have the skill for making songs as well as playing them.'' In her first novel, Pattou successfully knits together the diverse strands of Collun's personal cause and the history of Eirren, her mythic country. The multiplicity of characters and locales, intricate plot details and difficult language may put off younger readers; and, although the basic story is psychologically appropriate for the intended audience, it may lack the emotional depth needed to satisfy older readers. However, the problems are perhaps due to the fact that this novel is the first in a series--one in which Pattou will doubtless extend and explore further her broad canvas. Though the ending here is satisfying, it is loose enough to pique readers' curiosity for the ongoing story. Ages 8-12. (Oct.)