cover image The Dragonbards

The Dragonbards

Shirley Rousseau Murphy. HarperCollins Publishers, $12.95 (249pp) ISBN 978-0-06-024366-1

The popular Dragonbards trilogyNightpool and The Ivory Lyre were the first two bookscomes to an exciting, if somewhat predictable close. The story picks up where the last book ended, with the defeat of the unliving at Dacia. Before Prince Tebriel and his bard companions have rested, distress calls from both dragonlings and an injured dragon signal the start of the final battle against Quazelzeg, lord of the dark. In a bold attempt to rescue two bard children from the slave pits of Quazelzeg, Teb is captured and brutalized; although he is rescued, only Kiri is aware of the true extent of the damage Quazelzeg has done. Will Teb be strong enough to overcome the seeds of destruction the dark lord planted in his mind? No reader familiar with fantasy will doubt the outcome of Teb's inner battle, but the thrilling last battle scene, with the dramatic appearance of Teb's long-lost mother, Meriden, and the poignant farewell to the wise otter Thakkur will more than satisfy readers who enjoyed the first two books. A rousing finale to a notable trilogy. Ages 12-up. (March)