Patricia A. McKillip: Song for the Basilisk

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The city of Berylon was ruled by the Tormalynes, until Arioso Pellior, head of another major family, slaughtered them all. Only one small boy survived, hiding in the ashes of a fireplace. The boy was delivered to a rocky island far north, to be raised by the bards. The boy, Rook, has no idea of his past, and he seems content to live on the island, teaching music.

However, his heart holds the fire that burnt his family and one day, almost 40 years after the slaughter, the arrival of a distant relative brings the memories back. Rook must travel back to Berylon to face his past. But Berylon is already burning... McKillip takes a classic setting and twists it into a tale that won't fit in the mold of a standard revenge story.

Curious instruments and the magical music played by them is an important theme in this book. There's actual magic in the world, capable of both good and evil. Song for the Basilisk is a beautiful book, as can be expected from McKillip, a true master of words. The book offers plenty of pretty words and lyrical prose, while telling an exciting plot that will hold reader tight. This is no routine fantasy, but a wonderful story in a world full of magic, written with genuine skill. (Review based on the Finnish translation) [ Song for Basilisk at ]Song for the Basilisk at LibraryThing ]

Other blogs that write about the book:
Books under the Covers: Song for the Basilisk, by Patricia McKillip (warning: spoils the plot)

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This page contains a single entry by Mikko published on May 18, 2008 8:26 PM.

Antal Szerb: The Pendragon Legend was the previous entry in this blog.

Keepers and non-keepers is the next entry in this blog.

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