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McKillip, Patricia A.
book-date: 1977
cvr art:
cvr price:
(Tall) Hardcover
Michael Mariano

Book= VG+ to near-Fine
Dustjacket= VG+

DJ is price-clipped, wear and short tears at top of spine, short tear at bottom-right. This is NOT ex-library, and has no stamps, marks or writing.

The wonderful cover by Mariano perfectly illustrates one of the most powerful scenes in all of Fantasy - where Raederle bargains with the dead kings of An for protection for her betrothed, and comes to terms with the source of her powers - heritage of the shapechangers who were enemies of Morgon.

A great Fantasy novel by Patricia McKillip: Heir of Sea and Fire - second in the "Riddlemaster" or "Riddle of Stars" trilogy.

This book focuses on Raederle, "the second most beautiful woman in all of An," who had been promised in marriage to Morgon, Prince of Hed, the winner of a riddle-game with the dead king Peven. Morgon is apparantly dead, since his land-rule passed to his brother Elliard, on the same day that the Wizards were freed from their centuries-old binding. Raederle decides to go and seek answers from the High One at Erlenstar Mountain, accompanied by Lyra (land-heir of the Morgul of Herun) and Tristan of Hed (Morgon's sister.) They never finish that journey, as they learn that Morgon is alive - greatly changed and powerful, filled with a terrible purpose. He is pursued by an ancient enemy to all: the shapechangers from the sea who had killed his parents - and generations before, tried to interfere with the land-rule of An by putting one of their own into the bloodline.

This is High Fantasy at its best - on the same plateau as Tolkien's LORD OF THE RINGS. McKillip uses some of the same sources for names as Tolkien did, but this is in no way derivative. One thing this does share with LOTR is a centuries-old backstory where all threads are coming to a head, and a new Age is about to be born. Patricia McKillip shows an ability to create interesting characters who can surprise you. Needless to say, this easily makes my "top 20" list.

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