Fantasy author Patricia A. McKillip, the 21st century's response to Hans Christian Andersen, has mastered the art of writing fairy tales -- as evidenced by previous works like The Tower at Stony Wood, Ombria in Shadow, and In the Forests of Serre. Alphabet of Thorn is yet another timeless fable suitable for children and adults alike. In the kingdom of Raine, a vast realm at the edge of the world, an orphaned baby girl is found by a palace librarian and raised to become a translator. Years later, the girl -- named Nepenthe -- comes in contact with a mysterious book written in a language of thorns that no one, not even the wizards at Raine's famous Floating School for mages, can decipher. The book calls out to Nepenthe's very soul, and she is soon privately translating its contents. As she works tirelessly transcribing the book -- which turns out to be about the historical figures of Axis, the Emperor of Night, and Kane, his masked sorcerer -- the kingdom of Raine is teetering on the brink of chaos. The newly crowned queen, a mousy 14-year old girl named Tessera who wants nothing to do with matters of state, hides in the woods as regents plot revolution. The queen's destiny, however, is intertwined with Nepenthe's ability to unravel the mystery of the thorns.
The latest "rich, resonant" (Publishers Weekly) fantasy from the World Fantasy Award-winning author of The Bell at Sealey Head. Eager to graduate from the school on the hill, Phelan Cle chose Bone Plain for his final paper because he thought it would be an easy topic. Immortalized by poets and debated by scholars, it was commonly accepted-even at a school steeped in bardic tradition-that Bone Plain, with its three trials, three terrors, and three treasures, was nothing more than a legend, a metaphor. But as his research leads him to the life of Nairn, the Wandering Bard, the Unforgiven, Phelan starts to wonder if there are any easy answers...
An "elegant" (Library Journal) fantasy from the World Fantasy Award-winning author of Solstice Wood Sealey Head is a small town on the edge of the ocean, a sleepy place where everyone hears the ringing of a bell no one can see. On the outskirts of town is the one truly great house, Aislinn House, where the aged Lady Eglantyne lies dying, and where the doors sometimes open not to its own dusty rooms, but to the wild majesty of a castle full of knights and princesses...
Twenty years ago, the powerful mage Atrix Wolfe unleashed an uncontrollable force that killed his beloved king. Now, the Queen of the Wood has offered him one last chance for redemption. She asks him to find her daughter, who vanished into the human world during the massacre he caused. No one has seen the princess-but deep in the kitchens of the Castle of Pelucir, there is a scullery maid who appeared out of nowhere one night long ago. She cannot speak and her eyes are full of sadness. But there are those who call her beautiful.
Peri grunted and shoved her scrub-bucket farther down the hall. The waves of suds she sent across the floor turned into tide and foam. There was a sudden crash. The inn door, with someone clinging to it, had blown open under a vigorous puff of spring wind. Peri looked up to see a stranger lose his balance on her tide. He danced upright a moment. Then he tossed his arms, fell, and slid down the hall to kick over her bucket before he washed to a halt under her astonished nose. They stared at each other, nose to nose. The stranger lay prone, panting slightly. Peri, wordless, sat back on her knees, her brush suspended, dripping on the stranger's hair. He popped a soap bubble with one forefinger and said, "I heard a rumor that someone here needs a magician." He got slowly to his feet and ran a hand down his dripping clothes. The dripping stopped. The flagstones were suddenly dry. So was the puddle outside the door.
At the edge of the world in the Luxour Desert, invisible dragons cast shadows over ruined castles and Meguet's fate depends upon a secret locked away in a tower for centuries.
Here is the eagerly anticipated follow-up to the award-winning anthology Firebirds! Firebirds Rising takes readers from deep space to Faerie to just around the corner. It is full of magic, humor, adventure, and?best of all?the unexpected. The one thing readers can count on is marvelous writing. Firebirds Rising proves once again that Firebird is a gathering place for writers and readers of speculative fiction from teenage to adult, from the United States to Europe, Asia, and beyond.
To Galactic Patroller Aaron Fischer, the gilded and golden musician known as the Queen of Hearts had been a single lucky draw in a loser's lifetime. But for the queen herself, whose ability to beat out the timeless rhythms of the universe had earned her acclaim as the best cuber in the galaxy, there was only one way to win at life's gamble. She would free her deadly alter-ego from the orbiting prison known as "The Underworld" and play the hand fate had dealt her--then let the consequences scatter across the milky way like exploding stars ... She is the Queen of Hearts, the stellar performer whose ability to beat out the timeless rhythms of the universe has earned her acclaim as the best cuber in the galaxy. And she wears the golden smile, the gilded face-paint which masks her true identity. Yet as the band, headed by her old friend the Magician, closes in on the orbiting penal colony known as the Underworld, the Queen of Hearts knows that this will be more than a one-night gig. For in the shadow of dark prison resides the one remaining link between the masked musician and her forgotten past. Incarcerated in the depths of the Under-world is Terra Viridian, the hollow-eyed visionary of apocalypse--and the murderer of more than fifteen hundred innocent people. Encased in the bubble of the experimental mind prober known as "The Dream Machine," Terra projects on to a screen the nightmarish sequence of images that make up her haunting future-vision: a molten red sun, an oval turned inward, a desert of amethyst sand. But as scientists scramble to decode Terra's devastating message, yet another image appears on the screen: Hearts ... red hearts ... the red hearts that licked at the golden skin like tongues of fire. In a stunning turnabout, Terra Viridian will have the opportunity to once again pursue the vision that has haunted her, a vision that hides a secret and a mystery vital to the lives of everyone on the Fool's Run.
Sixteen when a baby is brought to her to raise, Sybel has grown up on Eld Mountain. Her only playmates are the creatures of a fantastic menagerie called there by wizardry. Sybel has cared nothing for humans, until the baby awakens emotions previously unknown to her. And when Coren--the man who brought this child--returns, Sybel's world is again turned upside down.
Though Morgon the Riddle-Master was reunited with his beloved Raederle, his purpose in life and the reason for his starts on his forehead remained a mystery.... Thus concludes the trilogy of Morgon, Raederle, Deth - and the end of an age...
A fantasist without equal, Patricia A. McKillip has created worlds of intricate beauty and unforgettably nuanced characters. For 25 years, she's drawn readers into her spell, spinning modern-day fables with a grace rarely seen. Now she presents a book of previously uncollected short stories, full of beautiful dragons, rueful princesses, and handsome bards, and written in the gorgeous - and often surprisingly funny - prose she's known for. This is her world, wrapped up in the finery of fairy tales.
This is the second of three books about Morgon, Raederle, and The End of an Age, which began in the Riddle-Master of Hed.
While staying with her cousin in England, a young girl helps him find a way of helping the troubled ghosts inhabiting the cellar of the house.
In the tales of World Fantasy Award-winning author Patricia McKillip, nothing is ever as it seems. A mirror is never just a mirror; a forest is never just a forest. Here, it is a place where a witch can hide in her house of bones and a prince can bargain with his heart...where good and evil entwine and wear each others' faces... and where a bird with feathers of fire can quench the fiercest longing...
In the new fantasy from the award-winning author of the Riddle-Master Trilogy, a young man comes of age amid family secrets and revelations, and transformative magic. Hidden away from the world by his mother, the powerful sorceress Heloise Oliver, Pierce has grown up working in her restaurant in Desolation Point. One day, unexpectedly, strangers pass through town on the way to the legendary capital city. "Look for us," they tell Pierce, "if you come to Severluna. You might find a place for yourself in King Arden's court." Lured by a future far away from the bleak northern coast, Pierce makes his choice. Heloise, bereft and furious, tells her son the truth: about his father, a knight in King Arden's court; about an older brother he never knew existed; about his father's destructive love for King Arden's queen, and Heloise's decision to raise her younger son alone. As Pierce journeys to Severluna, his path twists and turns through other lives and mysteries: an inn where ancient rites are celebrated, though no one will speak of them; a legendary local chef whose delicacies leave diners slowly withering from hunger; his mysterious wife, who steals Pierce's heart; a young woman whose need to escape is even greater than Pierce's; and finally, in Severluna, King Arden's youngest son, who is urged by strange and lovely forces to sacrifice his father's kingdom. Things are changing in that kingdom. Oldmagic is on the rise. The immensely powerful artifact of an ancient god has come to light, and the king is gathering his knights to quest for this profound mystery, which may restore the kingdom to its former glory--or destroy it...From the Hardcover edition.
Kyreol's mission to another planet and Terje's trip to observe their old river home both meet with unexpected dangers and an eventual melding of very different cultures.
Unwillingly betrothed to Korre, totally unlike her curious self, Kyreol accepts an opportunity to accompany a friend on a trip to the end of their known world, during which she explores many cultures and experiences troubling thoughts.
Brenden Vetch has a gift. With an innate sense he cannot explain to himself or describe to others, he connects to the agricultural world, nurturing gardens to flourish and instinctively knowing the healing properties each plant and herb has to offer.<P><P> But Brenden's gift isolates him from people--and from becoming part of a community. <P> Until the day he receives a personal invitation from the wizard Od. She needs a gardener for her school in the great city of Kelior, where every potential wizard must be trained to serve the Kingdom of Numis. For decades the rulers of Numis have controlled the school, believing they can contain the power within it--and punish any wizard who dares defy the law. <P> But unknown to the reigning monarchy is the power possessed by the school's new gardener--a power that even Brenden isn't fully aware of, and which is the true reason Od recruited him...
When Ombria's prince, Royce Greve, breathes his last--in palace rooms high above the city--he leaves his young son and mistress at the mercy of his ancient and powerful great-aunt, Domina Pearl. <P><P>Meanwhile, in a dreamlike underworld peopled by Ombria's ghosts, a sorceress weaves her spells and brews her potions, never revealing her real face--or true heart. And somewhere in between, the struggle to rule the whole of Ombria--both its light and shadows--will rest in the hands of those whose fractured lives align like the lost pieces of a magical puzzle....
For over twenty years, Patricia A. McKillip has captured the hearts and imaginations of thousands of readers. And although her renowned Riddle-Master trilogy--The Riddle-Master of Hed, Heir of Sea and Fire, and Harpist in the Wind--has been long out of print, it is considered her most enduring and beloved work. Now it is collected in one volume for the first time--the epic journeys of a young prince in a strange land, where wizards have long since vanished...but where magic is waiting to be reborn.
Long ago, the wizards had vanished from the world, and all knowledge was left hidden in riddles. Morgon, prince of the simple farmers of Hed, proved himself a master of such riddles when he staked his life to win a crown from the dead Lord of Aum.
When bookstore owner Sylvia Lynn returns to her childhood home in upstate New York, she meets the Fiber Guild-a group of local women who meet to knit, embroider, and sew-and learns why her grandmother watches her so closely. A primitive power exists in the forest, a force the Fiber Guild seeks to bind in its stitches and weavings. And Sylvia is no stranger to the woods
As a child, Rook had been taken in by the bards of Luly, and raised as one of their own. Of his past he knew nothing -- except faint memories of fire and death that he'd do anything to forget. But nightmares, and a new threat to the island that had become his own, would not let him escape the dreaded fate of his true family. Haunted by the music of the bards, he left the only home he knew to wander the land of the power-hungry basilisk who had destroyed his family. And perhaps, finally, to find a future in the fulfillment of his forgotten destiny.
From the World Fantasy Award-winning author of The Bards of Bone Plain. Something half-woke in him, and he froze on the threshold, seeing misshapen faces billow in the flames. As a child, Rook had been taken in by the bards of Luly, and raised as one of their own. Of his past he knew nothing--except faint memoires of fire and death that he'd do anything to forget. But nightmares, and a new threat to the island that had become his own, would not let him escape the dreadful fate of his true family. Haunted by the music of the bards, he left the only home he knew to wander the land of the power-hungry Basilisk who had destroyed his family. And perhaps, finally, to find a future in the fulfillment of his forgotten destiny...
Corleu, child of the Wayfolk, tries to rescue his people when they become lost. But his endeavours lead him into another world - home of the Blind Lady, the Blood Fox and the Dancer. A world where his search for knowledge leads to riddles, until he discovers the destiny of the Guardian of the Maze.