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Sunday, June 1, 2008

The Sorceress and the Cygnet - Patricia A. McKillip

Read for the Mythopoeic Award and Once Upon a Time II reading challenges.

The Sorceress and the Cygnet is a beautifully written, very dense book. The story is told from two points of view: Corleu, a Wayfolk man forced into finding legends made flesh to rescue those he loves, and Meguet, the guardian of the ancient ruling family of the land.

I have to admit that the story is actually hard to follow at times, but the language is so lovely it’s not a hardship to continue on. The characters are fascinating, and the “villains” of the story are fascinatingly conceived and rendered. I’m having trouble thinking of more to say. I definitely get the feeling this a read numerous times to really understand it kind of book.

There is a second book set in this world (Cygnet and Firebird), but both of these books are actually out of print individually, and are now only available as a combined edition called Cygnet. From the looks of the reviews on Amazon, the fans of these books are extremely devoted. I do think it’s probably a love it or hate it kind of series.


Nymeth said...

I really need to read Patricia A. McKillip. I've read some of her short stories, but no novels. Everyone keeps saying that her use of language is beautiful, and I love writers that manage to do that.

Megan said...

Her use of language is gorgeous. So much so that I'm surprised some of her stuff is classified as YA, because I have a hard time wading through it, and I'm in my 30s ;)

Paul Deane said...

Very nice review. Would you mind if I quoted a sentence or so on a website I'm working on?