The concluding audiobook of McKillip's Riddle Master trilogy opens peacefully but soon places the listener in the midst of conflict and unrest. The Prince of Hed solves the puzzle of his future when he learns to harp the wind, discovers who the shape changers are, and understands his own relationship to Deth, harpist of the wizard Ohm.
Listen to more in the Riddle-Master trilogy.
©1979 Patricia A. McKillip (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
Locus Award, Best Fantasy Novel, 1980
Patricia McKillip's trilogy is one of the best fantasy novels/series I've ever read. But listening to it on audio is even better. It is a literary quality series on par with the Earthsea Trilogy by Leguin, Tolkein, or the works of Guy Gavriel Kay. If you like these writers, you'll love this book. Start with Riddlemaster of Hed, then Heir of Sea and Fire, and finish with Harpist in the Wind. It is an incredible writing achievement. Enjoy.
Mr. Prebble finished this trilogy with his beautifully modulated reading and dramatic timing. Thank you Audiobooks for recording one of my favorite fantasy books. Highly recommended.
Once again Patricia A. McKillip has delivered an excellent story! Thankfully, this time it was read by Simon Prebble, reader of The Riddle Master of Hed. Excellent book and excellent narrator!
A trilogy. Say it in three. Done.
Satisfying conclusion to a classic fantasy series with a mystical bent, rather than endless butchery and swordplay. Many reviews stated that the series gained momentum here in book 3. I found that to be true, also. Furthermore, I felt the relationships were more fully explored in this book, whereas the first two books focused mainly on one character, with first Morgon (book 1) and then Raederle (2) coming into their own sense of purpose, power, destiny. I liked the rich interplay across various relationships in this book — in fact, I cried towards the end.
I was able to predict some of what happened, but McKillip didn't employ all the normal tropes (only some of them). The plot and world mythos is not simple, nor terribly complex, but as a listener I had to pay attention and replay several scenes.
Riddles (questions about history, decisions, and destiny) occur throughout the series, and those unanswered questions bedeviled me. But they were FINALLY and FULLY addressed here, as the story reached a resounding conclusion.
McKillip writes quite well, but WHY do authors feel the need to harbor and protect bloodthirsty, vicious, stone-cold psychos?? These guys killed thousands, including children. Why didn't the hero kill them???
The audio narration by Simon Prebble was not bad, but nor did it enhance the story. I could barely hear a difference between voices for Ohm, Danan, Har, and Deth, for example.
As with many fantasies, invented names for characters and places are hard to differentiate and remember via audio. In this case, I found it hard to hear the difference between similar-sounding words of one or two syllables: An, Aum, Ohm, El, Iff, Nun, Tel, Tol, Hed, Har, Hel, Herun, Hlurle, Heureu, Rood, Rork, Ymris, Yrth, etc. To better comprehend, I referred to a VERY helpful website: wizzley (dot) com (slash) riddle-master
This series was popular when I was a kid, but I never got around to reading it. The first volume has a bit of a "wild goose chase" feeling, but the characters and world are fascinating, and the switch in POV in volume 2 added much depth and variety. I love Patricia McKillip's standalone novels (Od Magic, Forgotten Beasts of Eld) and actually enjoyed them more than this series.
I would highly recommend this trilogy to anyone that is a fan of the fantasy genre. It tells a wonderful story of destiny, loss, mystery, and incredible power.
I love the world that the author created. It feels very middle age Irish/ Scottish/ English. The land is split up into multiple kingdoms governed by rulers who are thousands of years old and have a mystical binding with their land.
The scene when the hero finally learns what his destiny is has to be one of my favorite moments in any book. Deeply satisfying.
Yes, and I almost did.
In the timeless storyline of mans struggle with change, this story ties the standard with Tolkien. I first read the series in '87, and marveled at the story line then. I discovered it as a audible and quickly bought the series.
Well spoken, good pitch,
The same as the trilogy from Doubleday books..."the Stars of Hed"
The narrator has a limited number of voices, and likes to speed through the dialogue. This makes it difficult to know who is saying what.
The author likes to use excessively dense descriptions, often to the detriment of the story.
I chose this trilogy during the Audible trilogy special buy 2 get one free as it was one of the few sci-fi/ fantasy trilogies i have not already enjoyed. It is one I probably wouldn't not have chosen under other circumstances. Z that being said, this was not my favorite fantasy trilogy, but it is also far from the worse. The author started with a mostly unique world, with an interesting magic system. However, I believe there were many missed opportunities to make this good trilogy a great one. At times the story felt choppy and a little stilted. I also found this trilogy very predictable for the most part. I found myself wanting to like the protagonist more, but there was a slight lack in character development and relationship development. I wouldn't recommend this to someone just getting into the genre, as there are many better representations of it.
That being said this was a nice listen. I enjoyed listening to it the most as kind of a background story while doing other tasks.
This series is super epic, detailed without ever bogging down, and generally fun to read. Clearly not for anyone who dislikes fantasy books, but definitely a good choice for readers who only enjoy well written fantasy books that at least espouse good philosophy.
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