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The Riddle-Master of Hed: Riddle-Master Trilogy, Book 1 | [Patricia A. McKillip]

The Riddle-Master of Hed: Riddle-Master Trilogy, Book 1

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.But now ancient, evil forces were threatening him. Shape changers began replacing friends until no man could be trusted. So Morgon was forced to flee to hostile kingdoms, seeking the High One who ruled from mysterious Erlenstar Mountain.Beside him went Deth, the High One's Harper. Ahead lay strange encounters and terrifying adventures.
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Publisher's Summary

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.But now ancient, evil forces were threatening him. Shape changers began replacing friends until no man could be trusted. So Morgon was forced to flee to hostile kingdoms, seeking the High One who ruled from mysterious Erlenstar Mountain. Beside him went Deth, the High One's Harper. Ahead lay strange encounters and terrifying adventures. And with him always was the greatest of unsolved riddles - the nature of the three stars on his forehead that seemed to drive him toward his ultimate destiny.

Listen to more in the Riddle-Master trilogy.

©1976 Patricia A. McKillip (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (251 )
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  •  
    Yoshi Yoshitani 05-23-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    44
    ratings
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    61
    29
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    "A Favorite Series"

    I love this series. About a quarter of the way through this first audio book, I bought the rest of the trilogy, knowing that I wouldn't be able to stand any waiting between them.

    What I loved about this series:
    There is a lot of back story and history to this world. Past events are constantly referred to, but don't mean anything to you, until later in the series. It creates a rich environment the encourages re-reads.
    The magic is awesome. In this world, magic is common, but not possessed by all. It has many variations that tend to follow bloodlines, or is restricted by rules. The major element of magic here is a thing called land rule, which is sort of akin to kings passing on their crown to the next heir, only that depending on the region, that 'crown' embodies a multitude of magics and powers specific to that kingdom. It turns out to be a rather clever device, and without giving anything away, I found my self more pleased then I could have imagined with the ending.

    To stray down a side path, the series has interesting combination of ephemeral (where magic and events happen in vague terms that purposely give the reader strange dual imagery that does and doesn't contradict itself, but instead tells the reader to accept it peacefully) and very specific concrete information. This duality was unexpected, but I must admit that McKillip pulled through in every way.

    In short, this was well weaved, and the journey to the conclusion was just as wonderful as the final delight of everything coming together. Listen to this series! I already have over and over again!

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Denver, Colorado, United States 03-04-11
    John Denver, Colorado, United States 03-04-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    56
    ratings
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    86
    46
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    "Riddle master of Hed"

    I own this book in paper and I still bought this to listen to. I am happy that I did this, even in spite of the fact that I have read this in paper multiple times.
    This is the first book in a three part trilogy by Patricia A. McKillip. This is her 'amazingly epic' trilogy, inspired by the Lord of the Rings trilogy. However, where the LOTR trilogy tends to focus more on the action sequences between Orcs/goblins and heroes, this book focuses instead on the interpersonal relationships between the main characters, only using the villainous shapeshifters out of the sea rarely and to great effect in advancement of the plot. This is defiantly a distinct trilogy and one of my favorites.
    Also the narrator did a pretty good job. I would recommend this.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennie Shingletown, CA, United States 03-21-11
    Jennie Shingletown, CA, United States 03-21-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    3
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    "Splendid and engrossing"

    I was delighted to find one of my favorite fantasy books available for download. Simon Prebble's reading is well paced, beautifully pronounced and absorbing. Well done and recommended.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel 03-22-11
    Daniel 03-22-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
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    7
    7
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    "Best Series I've Ever Read!"

    In Short: Great book! Great narrator!

    This is my most favorite series. The character and their development are excellent along with the world of the stories.

    Simon Prebble is an excellent narrator who is easy to listen to.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RM Wildwood, Missouri, United States 11-14-12
    RM Wildwood, Missouri, United States 11-14-12 Member Since 2015

    Book Lover

    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    "Terrific Trilogy"

    Great writing and terrific characters. You can see the influence of other fantasies, but McKillip goes her own way in a really engaging manner. The narrator was wonderful.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philip Covitz Jamaica Plain, MA USA 02-24-15
    Philip Covitz Jamaica Plain, MA USA 02-24-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "It all comes together"

    I've been listening to Patricia McKillip's novels for a few weeks now, never having read them as a kid. She is brilliant, a truly charming story maker and story teller. This book seems to begin in a very meandering sort of way, but comes together more and more towards the end, which is really stupendous. The mystery of Deth's identity, for example, built up over the course of the whole book, comes together beautifully. Just like the solving of a riddle.

    Patricia McKillip's magical worldview is very organic and does not feel forced or contrived in any way. This only becomes more true the further along you get in the story, as Morgon goes through various stages of initiation into the higher mysteries of his world; they are certainly magical, but feel completely natural as well.

    I enjoyed the narrator very much; his vocal characterizations are very well done.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N. Campbell Australia 04-01-15
    N. Campbell Australia 04-01-15 Member Since 2014

    history nut

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    118
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    Story
    "What a cliffhanger!!!"

    It felt like it started mid-story, then I felt hooked & couldn't stop listening.
    Now I need the next one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer charlotte, nc USA 04-01-15
    Amazon Customer charlotte, nc USA 04-01-15 Member Since 2012
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    9
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    Story
    "Beautifully told fantasy"

    I read this book many years ago and find it to be a beautifully written fantasy, and looked forward to hearing it. I liked the clear way the speaker told the story, though since he doesn't really do voices I did frequently have to back up and listen again to figure out who was talking to who. Not a big issue as it's not that long a piece. Overall excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Scott California 02-11-15
    D. Scott California 02-11-15 Member Since 2010

    D. Scott

    ratings
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    5
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    "The riddle master of hed"

    I first read this book when it was published in the 70s.
    I listen to it now because of a childhood memory.
    The audio recording is good. The narrator does a great job, however the story is a beginners effort in my opinion. her next two books in the series go over much better

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. A. Baldwin Fort Smith, AR USA 02-08-15
    A. A. Baldwin Fort Smith, AR USA 02-08-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Fantastic Fantasy"

    Oh my. Much to think on. Much to consider. There are wizards, sort of. And harpists. And shape shifters. And, all manner of odd beings. It's a bit confusing at first, but parts of the story are also ordinary, such as farmers taking their goods to trade and so forth. So many things or persons are not what they seem! Exciting!

    This is my first experience with this author and it was quite enjoyable. The story is creative and compelling and the protagonist is interesting and also developing as he encounters new and sometimes completely puzzling events.

    Bravo!

    I listened to this book on audible and will probably read it again on my Kindle eventually to be sure I have understood the major parts before moving on in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Amazon Customer
    UK
    9/13/12
    Overall
    "Fantastic trilogy"

    This is a fantastic trilogy, one of my all-time favourite fantasy books. I was so delighted to discover that it is available as an unabridged audio book, and read by the wonderful Simon Prebble, that I downloaded the entire trilogy and immediatly started listening to it.

    This is not to be missed - a great story that keeps you on the edge of your seat right up to the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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