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Publisher's Summary

In the magical world of Lyra, a mysterious instrument gives a minstrel undreamed-of power.

When Emereck and Flindaran leave a caravan in search of adventure, it isn’t long before they stumble upon great danger. Emereck, a trained minstrel, and Flindaran, a nobleman masquerading as a tramp, have found a long-abandoned castle, and in it, one of Lyra’s most sought-after treasures: the Harp of Imach Thyssel.

Emereck recognizes the perfect white bow from legend: It is said to possess the power of life and death over all mankind. Now, to keep it from falling into the wrong hands, he’ll have to learn to harness its strength to create and destroy, with the fate of the kingdom hanging in the balance.

©1985 Patricia C. Wrede (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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An enjoyable ffantasy

Emereck the minstrel is traveling with Flindaran, a nobleman masquerading as a mistrel, when he discovers, in an abandoned castle, an ancient, and magical, harp. He would much rather have not found it, because all magic has its price. He has an obligation to bring it to the guild, though, and that means he has to deal with other people's desires surrounding it.

Because the Harp of Imach Thyssel can make a badly wounded man whole, or kill an entire city.

Emereck is plunged into the middle of politics he wants no part of, and is going to need to learn very quickly who his real friends and enemies are.

Neither the plot nor the worldbuilding are as strong here as in the earlier Lyra novels, but it's still an enjoyable plot that does keep moving, and I like the characters. The narrator does a fine job, too.

Recommended.