Patricia A. McKillip is one of America's greatest fantasy authors. Her best known novels include Riddle-Master; World Fantasy Award winner The Forgotten Beasts of Eld; World Fantasy Award and Mythopoeic Award winner Ombria in Shadow; and In the Forests of Serre. Like its predecessors, Alphabet of Thorn demonstrates McKillip's mastery of prose and her knowledge of the human heart.
As an infant, Nepenthe was abandoned by her mother on the edge of a cliff so high no one can hear the sea below. Nepenthe was raised by the librarians of the Royal Library of Raine, and knows little of the outside world beyond what she reads. She has a gift for translation, and she alone has a chance of translating a newly arrived book, a mysterious tome written in an alien alphabet that resembles thorns. But Nepenthe has fallen in love with the high-born student-mage who brings her the book. And the thorns are exerting a strange power over her--a magic that may destroy not only Nepenthe, but the kingdom of Raine and the entire world. --Cynthia Ward --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Those who have bemoaned the death of the true fairy tale will be delighted by this charming foray from World Fantasy Award-winner McKillip (Ombria in Shadow). She skillfully weaves together two eras and two sets of believable characters to create a single spellbinding story that brilliantly modernizes a beautiful old formula: the clever orphaned foundling has no desire to seek out her parents nor ambition for high office; the powerful wizard is a disguised woman deeply in love with the conquering king, who treats his subjects kindly; the sullen young queen catapulted to her throne by her father's unexpected death turns out to have both skill and humor in unexpected places; the haughty witch finds herself honestly baffled by turns of events that she never predicted. Moreover, where another author might have played up slapstick clumsiness for cheap laughs, McKillip evokes compassion for the characters' frustrations as they take their befuddled steps toward their predestined meeting. Best of all, the strong female leads neither rail against nor submit to patriarchy. In this magical world blissfully free of bias, people are simply themselves, equally intelligent and witty and thoroughly capable while prone to the occasional error, in a manner that transcends feminism and becomes a celebration of essential humanity. The brisk sweep to the slightly abrupt conclusion leaves the reader longing for more.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Excellent McKillip. Great characters and story. The character interactions/development feel real and push the story along. One of my favorites.Published 2 days ago by Eskay
This is my absolute favorite book by McKillip. So heartbreaking and beautiful.Published 7 months ago by Jessica Fleming
All of McKillip's books are wonderful; I've been a fan for a long time. This is no exception but since it seems to be written for the younger reader, it seems too short for the... Read morePublished 8 months ago by composer
Very imaginative and surprising. Not your typical fantasy fiction. I enjoy this author very much!Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
Yet another delightful book with beautiful language, and a tale where languages are the core of the story. One of her most straightforward story resolutions. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Richard Warren
I enjoyed this story! I started to read this book because the title seemed intriguing and I craved a shorter read as a nice break from the detailed and complex fantasy series I've... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Lea
The book arrived on schedule, in excellent condition. By the way, I loved the story so much I decided to keep this book. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Dawn M. Wheeler
I loved this book. Another world beautifully crafted and a story expertly woven, it contains strong female characters who surprise even each other. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Stephanie