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King of Morning, Queen of Day [Kindle Edition]

Ian McDonald
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Winner of the Philip K. Dick Award and the Prix Imaginales: Three generations of women share a mysterious power—one that threatens to destroy them

In early-twentieth-century Ireland, life for Emily Desmond is that of the average teenage girl: She reads, she’s bored with school, and she has a powerful imagination. Then things begin to change. Her imagination is so powerful, in fact, that she wills a faerie into existence—an ability called mythoconsciousness. It’s this power that opens a dangerous door that she will never want to close, and whose repercussions will reverberate across time.

First to be affected is her daughter, Jessica, who, in the mid-1930s, finds that she must face her mother’s power by using the very same gift against her. Then, in the near future, Jessica’s granddaughter, Enye, must end the cycle once and for all—but it may prove too powerful to overcome.

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The dangerous allure of the faerie lover manifests itself through three generations of women in this tour-de-force by the author of Desolation Road ( LJ 2/15/88). The spirits that haunt Ireland's Bridestone Wood first claim Emily Desmond in the early 1900s; in the 1930s, working girl Jessica Caldwell follows the man of her dreams into a dreamlike world; and in the near future, writer Enye MacColl battles the invisible forces of faerie. McDonald's power as a storyteller lies in his stylistic versatility and intensity of language as well as in his capacity to create vivid and memorable characters. Highly recommended.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.


“An astonishing triumph of eloquence and ambition . . . It’s a stunner.” —Locus

“A brilliant book.” —Charles de Lint

“McDonald’s power as a storyteller lies in his stylistic versatility and intensity of language as well as in his capacity to create vivid and memorable characters. Highly recommended.” —Library Journal

Product Details

  • File Size: 744 KB
  • Print Length: 409 pages
  • Publisher: Open Road Media (July 2, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #309,694 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fairy tale of unforgettable power June 2, 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I knew, just by reading the back cover blurb, that this book was right up my alley. Women with mystical powers? Check. Faeries? Check. Ireland? Check. In fact, I think the only reason I didn't discover this book earlier is that it was published in 1991, and I only started reading fantasy sometime in the late nineties.

The story begins with Emily, a bratty but endearing girl of fifteen, poised on the edge of adulthood in the early 20th century. Emily knows she is special, set apart-and when she sees the faeries in the wood by her family's home, she knows she will never be satisfied with ordinary life. Emily makes a colossal mess of things, as bratty fifteen-year-olds will do, and sets in motion events that will affect generations to come.

What follows is a fairy tale, but not precisely a tale of faeries; it's more of an exploration of the nature of reality and of myth, as seen through the eyes of Emily and two other women: Jessica, a glib-tongued teenager of the 1930s whose tall tales have an uncanny way of coming true; and Enye, a woman of the late 1980s, torn between everyday life and a battle with supernatural forces from the world beyond.

This is a stunning story and one that I'll probably reread over and over again. It doesn't suffer one bit from the ailment that afflicts so many multigenerational novels-the tendency for one or more of the intertwined stories to lack luster. All three of the women, and their lives and times, are vivid and passionate. And I must say, there are few male authors who can write such nuanced and three-dimensional female characters. Get your hands on a used copy of this. I wish they'd reprint it...
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Original and unusual January 4, 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
= Original and unusual

Reviewer: cont1nuity from Ipswich, Suffolk United Kingdom

King of Morning, Queen of Day is tracking the lives of three generations of women born to the ability to see and manipulate human mythoconsciousness. From the age of Yeats to a period not far past modern day, we travel with the women as they discover their powers and face the parallel world opened by their perceptions. Each has a unique take on what they are dealing with and each finds her own rite of passage, encountering those that help and those that hinder along the way. Characters are vividly described and the plotting becomes tighter and more accomplished as the novel progresses, with the last, science-fiction third standing out as most original and unusual.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheesy Cover, Good Read May 13, 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Don't be deceived by the silly romance cover. This is a good sf/fantasy novel. McDonald has fun parodying Victorian and cyberpunk fiction in this story tracing three generations of Irish women's interaction with the "mygmus" (mythoconsciousness).
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just my imagination...once again August 2, 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Katherine Kurtz calls McDonald 'a poet masquerading as a novelist'. She's right. McDonald has essentially written 2 novellas and a novel. Each is very different in terms of sense of time, and even place, although Ireland is the locale of all three tales. Inteconnected, yes; still, each stands well on its own.

'Craigdarragh' is an Irish manor estate at the cusp of World War 1, specifically 1913. Chiefly through diary entries, we meet Emily Desmond and her parents, Edward and Caroline. Emily, at 13, is a very imaginative girl on the verge of sexual awareness. Edward is an eccentic astronomer, confounde by his daughter, who risks family name and fortune to communicate with what he believes to be alien visitors fom the stars. Caroline is a respected poet with more than a slight acquaintance with her daughter's interest in the Otherworld.

Emily's explorations of Bridestone Wood, and its repercussions, form one story line. Edward's obsessin with alien visitors marks the second. Along the way we are introduced to a blind musician and his female companion, a dancer. There is Dr. Hannibal Rooke, a paranormal investigator. Finally, the poet William Butler Yeats. The musician, the dancer and the doctor will visit in the other tales.

'The Mythlines'- Jessica Caldwell is one of three sisters in Ireland during the 1930s. An artist, she has big dreams at 17 and 3/4. She also has an attitude problem. Tiresias and Gonzaga, a pair of 'itinerant journeymen,' are trying to find her, for Jessica is beginning to see the mythlines, borders between our world and Faery. She is seeing Dr. Rooke, who has an interest in helping Jessica confront her past. Then, there's Damian, her new boyfriend. member of the I.R.A.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Based on the odd title and the fairy/fantasy book description, I normally wouldn't have given this book a chance. Fortunately for me, I was seduced by the Philip K. Dick Award and the promise of pernicious faerie threats, and I'm glad I was. The book opened up a whole new world to me, filled with fascinating ideas and delightfully terrifying monsters.

And I do mean monsters. These are not your happy, frolicking, friendly Disney Fairies. No, they are faeries, and they are dangerous. In fact, one scene involving an attack by a "pookah"--a nature spirit, the origin of "Puck" of A Midsummer Night's Dream fame--was one of the more shocking scenes I've read (and that's saying something because I am a huge horror fan).

The book is divided into three main stories. The first story takes place around 1913, and focuses on Emily, a spoiled and annoying girl living in a romantic house surrounded by an idyllic forest. When I say "annoying," I mean it in a good way--a Flannery O'Connor way--in other words, part of the fun is watching this character's teenage hubris set her up for her fate. This section of the book is narrated through letters, Emily's father's diary, and most importantly, Emily's diary, which alternates between teenage silliness and beautifully lyrical descriptions of nature and the supernatural. Emily accidentally causes the "otherworld" to intersect with the real world, with enormous consequences.

The second story annoyed me at first. I thought I had accidentally picked up my copy of Ulysses and was having flashbacks to my college days of slogging through James Joyce. I kept thinking I was imagining the Joycean style, until Jessica, the main character, is asked on a date and responds with an unmistakably Molly Bloom-esque "yes, I will, yes.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Did not like!
Extremely strange book! I consider myself to be very intelligent, but this book was hard to follow! I almost quit reading it several times but kept thinking it would get better and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by D. Dishmon
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, what a difference clear text makes
I've been reading the book for decades, but mass market, muddy font, foxing pages. I've been hoping for a trade paperback edition all this time. Read more
Published 3 months ago by A. Hughes
4.0 out of 5 stars epic fantasy with three parts in one book
interesting fairy fantasy that takes place through generations, liked the plot and storyline, with its unexpected twists and turns, will keep you turning the pages.
Published 14 months ago by S. Nathan
5.0 out of 5 stars complex and involving
a complex story. Seeing how each section moves forward with the fantasy into
different eras and frames of reference change is one of the great pleasures
of this very... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Wynne Broms
2.0 out of 5 stars Didn't work for me.
Honestly, I tried hard to read this book. The problem was I just couldn't get interested in it, so I never finished it. Read more
Published 18 months ago by S Manner
1.0 out of 5 stars Hated it.
I couldn't even get through Part 1. It didn't make any sense to me and I typically enjoy fantasy/science fiction.
Published 18 months ago by mmbrown
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my favorite
Starts out interesting, but goes downhill. It's a long, dry read to the end. Not exactly one of those books you can't put down.
Published 18 months ago by Susan Mouw
2.0 out of 5 stars jumbled and hard to read
I don't usually have trouble finishing a book but I had to push myself to finish this one. It has three distinct generations of one family that it covers, I found the first... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Kim Willis
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