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Rhapsody : Child of Blood Mass Market Paperback – June 15, 2000

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Frequently Bought Together

Rhapsody : Child of Blood + Prophecy: Child of Earth (Rhapsody, Book 2) + Destiny: Child of the Sky (Rhapsody Trilogy Book 3)
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Product Details

  • Series: Rhapsody Trilogy (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Fantasy (June 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812570812
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812570816
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (399 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #467,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Rhapsody is high fantasy, descended from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings through Eddings's Belgariad and Malloreon series, complete with an elf-like people, cannibalistic giants, fire-born demons, and dragons. Inquiring fantasy readers will wonder whether it can live up to such distinguished predecessors. The answer is yes. Haydon's first fantasy is a palpable hit. The three protagonists are well-realized characters whose adventures are by turns hilarious, horrific, and breathtaking. Best of all, though elements are drawn from familiar sources ranging from Norse myth to Mozart's The Magic Flute, Haydon's magic worldbuilding is convincing, consistent, and interesting.

Rhapsody, a young woman trained as a Namer, can attune herself to the vibrations of all things, tap the power of true names, and rename people, changing their basic identities. Her magic lies in music: "Music is nothing more than the maps through the vibrations that make up all the world. If you have the right map, it will take you wherever you want to go," she tells her adoptive brothers. They are "the Brother," a professional assassin able to sense and track the heartbeats of all natives of the doomed Island of Seren, their homeland, and his giant sidekick Grunthor, a green-skinned Sergeant Major who enjoys making jokes, using edged weapons, and honing his cannibalistic palate. Inadvertently, Rhapsody has renamed the Brother Achmed the Snake, breaking his enslavement to Tsoltan the F'dor (a fire-born demon). Tsoltan sends minions in pursuit to rebind Achmed. The three escape into the roots of a World Tree, Sagia, emerging transformed into another country and century. But have they truly escaped the F'dor's evil? And how does all this relate to the prologue's story of Gwydion and Emily, two young lovers brought together across history and then separated by the mysterious Meridion?

Like most first volumes, Rhapsody contains a lot of background information and foreshadowing, though Haydon ties up numerous plot lines at the end. The dislocations in time can be confusing, and some readers may find that the very 1990s dialogue clashes with the epic storytelling of the descriptive passages. Overall, however, Rhapsody is a smashing debut that delivers hours of great reading and will have you impatient to read the rest of the series. --Nona Vero --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Distinguished by superior wit and intelligence, this fantasy debut opens what looks to be an outstanding saga. In the ancient city of Easton, Rhapsody is learning musical magic after a brief time as a courtesan. While running from trouble caused by one of her ex-clients, she encounters two strangers, the assassin Achmed and the gigantic mercenary Grunthor. By hailing Achmed as her brother, Rhapsody not only saves her own life but breaks the control that the sorcerer Tsoltan, a servant of the fire demons known as F'dor, had over the mercenary. The three companions flee both human and magical forces that pursue them by climbing down the root of the Great Tree; as they pass through the fire at the center of Earth, their situation is magically transformed. They emerge not just on the other side of the world but 14 centuries in the future, when the land is torn by ethnic, religious and magical warfare arising from a multitude of realistic motivesAall depicted in exhaustive detail. But their demonic pursuers have also crossed time and space in pursuit; to counter them, Achmed determines to become king of the barbaric Firbolg. This huge and complex novel draws expertly on deep scholarship in Celtic, Norse and animist folklore, myth and history. With exemplary skill, it weaves these elements into its characterizations, world building and depiction of magic to create a narrative that grips throughout. This is one of the finest high fantasy debuts in years. Agent, Richard Curtis. 100,000 first printing; major ad/promo.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

The characters that she has created are very interesting ones.
I think that this was a VERY well written book and is a must read for anyone who likes fantasy.
Mike DeCoster
I can't quite put my finger on it, but I guess I just found the end of the book rather generic.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Brian Cramer on April 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book has it all--great writing, characterization, action, magic and mystery. The plot makes sense, the emotions are real, and it is entrancing. The marketing copy on every fantasy book that comes out heralds its author as the new master. This one actually could live up to that title.
Achmed the Snake has to be one of the all time great characters in recent fantasy literature. Flawed, cranky and brutal, he nonetheless rises to greatness in a real and plausible transition through the long trek the three main characters make within the pages of the book. Grunthor is great as well, the comic relief sidekick that also has a very realistic, very serious side. I was reminded of noncommissioned officers in the military when I read about him, the men who follow a leader without question. This rang very true to me, and made the story even more poignant. The relationship between these two men, who often communicate without needing to use words, shows that Haydon is a keen observer of human behavior.
I found the characters of Rhasody and Jo refreshing. Jo is an obnoxious teenager, and anyone who has a child or siblling this age will recognize the behavior at once. While you many not feel fondly for her, she is certainly amusing and a great foil to the other three. Rhapsody represents a great risk for an author to take, a heroine who is strong yet flawed, and who is dealing with powers of a magnitude she can't understand. I found this more realistic that the standard Richard Rahl type, who gets handed a sword and suddenly goes from humble wood guide to war wizard in the blink of an eye. You get to see Rhapsody struggle to learn how to fight, to feel out of place in a land where her skills are not wanted. This is brilliant, risky stuff.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By "sarasarah" on August 14, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
..But not without its share of flaws. The strongest aspect of this book is its imagination and a certain originality that awakes your curiosity (I, personally, am waiting for the sequel with mounting impatience). The supporting cast of characters are very good. The intriguing characters of Achmed the Snake (who is very cool and my favorite character in the book) and his sidekick, the giant and cannibalistic Grunthor were really the best thing about the book. The humor was great if, yes, occasionally juvenile, but it worked, right? The pacing was surprisingly excellent for a story that spends several centuries travelling in a monotonous Root. :) The heroine herself, of whom all rhapsodize in a very annoying manner, was a different story. By herself, I would probably consider her the perfect fantasy female protagonist. After all, she didn't whine (too much) and she wasn't overly self-centered, but neither was she some arrogant princess with a lot of "spunk" or a toughy-tough warrior woman, the equal of every and any man. No, she was human, but better yet, feminine, while still holding her own, being capable and sympathetic, and not thrown in for romantic interest. So where does she go wrong? When the author keeps sticking down our throat how wonderful Rhapsody is and when she suspends our belief by transforming her late into the story into a really irresistable, completely gorgeous, surreal being. Please, Ms. Haydon, what purpose did that serve? I was deprived of getting an honest reaction from the people (especially men) who encountered her ever afterwards, and couldn't add to my understanding of the character, because no one reacts to HER anymore, just to her stunning beauty.Read more ›
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Sparrowhawk on January 14, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Thumbs up to E.H.'s debut novel. Not since D. Edding's Belgariad have I stumbled over a group of protagonists that are so endearing, even though their background is less than savoury, to put it mildly (assassin, cannibal and one-time whore). Haydon shows uncanny talent to give her characters texture and life, she clearly loves her "gang" and lets everybody share that feeling. The universe she has created for her protagonists is complex and quite intriguing, with her very own, refreshing twists on common folklore and conventional high-fantasy settings we generally encounter in the dozens out there. Just try the sequence of the world tree and you'll see what I mean. The plot itself is rather conventional, but presented in an entertaining and crisp way - three characters that are trying to flee their past (absolutely charming how literal E.H. took that concept) embark on a journey of discovery in a land that is far, far away, trying to remake their lives. If David Eddings had been the screen writer to "The Man Who Would Be King", this book could have been the result - at least for 2/3 of the movie. Overall, the result provides for a highly enjoyable read; however, there are a few trouble spots that could compromise future instalments if not resolved adequately, e.g.
(1) a certain lack of dramatic tension that makes part of the plot seem a little flat. The trio grows and gains its space, but the evil they will eventually be forced to confront is not very much in evidence. A real pity, because Haydon knows very well how to build to it. House of Remembrance, anybody ? More of that, we really want to root for our heroes here !
(2) raison d'vivre of major characters, or the risk of "sidekick-ization", as I would call it, e.g. what is the purpose of Jo in the entire story ? E.H.
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