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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ?TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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The Bell at Sealey Head Paperback – September 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Trade; Reprint edition (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441017568
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441017560
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #563,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An unseen bell haunts a seaside town and a magical mansion in this delicate fable from World Fantasy Award winner McKillip (Od Magic). Inside the baffling Aislinn House, young chambermaid Emma, opening an ordinary cabinet door, might find a rack of towels or encounter knights, crows and a lonely princess. As Lady Eglantyne, the ancient matron of the house, lies dying, her long-lost grand-niece is sent for. The townspeople are delighted by wealthy, city-bred Miranda Beryl, but suspicious of her eagerness to make herself at home and inherit the house—spellbound bell and all. Meanwhile, vacationing academic Ridley Dow's interest in Aislinn House hints at another motive for his visit to the village beside the ocean. Romantic intrigue and touches of this fantastic make this light mystery an easy and pleasant read. (Sept.)
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.

From School Library Journal

The small seaside town of Sealey Head is home to a few families, an inn, and Aislinn House, an old mansion with a special power—its doors sometimes open onto the world of faerie, where princesses like young Ysabo occupy their time with a complex ritual and knights exist to marry the princesses. Each day at sunset, a bell sounds, heard by everyone, yet its whereabouts and the identity of its ringer remain unknown—until a few strangers arrive to unlock an ancient past. McKillip (Song for the Basilisk; Solstice Wood) weaves elegant modern fairy tales from simple themes, drawing the mythical and everyday worlds into an enchanted union. Elegant, deceptively spare prose and well-developed characters make this a good choice for adult and YA fantasy collections.
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.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By V. Kennedy on September 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Sealey Head is no ordinary town. Every evening most of the townsfolk hear the tolling of a bell, no one knows why it rings or where it's at. It's been going on so long that many of the townspeople don't hear it anymore.

Aislinn House on the edge of town harbors a mystery. It's a place where two worlds coexist, with few privy to its secret. On one side lies the quiet manor with its aging servants and ailing mistress, while on the other a princess and her subjects must perform strange rites.

The links between two worlds are the princess, a maid and her mother who've been running into each other for years throughout the house. No one else in town knows their secret, but the arrival of a stranger in town sets off events that will change life in the house forever.

I've been a fan of Patricia McKillip's for years. This is a wonderful book bordering on high fantasy. Its charming fairy tale like character entertained me and held my interest to the very end. I highly recommend it.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
A crumbling mansion with doors to another world, a small seaside town, and a mysterious bell that tolls every day at sunset where no bells are.

With that to describe it, it's no wonder that "The Bell At Sealey Head" is a book by Patricia A. McKillip, spinner of hauntingly lyrical fantasies. And her newest book is no exception -- an exquisite magical mystery full of humour, secret doors, and a sorcerous power that is creeping into Sealey Head.

A mysterious scholar -- Ridley Dow -- comes to Judd's run-down inn one day. He's come there to search for the magical bell that tolls every night.

Elsewhere in Sealey Head, Judd's childhood friend (and love interest) Gwyneth is fending off a boring suitor when she isn't spinning magical tales about that same bell. And up at Aislinn House, Lady Eglantine is dying, and her housemaid Emma is opening magical doors into another world -- a parallel Aislinn house, where the princess Ysabo is caged in a realm of mindless rituals and fearful traditions.

But things begin to change as Lady Eglantine's heir, Miranda Beryl, arrives with her friends and servants, and Ridley Dow's investigations take him into the magical other world. Someone strange and magical is lurking in the town, and old books and half-forgotten legends slowly unveil the sorcerer that cast a spell on the other Aislinn House...

There are actually two magical worlds in "The Bell At Sealey Head" -- one is a coastal town of tree houses, briny ships and folkloric mysteries. The other a dreamlike tangle of crows, rituals and spellbound knights, stuck in traditions with no meaning. It's a credit to McKillip's writing ability that she can make both worlds come alive, in their different ways.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Fisher TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
McKillip's latest novel takes us to the little fishing of Sealey Head; tiny and inconsequential, and dominated by four influential families: the Cauleys (father and son innkeepers), the Blairs (a large family of merchants), the Sproules (rich farmers who have gained some degree of nobility) and the Aislinns (living in the crumbling manor house). Actually, there's only one Aislinn now: old Lady Eglantyne, who lies dreaming in her bedchamber, waited on by a host of servants. The extensive cast of characters have interconnecting friendships, rivalries and romances with one another, but everyone in the seaport is linked by one specific peculiarity of their home-town: each night as the sun goes down, a ghostly bell tolls over the coastline.

There is various speculation over what and where exactly the bell is, but no one has been able to satisfactorily answer any questions about it, and most don't even notice it anymore. But naturally, the bell is of more consequence than anyone gives it credit for, and is the mysterious centerpiece of the story.

There is a domesticity and humour to the proceedings that's certainly unusual in a McKillip novel, and at first glance one would hardly think there was a fantasy element to it at all...but then odd things begin to transpire. Judd Cauley welcomes an unusual guest at the inn, who claims to be looking for the source of the tolling bell. Lady Eglantyne's heiress appears: a strange and aloof young woman with an even more mysterious manservant. And we discover that young Emma Wood has a secret concerning Aislinn House: for as long as the young maid can remember she has been able to open doors into another Aislinn House, one that seemingly exists alongside her own world of shut rooms and covered furniture.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nancy E. Merrill on December 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This subtle and beautifully written novel fits perfectly in Ms. McKillip's canon of books. The bell that rings each evening has always been a part of the lives of the residents of Sealey Head. Some don't even hear it any more. But no one knows where the bell is. No one has ever found it. When a stranger comes to town asking questions and looking for the source of the ringing, it sets off a series of events that will eventually solve the mystery and place many people in jeopardy, including the young princess who lives in another world behind the doors of Aislinn House, where Lady Eglantyne lies dying.

Beautifully evocative prose makes this an easy but very enjoyable read. The story and content feel geared towards a more general audience. I would recommend this to young teens with advanced reading sensibilities as well as adults with a taste for a bit of romance with your lyric prose.
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