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The Soprano Sorceress (Spellsong Cycle, Book 1) Hardcover – Abridged, February 1, 1997
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From Library Journal
A singer/music instructor becomes a sorceress in this first in a new series.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Modesitt takes leave from Recluce, the scene of his successful series of fantasies, in a new take on the classic situation of someone from our world being tossed into a fantasy realm. In this case, the one tossed is singer and music teacher Anna, who is recovering from the death of her eldest daughter. She finds herself in a world in which songs are spells, music is the source of power, and she herself is a potent sorceress. That status promptly makes her the target of at least three villains who, for grittily realistic and unpleasantly plausible reasons, seek to exploit or destroy her. In fact, a tone of gritty realism pervades the whole book, as Modesitt develops his variation on a venerable plot with his usual intelligence, so that more than just his staunch fans will be busily turning pages. Moreover, few will be unmoved when Anna routs a hostile army with her (literally) spellbinding rendering of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." Roland Green
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There is a lot to like about it. The character, the basic concept, the interactions of the characters. The recurring theme of sexism. These all kept me with the books.
But there was also a lot to that annoyed me as well.
1- I HATE logical inconsistency. Put up with it in small doses, but a major one drives me nuts. When they are returning to the home castle in the third book (sorry, I can't remember names, it's been a little while) and they pass the town with the peasant rebels who have the drums. They KNEW from before that something bad was going on. So - what??? They just forget about it because they are a little sleepy? This is not like they are sweeping through in a car in a couple of hours - they were riding for 3 or 4 days. And it never occurred to them "Oh yeah - those guys were doing some dark magic there. We better be careful when we get there." ?? TOTALLY unbelievable.
2- Same thing when finally home in the castle. Author made a big point to note the doors were open. Then they are attacked by one of the enemies. HELLOoo. The reason you have castles is so you can see far away. No way in hell enemies can bring a big force from afar and surprise you like that.
3- The there is the traveling. Over and over again - so hot - so dry - not enough water. Has no one heard of carts carrying barrels? Like they can't even keep Anna in sufficient water? And it goes on and on and on in this vein interminably. Was Modest paid by the word? Page stuffing is what it is.
Well - al that is IMHO
Still, I did enjoy them overall.
50CentFlash.com short-short stories.
As the story progresses she struggles to master her power and justify the use of it- at least to herself. Themes you can find throught the author's Recluce Saga. Not that I'm complaining, I've read all those books too.
If you've read and liked Alan Dean Foster's Spellsinger series you'll probably like this one too. Although this is sans humor.
I think it's 800 pages or so but it went by quickly for me. I'm sure I'll be reading the rest of the series soon.
Later she says she has three children and in the next paragraph Brill mentions her daughter...she never mentioned their gender.
It's this sloppiness that bothered me throughout the book. Within a matter of weeks, Anna has mastered the magic system and fixed everything all the while surviving multiple assassination attempts. She even blocks an arrow with her hand. It truly doesn't sound like modesitt.
Also, I've not known him to drop the f-bomb, but within a couple of paragraphs, he does so more than once...then never again. It's just confusing how the personality of the author seems to change.
Just a shallow book...and odd...
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not his best work
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