Monday, December 27, 2010

A Perfect 10:

THE BARDS OF BONE PLAIN – Patricia A. McKillip
A Perfect 10
ISBN: 978-0-441-01957-1
December 2010

Caerau, Belden

Phelan Cle is in his final year of studying to become a bard; he only has to complete his final paper before he will graduate. Bored with school, he picks an easy topic he knows hundreds of other students have chosen before him, the tale of the bard Nairn and the Bone Plain. But studying the mysterious life of the antiquated bard leads to Phelan learning more about the mysteries of his own city, and the music itself.

Princess Beatrice enjoys digging around the city, searching for lost artifacts from the olden times. On one such dig, she found a coin with odd scratches on it, and her curiosity led her to the archives. Soon, Phelan and Beatrice are on a similar track, searching for a place lost in myth and lore. While digging in a new site, she discovers a strange stone door with another odd symbol, something older than ever before discovered, right about the time a mysterious and intriguing stranger travels to town.

Nairn's story is told alongside that of Princess Beatrice and Phelan's. Two stories separated by hundreds of years are beautifully woven together into an ending so surprising and wonderful it is only surpassed by the alluring music and poetry interlaced within the stories. The key characters play gorgeous music that resonates throughout the ages, and the prose is so marvelously written, the reader can practically hear the sweet sounds of the harp, or the flutter of the reeds.

An enchanting story, THE BARDS OF BONE PLAIN has something for everyone: myth, magic, and lore for lovers of true fantasy, enough of a puzzle for mystery fans, and an entwining of lyrical notes to strum any music lover's heartstrings. Be sure to check out this fantastic novel by author Patricia A. McKillip, a shining example of a high fantasy novel, and in my opinion, a Perfect 10.

Amanda Toth

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