Riddle-Master

Riddle-Master: The Complete Trilogy - Patricia A. McKillip The first book, The Riddle-Master of Hed belongs to the title character, Morgon of Hed, Riddle-master and Farmer-Prince who finds the most challenging riddle of all is his own identity and destiny. The next book is the story of Raederlie, Morgon's love, who in Heir of Sea and Fire goes in search of him and finds out much about her own identity and powers. In Harpist of the Wind both work to find out what has happened to the "High One" the "sustainer of the land-law of the realm" that ties the rulers to an awareness of their lands. Despite the multiplying of mysteries in the books, by the end of this one they're all tied up neatly--and with a fairly unpredictable but logical twist. I'd also say that Mckillip develops her world deftly--like most high fantasy it definitely has a medieval European feel, but it feels its own place. Even minor characters are well-drawn, and the style is smooth and the narrative flows well. It's a good read. Not a great read. I read this trilogy because it was recommended on the "Seven-League Shelf" of the "cream" of fantasy. I don't think it rates as among the best in the genre I've read. I wouldn't place this with others on the list such as The Gormengheist Trilogy, Lord of the Rings, The Once and Future King, Carroll's Alice books. I don't consider it extraordinary in style, nor did it move me to tears or laughter nor did I find it gasp-worthy. But entertaining? Yes, certainly. And some have told me that McKillip's best book isn't this trilogy but The Forgotten Beasts of Eld. I'd certainly be interested in trying that someday having read these.