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Horn Book Guide
(October 1, 2003; 0-439-45697-5)
In this third book in the series a young girl's loyalties are tested when she discovers that she is the daughter of Frazhin, the previous books' villain. The other main character is a quetzal--a half-bird, half-man creature--who helps bring about Frazhin's downfall. Readers may have trouble sorting out all of the characters involved in the complex plot, but the fantasy world is unique and interesting. Glos. Copyright 2003 of The Horn Book, Inc. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal
(August 1, 2003; 0-439-45697-5)
Gr 5-8-Taking place 11 years after the events described in Crystal Mask (Scholastic, 2002), this novel opens with Singer Rialle being kidnapped from her cave home by Frazhin, the mad ex-priest who has spent the last 30 years trying to get revenge against the Singers. Now called the Starmaker, Frazhin has managed to brainwash several different groups of Half Creatures, including the merlee, naga, and quetzal, into helping him. They have no idea that he was responsible for the mutilation and death of hundreds of their kind. Only Night Plume, a rare black Quetzal, is immune to the brainwashing, and he agrees to help Rialle warn the Singers. Meanwhile, Frazhin's daughter Kyarra, raised as a Singer on the Isle of Echoes, has just discovered that she's got a mystery in her past. No sooner does she find out that her mother still lives, albeit in a zombielike state, than the two of them are kidnapped by pirates. Other new characters include Kyarra's friend Caell, the only novice who can communicate with Half Creatures, and a young pirate named Jilian. Like the first two books in the series, Dark Quetzal is a complicated tale, filled with adventure, magic, and mystery. Those who make their way through the entire sequence (and it does need to be read in order) will be rewarded by an intricate and intriguing world, memorable characters, and a satisfying conclusion.-Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
The Echorium Sequence by Katherine Roberts, begun with Song Quest, adds Dark Quetzal. The peace-keeping Singers on the Isle of Echoes must contend once more with the evil sorcerer Frazhin, and the young Kyarra plays the pivotal role in the battle. The previous installment, Crystal Mask, is being simultaneously released in a paperback reprint. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
--Publishers Weekly, April 14th, 2003
Three separate plots intertwine to conclude the fantasy trilogy. Novice Singer Kyarra discovers her mother living as a brain-wiped prisoner of the Echorium, only to be captured by pirates hired to convey the pair to her unknown father. Across the sea, a flock of "quetzals" (birdlike "Half Creatures") worship the sinister Starmaker; but a captive Singer frees their leader Night Plume from his enchantments, begging him to enlist the Echorium's aid. Revealed as both Kyarra's father and the villianous priest Frazhin, the Starmaker's crimes inspire the various human tribes to join the Singers in an assault upon his volcanic lair, as he schemes to rewrite history by corrupting the quetzal, "Memory place." Roberts weaves her narrative skillfully, and makes a commendable effort to tie up loose ends for nearly every character in the series. But the endearing Half Creatures excepted, her characters remain abusive, ineffective, or just plain unpleasant. A dizzying array of magics, burdened with the oddly pedestrian nomenclature, undermines the sense of wonder, while the anticlimatic resolution is likely to leave readers vaguely dissatisfied. Purchase where the earlier titles are popular.
---Kirkus Reviews, May 1st, 2003