Harrowing the Dragon

Harrowing the Dragon

4.7 7
by Patricia A. McKillip
     
 

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A fantasist without equal, Patricia A. McKillip has created worlds of intricate beauty and unforgettably nuanced characters. For 25 years, she's drawn readers into her spell, spinning modern-day fables with a grace rarely seen.

Now she presents a book of previously uncollected short stories, full of beautiful dragons, rueful princesses, and handsome bards, and

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Overview

A fantasist without equal, Patricia A. McKillip has created worlds of intricate beauty and unforgettably nuanced characters. For 25 years, she's drawn readers into her spell, spinning modern-day fables with a grace rarely seen.

Now she presents a book of previously uncollected short stories, full of beautiful dragons, rueful princesses, and handsome bards, and written in the gorgeous - and often surprisingly funny - prose she's known for. This is her world, wrapped up in the finery of fairy tales.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As shown in this excellent story collection, World Fantasy Award-winner McKillip (Od Magic) can take the most common fantasy elements-dragons and bards, sorcerers and shape-shifters-and reshape them in surprising and resonant ways. In "The Harrowing of the Dragon of Hoarsbreath," a man determined to drive off a fearsome dragon learns that pride can be as cold and monstrous as any beast. "The Snow Queen" and "The Lion and the Lark" (based on Beauty and the Beast) clothe old classics in new magic to examine the price of identity and the value of freedom. The bleak "Star-Crossed" details the official investigation into the deaths of Romeo and Juliet, while "Voyage into the Heart" tells of the heartless hunt to capture a unicorn's horn. "Baba Yaga and the Sorcerer's Son" is full of charm and humor, while the sly "Toad" reveals a frog prince who is far from innocent. Each of these tales is a gem of storytelling, a rich treasure for both fans and those yet to discover McKillip's deceptively simple magic. Agent, Howard Morhaim. (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
KLIATT - Donna Scanlon
The 15 short stories in this collection are a representative sample of McKillip's work over the past 25 years. The stories amply reflect her range and depth as an author: some are serious, some lighter, and all express an impressive grasp of the range of human emotions and motivations. Some are retellings of well-known fairy tales. "The Snow Queen" has a contemporary metropolitan setting that highlights the universality of love, loyalty and desire. Others, such as "The Lion and the Lark" or "Toad," have fairy tale settings with modern sensibilities. McKillip's word weaving often results in a dense and complex narrative, as in the title story, "Harrowing the Dragon." Here a woman who has lived her entire life in a world of snow and ice helps a sorcerer who would bring drastic change to the only life she knows. "Ash, Wood and Fire" paints an eerie portrait of the personal transformation of a cinder-girl who has reduced the people surrounding her to their functions as she sinks into her own essence. "The Lady of the Skulls" is another tale of personal transformation, this time calling on a knight to look beyond what meets the eye. Some of the stories are lighter in tone, such as "A Troll and Two Roses" and "Baba Yaga and the Sorcerer's Son." Even in the more serious stories, McKillip often injects a touch of humor to relieve tension and maintain perspective. Her language is always rich and selective but not self-conscious, and her books belong in any library, not only for leisure reading but as outstanding examples of quality writing.
Library Journal
In "The Harrowing of the Dragon of Hoarsbreath," a young Dragon Harrower and a girl from the mining village clash over whether or not the land's long winter comes from a dragon's presence, while in "The Lion and the Lark," McKillip tells her version of a classic myth in which a young woman loves a shapechanger, loses him, and then must prove her love through many trials and tribulations. This collection of 13 stories by one of fantasy's most elegant and luminescent writers brings together 25 years of short fiction into one lyrical volume. A superb choice for adult and YA fantasy collections, this title is highly recommended. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-This collection includes 15 tales previously published between 1982 and 1999. The stories range from high fantasy set on other worlds to a first-person account of the investigation into the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. A few ("The Lion and the Lark," "Toad," "The Snow Queen") are retellings of fairy tales. Of special interest is the variety of strong, often young female characters. In "The Fellowship of the Dragon," five young women are sent by their queen to rescue her lover, the court harper, with unexpected results. McKillip's elegant prose explores the nature of love, friendship, wisdom, and change, often with a touch of humor. Outstanding.-Sandy Freund, Richard Byrd Library, Fairfax County, VA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780441013609
Publisher:
Ace Hardcover
Publication date:
11/01/2005
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
5.58(w) x 8.32(h) x 1.10(d)

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