In the Forests of Serre

( 9 )

Overview

In the tales of World Fantasy Award-winning author Patricia McKillip, nothing is ever as it seems. A mirror is never just a mirror; a forest is never just a forest. Here, it is a place where a witch can hide in her house of bones and a prince can bargain with his heart...where good and evil entwine and wear each others' faces... and where a bird with feathers of fire can quench the fiercest longing...

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In The Forests Of Serre

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Overview

In the tales of World Fantasy Award-winning author Patricia McKillip, nothing is ever as it seems. A mirror is never just a mirror; a forest is never just a forest. Here, it is a place where a witch can hide in her house of bones and a prince can bargain with his heart...where good and evil entwine and wear each others' faces... and where a bird with feathers of fire can quench the fiercest longing...

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
In the magical forests of Serre lives a witch named Brume, the Mother of All Witches, an ugly, dangerous hag that everyone -- and every living thing -- avoids at all costs. Infamous for her knobby, callused feet that broaden to inhuman size when she picks up her house of bones and carries it, she is said to stew and devour anyone who enters the skeletal cottage.

When Prince Ronan, grief-stricken over the recent death of his wife and newborn child, accidentally tramples one of Brume's white hens with his horse, she lays a curse on him. Ronan will wander aimlessly through the forests for eternity until he captures a firebird, a breathtakingly beautiful creature indigenous to Serre, and returns it to Brume in a golden cage. But Ronan must find his way home as soon as possible. Sidonie, the youngest daughter of the King of Dacia, is betrothed to Ronan and awaiting his return. If Ronan doesn't come back, the innocent girl will be trapped in his evil warlord father's fortress forever. Even though he doesn't want to marry the princess, he feels compelled to save her….

Patricia A. McKillip just keeps getting better with every book. She has become an absolute master of the fairy tale. Like Ombria in Shadow, her previous release, In the Forests of Serre is a surreal mixture of fantasy, fable, and romance. And the truly wonderful thing about these novels is that their appeal is ageless; the stories can be enjoyed by adults and make great read-alouds for children as well. Paul Goat Allen

Publishers Weekly
In a twist on the Biblical adage "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also," McKillip (Ombria in Shadow) presents a mystical, eerie fantasy about the flight from love-and the haphazard progress toward love. The efforts of a kingdom to prevent war by sacrificing its princess, Sidonie, to a loveless marriage are complicated by the refusal of the intended bridegroom, Prince Ronan of Serre, to cooperate. Sidonie obeys to save her country from sure destruction. Ronan flees from his fate with the magical interference of the Forests of Serre, the mysterious witch Brume and a firebird whose song becomes a pied piper-like enchantment. Meetings with Brume exact a dear price, and nearly every character encounters her at some point. To some, Brume can be death itself; others merely have to give her something of great value. Ronan offers "what of all such things he valued least, and would not miss if he did not return for it. `Take my heart.'" And indeed, Brume does take his heart. Ronan doesn't seem to miss what he felt he lacked to begin with, but Sidonie does, and so do his parents. This novel is similar in style and content to McKillip's World Fantasy Award-winning story, "The Forgotten Beasts of Eld," which is not to say it's a rehash. A skillfully told adult fairy tale, it stands perfectly well on its own. (June 3) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
While riding through the forest, Prince Ronan of Serre earns the wrath of the Mother of All Witches when he accidentally kills her favorite hen. Informed by his father that he is to marry a princess he has never met, Ronan instead follows the trail of a magnificent red bird that appears to him in the forest-and begins a journey fraught with peril and tinged with wonder. McKillip's luminous retelling of the Russian legend of "The Firebird" retains its fairy tale feel while exploring the depths of the human heart. Elegant in style, this title belongs in most fantasy collections. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780441011575
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/1/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 363,198
  • Product dimensions: 6.92 (w) x 4.96 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Patricia A. McKillip is a winner of the World Fantasy Award, and the author of many fantasy novels, including The Riddlemaster of Hed trilogy, Stepping from the Shadows, and The Cygnet and the Firebird. She lives in Oregon.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 12 of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2009

    WONDROUS!

    I loved this book so much. Everything about it, from the way she develops characters to the laying out of the chapters that keep you guessing...wonderful. If you love fantasy, love fairytales and love reading, pick this book up! Patricia McKillip is amazing!

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A spellbinding adult fairy tale

    Once upon a time in the kingdom of Serre, the heir to the throne Prince Ronan went to war in the hopes that he would be killed in battle. He lost his wife and child and saw no reason to go on living but fate had something else planned for him. On his return home from battle his horse stepped on a witch¿s chicken and she cursed him. When he returned home, his father informed him that he arranged for the prince to marry Princess Sidonie of Dacia, a kingdom known for its powerful sorceress.<P> The prince is ensorcelled by a firebird and follows it into the forest where he meets the princess and the Gyre sorcerer who accompanies her from her land. No introductions occur and the princess resumes her journey only to find that her bridegroom is not at the palace awaiting her. Gyre searches for him, but when he encounters the prince he changes him into a firebird and assumes the appearance of Ronan. Gyre intends to take over the prince¿s role because Roman doesn¿t want it and the sorcerer does.<P> Patricia A. McKillip weaves her usual magic to create a spellbinding tale of two star-crossed lovers who find that fate is not always unkind. The adventures they partake in change them in subtle ways, making them more aware of the needs of the other and wanting to give that person their heart¿s desire. Readers will remember the irascible witch in this tale who lives in a house of bones, has big feet and is more and less than she seems.<P> Harriet Klausner

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