Once Upon A Dreadful Time

Once Upon A Dreadful Time

5.0 3
by Dennis L. McKiernan

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More information to be announced soon on this forthcoming title from Penguin USA


More information to be announced soon on this forthcoming title from Penguin USA

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Technically a stand-alone, McKiernan's solid fifth and final Once Upon fantasy (after 2006's Once Upon a Spring Morn) focuses on the battle to keep the dreadful witch Hradian and scheming wizard Orbane from despoiling Winterwood, Springwood, Summerwood, Autumnwood and the River of Time itself. After King Valeray and Queen Saissa's children and their consorts destroy Hradian's three wicked sisters and take possession of the seasonal lands, Hradian becomes determined to exact revenge. Toward this end, she decides to free the wizard Orbane, whose evil machinations soon exceed even Hradian's foul desires. Fey allies and the enigmatic guidance of the Fates are required to counter Orbane, and success is far from assured. Series fans should be satisfied, though some may be disappointed that this one is more about war than romance and that background information, presumably for the benefit of newcomers, slows the plot in places. (Oct.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

The four children of King Valeray and Queen Saissa, who together rule the domain of the Seasons in the realm of Faerie, have undergone trials to win their respective true loves, and now some are starting families of their own. Along their journeys of love, they've encountered and often slayed the monsters Fate puts in their paths. Now the evil witch Hradian has conceived a plan to avenge her three sisters' deaths. This fourth book in the five-volume "Once Upon" series (following Once Upon a Spring Morn) features the author's takes on a diverse group of fairy tales-e.g., "East of the Sun and West of the Moon," "Sleeping Beauty," and "Tam Lin"-complete with riddles, challenges, trickery, and a surprise ending. While the characters lack complexity-unsurprising, considering the large number of heroes and heroines-the story exhibits the author's unflinching charm and obvious mastery of his art. A welcome addition (along with its predecessors) to any library.

—Jackie Cassada

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
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Penguin Group
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File size:
589 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

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Meet the Author

Dennis L. McKiernan is the author of many novels, most of them set in the world of Mithgar. He is one of the most prolific and enduring writers of fantasy today. His website is home.att.net/~dlmck.

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Once Upon a Dreadful Time 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
gaelic_darkwater More than 1 year ago
Once upon a dreadful time ties up the Forest of the Seasons quintet in a fantastic adventure! It's a wonderful book, well written in typical McKiernan style! Unlike most of his books, this one does draw very heavily on the information in the first four books so I do recommend that you read the other four first. You'll enjoy all of them!
harstan More than 1 year ago
From time to time, the spouses of the rulers in the Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn Woods feel as if someone is watching them but they never see anyone. They do not realize that the witch Hradian, acolyte of the faery Wizard Orbane is watching them. She tries to figure out a way to release her master who is imprisoned in the Castle Of Shadows in the Great Darkness beyond the Black Wall of the World. She also wants him to kill the princes and princesses of the various woods domains and their parents Valeray and Saissa because they killed her three sisters..------------- The father is responsible for Orbane¿s imprisonment and the children are responsible for the deaths of the witch¿s three sisters. She sees who has the key to unlock the prison so Hradian transforms herself into his wife and tricks him into giving it to her. She releases the monster Orbane who imprisons in the Castle of Shadows Valeray, his wife, their children and grandchild and then goes about gathering allies to use on his master plan to rule faery and the human world. The spouses of the imprisoned princes and princess gather an army to fight Orbane but they have to successfully solve the riddle the three fates give each princess if they hope to vanquish the darkness.---------------- ONCE UPON A DREADFUL TIME is a magical and beautiful fairytale that takes place in the world of faery where the laws of science don¿t work. Fans read about all kind of creatures from mythology and legend like sprites, unicorns, wizards, witches and giants. The characters from the four previous books in the saga make major appearances and play significant roles however it is the three fates and their riddles that are the most important part of the plot because without them the heroes wouldn¿t have a chance of survival let alone winning with that they still remain the underdogs.-------------------- Harriet Klausner