Prophecy: Child of Earth (Symphony of Ages Series #2)

( 41 )

Overview

In Rhapsody, a fellowship was forged— three companions who, through great adversity, became a force to be reckoned with: Rhapsody the Singer; Achmed the assassin-king; and Grunthor, the giant Sergeant-Major. Prophecy continues their powerful epic. Driven by a prophetic vision, Rhapsody races to rescue a religious leader while Achmed and Grunthor seek the F'dor— an ancient and powerful demon. These companions may be destined to fulfill The Prophecy of the Three, but their time is running short. They must find ...

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Overview

In Rhapsody, a fellowship was forged— three companions who, through great adversity, became a force to be reckoned with: Rhapsody the Singer; Achmed the assassin-king; and Grunthor, the giant Sergeant-Major. Prophecy continues their powerful epic. Driven by a prophetic vision, Rhapsody races to rescue a religious leader while Achmed and Grunthor seek the F'dor— an ancient and powerful demon. These companions may be destined to fulfill The Prophecy of the Three, but their time is running short. They must find their elusive enemy before his darkness consumes them all.

"The superlative Haydon elevates craftsmanship to a new level of excellence as she deftly weaves mythology into high fantasy, catching our hearts with the extraordinary power and intensity of both characters and concepts. This series already has 'landmark' written all over it."

Romantic Times Gold Medal Review

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The superlative Haydon elevates craftsmanship to a new level of excellence as she deftly weaves mythology into high fantasy, catching our hearts with the extraordinary power and intensity of both characters and concepts. This series already has 'landmark' written all over it."—Romantic Times Gold Medal Review
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A sequel to Haydon's acclaimed first novel, Rhapsody, this is a novel of modest virtues. Again following the adventures of Rhapsody (the Cymrian Namer) and her friends King Achmed of the Firbolg and the giant Grunthor, the narrative recounts their battles with the demonic F'dor. Although Grunthor is the Child of Earth to whom the title refers, most of the action revolves around Ashe, half of whose soul has been torn away by the F'dor and used to create the monstrous Rakshas. The Rakshas (which, to make things worse, looks exactly like Ashe) is going about killing innocent people and plotting to destabilize the power of local governments. After Rhapsody falls in love with Ashe, she sets out (with the help of Achmed and Grunthor) to kill the Rakshas and to end the F'dor's hold over Ashe. This will clear the way for Ashe to reunite the warring Cymrian factions by becoming Lord Cymrian. As they fight their way to this conclusion, Haydon's three heroes must also protect the Sleeping Child, a mystical creature who's likewise threatened by the F'dor--and Rhapsody must train herself to use her magic sword, which can link her to the element of fire. Although the characters are appealing and Haydon's world intriguing, things there are so complicated that they require an excessive amount of backstory--explanations of what happened in the previous volume and in Cymrian history. Although impressive, these explanations tend to appear at inopportune moments and break the adventure's pace. The romance between Ashe and Rhapsody is, however, charming, and the novel has enough magic, good fights and thrilling love scenes to make it a keeper. (July) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Library Journal
The skysinger Rhapsody and her two Fir-Bolg companions seek to carve out a place for themselves in a new world even as their lives move inexorably toward the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy. As momentous events take shape around the three heroes, other forces work hard to undermine their hope and bring the powers of evil closer to victory. Continuing the story begun in Rhapsody: Child of Blood (LJ 9/15/99), Haydon's epic saga of the endless battle between light and darkness resounds with the richness of ancient myths reworked into new forms. Highly recommended for most fantasy collections. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Romantic Times
Combine the witty banter of Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew with the star-crossed soulmates of his Romeo and Juliet, add a dash of modern fairy tale a la Star Wars, and you'll get a hint of the fantastic new world created by first-time novelist Elizabeth Haydon.
Kirkus Reviews
Continuing the fantasy series begun with Rhapsody (1999), this sequel involves much ado in pursuit of an obscure prophecy, with, of course, the fate of the world hanging in the balance. The F'dor, a powerful fire demon, wants to wake up the Primal Wyrm from its slumber at the heart of the world; this will make things much warmer and cozier for the F'dor, but incidentally destroy the world. Taking up round two of the struggle are: beautiful Rhapsody, with her Namer-magic and flaming sword; Achmed the renamed, clairvoyant assassin; and Grunthor the gigantic Bolg warrior with his earth-powers. Each volume is more or less self-contained, with respectable ideas, plotting, and characters—within the confines of conventional fantasy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812570823
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 8/13/2001
  • Series: Symphony of Ages Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 736
  • Sales rank: 255,941
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

In addition to traveling the world, Elizabeth Haydon enjoys music, anthropology, folklore, and herbalism. She lives with her family on the East Coast where she works as an editor in educational publishing.

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Read an Excerpt

Meridion

Meridion sat in the darkness, lost in thought. The instrument panel of the Time Editor was dark as well; the great machine stood silent for the moment, the gleaming threads of diaphanous film hanging idle on their spools, each reel carefully labeled Past or Furute. The Present, as ever, hung evanescent like silver mist in the air under the Editor's lamp, twisting and changing moment by moment in the half-light.

Draped across his knees was an ancient piece of thread, a lore strand from the Past. It was a film fragment of immeasurable importance, burnst and broken beyond repair on one end. Meridion picked it up gingerly, then turned it over in his hands and sighed.

Time was a fragile thing, especially when manipulated mechanially. He had tried to be gentle with the dry film, but it had cracked and ignited in the press of the Time Editor's gears, burning the image he had needed to see. Now it was too late; the moment was gone forever, along with the information it held. The identity of the demon he was seeking would remain hidden. There was no going back, at least not this way.

Meridion rubbed his eyes and leaned back against the translucent aurelay, the gleaming field of energy tied to his life essence that he had shaped for the moment into a chairlike seat, resting his head within its hum. The prickling melody that surrounded him was invigorating, clearing his thoughts and helping him to concentrate. It was his namesong, his life's own innate tune. A vibration unique in all the world, tied to his true name.

The demon he was seeking had great power over names, too. Meridion had gone back into the Past itself to find it, looking for a way to avert the path of devastation it had carefully constructed over Time, but the demon had eluded him. F'dor were the masters of lies, the fathers of deception. They were without corporeal form, binding themselves to innocent hosts and living throuh them or using them to do their will, then moving on to another more powerful host when the opportunity presented itself. Even far away, from his vantage point in the Future, there was no real way to see them.

For this reason Meridion had manipulated Time, had sliced and moved around pieces of the Past to bring a Namer of great potential together with those that might help her in the task of finding and destroying the demon. It had been his hope that these three would be able to accomplish this feat on their side of Time before it was too late to prevent what the demon had wrought, the devastation that was now consuming lands on both sides of the world. But the strategy had been a risky one. Just bringing lives together did not guarantee how they would be put to use.

Already he had seen the unfortunate consequences of his actions. The Time Editor had run heatedly with the unspooling of the time strands, fragments of film rending apart and swirling into the air above the machine as the Past destroyed itself in favor of the new. The stench of the burning timefilm was rank and bitter, searing Meridion's nostrils and his lungs, leaving him trembling at the thought of what damage he might inadvertently be doing to the Future by meddling in the Past. But it was too late now.

Meridion waved his hand over the instrument panel of the Time Editor. The enormous machine roared to life, the intricate lenses illuminated by its ferocious internal light source. A warm glow spilled onto the tall panes of glass that formed the walls of the circular room and ascended to the clear ceiling above. The glimmering stars that had been visible from every angle above and below him in the darkness a moment before disappeared in the blaze of reflected brilliance. Meridion held the broken fragment of film up to the light.

The images were still there, but hard to make out. He could see the small, slender woman because of her shining hair, golden and reflecting the sunrise, bound back with a black ribbon, standing on the brink of morning in the vast panorama of the mountains where he had last sighted the two of them. Meridion blew gently on the lore-strand to clear it of dust and smiled as the tiny woman in the frame drew her cloak closer about herself. She stared off into the valley that stretched below her, prickled with spring frost and the patchy light of dawn.

Her traveling companion was harder to find. Had Meridion not known he was there prior to examining the film he never would have seen him, hidden in the shadows cast by the sun. It took him several long moments to find the outline of the man's cloak, designed as it was to hide him from the eyes of the world. A faint trace of mist rose from the cloak and blended with the rising dew burning off in the sunlight.

As he suspected, the lore-strand had burnt at precisely the wrong moment, obliterating the Namer's chance to catch a glimpse of the F'dor's ambassador before he or she reached Ylorc. Meridion had been watching through her eyes, waiting for the moment when she first beheld the henchman, as the Seer had advised. He could make out a thin dark line in the distance; that must have been the ambassadorial caravan. She had already seen it. The opportunity had passed. And he had missed it.

He dimmed the lamp on the Time Editor again and sat back in the dark sphere of his room to think, suspended within his glass globe amid the stars, surrounded by them. There must be another window, another way to get back into her eyes.

Meridion glanced at the endless wall of glass next to him and down at the surface of the Earth miles below. Black molten fire was crawling slowly across the darkened face of the world, withering the continents in its path, burning without smoke in the lifeless atmosphere. At the rim of the horizon another glow was beginning; soon the fire sources would meet and consume what little was left. It took all of Meridion's strength to keep from succumbing to the urge to scream. In his darkest dreams he could never have imagined this.

In his darkest dreams. Meridion sat upright with the thought. The Namer was prescient, she could see the Past and Future in her dreams, or sometimes just by reading the vibrations that events had left behind, hovering in the air or clinging to an object. Dreams gave off vibrational energy; if he could find a trace of one of them, like the dust that hovered in afternoon light, he could follow it back to her, anchor himself behind her eyes again, in the Past. Meridion eyed the spool which had held the brittle lore-strand he had spliced together, hanging listlessly on the Editor's main pinion.

He seized the ancient reel and spun out the film, carefully drawing the edge where it had broken cleanly back under the Time Editor's lens. He adjusted the eyepiece and looked. The film in frame was dark, and at first it was hard to make out anything within the image. Then after a few moments his eyes adjusted, and he caught a flash of gold as the Namer sighed in the darkness of her chamber and rolled over in her sleep. Meridion smiled.

He had found the record of the night before she and Ashe had left on their journey. Meridion had no doubt she had been in the throes of dreaming then.

After a moment's consideration he selected two silver instruments, a gathering tool with a hair-thin point and a tiny sieve basket soldered onto a long slender handle. The mesh of the thumbnail-sized basket was fine enough to hold even the slightest particle of dust. With the greatest of care Meridion blew on the frame of film, and watched under the lens for a reaction. He saw nothing. He blew again, and this time a tiny white spark rose from the strand, too small to be seen without magnification even by his extraordinarily sensitive eyes.

Skillfully Meridion caught the speck with the gathering tool and transferred it to the basket. Then, watching intently, he waited until the lamp of the Time Editor illuminated the whisper-thin thread that connected it to the film. He turned his head and exhaled. He had caught a dream-thread.

Working carefully he drew it out more until it was long enough to position under the most powerful lens. He never averted his eyes as he gestured to one of the cabinets floating in the air above the Editor. The doors opened, and a tiny bottle of oily liquid skittered to the front of the shelf, then leapt into the air, wafting gently down until it came to rest on the gleaming prismatic disc hovering in the air beside him. Keeping his eyes fixed on the thread lest he lose sight of it, Meridion uncorked the bottle with one hand and carefully removed the dropper. Then he held it over the thread and squeezed.

The glass below the lens swirled in a pink-yellow haze, then cleared. Meridion reached over and turned the viewing screen onto the wall. It would take a moment for him to get his bearings, but it was always that way when one was watching from inside someone else's dreams.

Copyright © 2000 by Elizabeth Haydon

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Table of Contents

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Interviews & Essays

Back in 1999, B&N.com SF & Fantasy editor Andrew LeCount had the pleasure of speaking with author Elizabeth Haydon. Topics discussed included the launch of her ambitious new fantasy epic, Rhapsody, her strict attention to detail, her favorite character to write, and the wild New Orleans night that sparked her writing career. Enjoy our interview.

B&N.com: Tell us about your debut fantasy novel, Rhapsody. Set up the story line for those who have yet to discover it.

Elizabeth Haydon: Three mismatched companions come together unintentionally and end up escaping the devastation of their homeland in a fiery cataclysm. Rhapsody is the story of their journey across time, away from the doomed Island of Serendair to a place that may be even more dangerous; the riddle entwined in the history of the new land; and the mystery of the evil that may have survived with them.

Rhapsody is a Singer, a woman who has been forced to serve some time in the streets as a prostitute and now is studying the ancient musical arts of her mother's people, the Lirin science of Naming. While attempting to escape the henchmen of an obsessed former client, she falls in with two shady characters, a gigantic Firbolg mercenary named Grunthor, who is a Sergeant-Major by trade, and a mysterious assassin known only as The Brother. Both men are on the run from an ancient demon who is in possession of The Brother's true name, planning to flee the Island.

In the course of their tangled meeting, Rhapsody uses her newly learned power to rename the Brother "Achmed the Snake". This action snaps the metaphysical collar of servitude the demon has used to keep the assassin in his thrall, setting "Achmed" free. The two men decide to take Rhapsody with them, since they don't know whether her actions have saved the assassin or compromised him even further.

The companions travel to a primeval wood, a holy forest where the Great Tree, Sagia, grows. Legend says that this enormous oak grows in one of the five places where time itself began, and its roots wind through the Earth, tying it to all things that grow. It is through the root of this tree that the three companions escape, and find themselves on the other side of time, 14 centuries in the future, in a place colonized by the descendants of the people who fled their homeland before it was destroyed. As they traverse this new and strangely violent continent, they begin to suspect that they are not the only inhabitants of Serendair who have survived -- that the evil they escaped on one side of the world may be here, in the new world, hiding in wait for its time to come forth.

B&N.com: Explain your use of music in Rhapsody.

EH: In the mythos of this story, the five elements that formed the world -- fire, water, air, earth, and ether (the matter that makes up the stars) -- still resonate power left over from the time of creation. That power gives off vibrations. Certain individuals, because of physiology or training, can manipulate those vibrations and derive power from them. I suppose some might call this magic, but it has a scientific basis.

Achmed is an example of physiology making use of those vibrations. He is half-Dhracian, a race that has a skin-web of exposed veins and nerve endings that make Dhracians sensitive to the currents of the air and the various signatures of vibration around them. Achmed's particular gift allows him to track the heartbeats of humanoid prey; he can sense the unique rhythm of an individual's heart, match his own pulse to it, and follow it without error. In a way, this is a use of music.

Rhapsody is a more traditional example of musicianship. At one point, she explains to Achmed and Grunthor that different kinds of music are the maps through the vibrations that make up all the world, and that if you have the right map, it will take you to wherever you want to go. Those of her race and profession have long studied musical lore and are the depository of a vast treasure of songs of history. In addition, she has attained the highest level of this profession; she's a Namer, someone so attuned to the music of a given thing's name that she can alter the reality around it through musical manipulation. Namers are foresworn to the truth, because if they interject any false notes into a given "song," it dilutes its power.

There is music all through the Rhapsody trilogy -- grisly (and humorous) marching cadences sung by the Firbolg, songs of healing and Naming, war chants and lullabies -- it is ever-present in the description of the world around them, the wind in the forest trees, the song of the Earth as they crawl within it. My clearest memory of C. S. Lewis and Tolkien was hearing music the whole time I was reading, like a soundtrack. I hope that comes across somewhat in Rhapsody as well.

B&N.com: How much research went into your novel? According to your web site (www.elizabethhaydon.com), many of the marvelous weapons in Rhapsody were influenced by actual arms. Give us a few examples.

EH: An embarrassing amount of research went into this book; I'm an editor by profession, and we tend to be anal-retentive when it comes to accuracy. It would be nice to be able to relax a little and just let the creativity flow, but alas, I fear it will be an uphill battle against my nature as long as I'm writing. In addition to the research, I coaxed quite a few experts in various fields to review the manuscript for accuracy, to make sure the herbalism, music theory, archaeology, anthropology of the various racial societies, weaponry, and military tactics were all correct. The languages are linguistically accurate. Everything else I just kind of made up.

Some weapons examples: The knives that the Bolg manufacture are based on a triple-bladed throwing knife of the Bwaka people of central Africa, which rotates in flight and can pierce at almost any attitude at which it impacts. Achmed's cwellan (which is the Old English word for "kill") is based on a form of Mongolian crossbow, which hurled projectiles at a side angle by force of recoil. Grunthor is a weapons enthusiast and a walking arsenal; I had to make certain that the tech level of the weapons in his stash were appropriate to the approximate technology period of Rhapsody and to the natural resources of the places he had traveled.

B&N.com: Talk a bit about the prophecy in which you refer to the "lifestages of all men" -- Blood, Earth, and Sky.

EH: Aw, come on -- that would be telling! Well, OK, just a little bit. The prophecy you refer to was uttered at the end of a terrible war, which had divided the Cymrians against each other and the continent against itself. They were looking for a reason to have hope, and they asked the Seer of the Future, who was mad and spoke in riddles, if so great a rift could be mended. This was her answer:

The Three shall come,
leaving early,
arriving late,
The lifestages of all men:
Child of Blood,
Child of Earth,
Child of the Sky.

Each man,
formed in blood and born in it,
Walks the Earth and sustained by it,
Reaching to the sky,
and sheltered beneath it,
He ascends there only in his ending,
becoming part of the stars.

Blood gives new beginning,
Earth gives sustenance,
the Sky gives dreams in life --
eternity in death.

Thus shall the Three be,
one to the other.

One of the repeating themes in the trilogy examines truth and deception, and how close they can sometimes be. While the Seers can only speak the truth, they don't always reveal everything they know, and sometimes what they say is technically true, but deceiving. Prophecies can have more than one meaning, and they don't always mean what they seem. Achmed ignores them for this reason.

The line in the prophecy that is in the past tense -- formed in blood and born in it -- is in general a reference to birth, the first lifestage of man. The line in the present tense -- walks the Earth and sustained by it -- alludes to the second and primary lifestage, the actual lifespan. The line in future tense -- reaching to the sky, and sheltered beneath it, he ascends there only in his ending, becoming part of the stars -- refers to death and afterlife. Each of these examples also refers to one of the Three, those whose coming was foretold as one way that the rift might be healed. It is possible that Achmed could be the Child of Blood, given that he is an assassin; Grunthor is tied to the Earth; and Rhapsody is Liringlas, a Skysinger, the race known as children of the sky. But of course, I can't promise anything, because, after all, one should never trust prophecies completely, because they don't necessarily mean what they seem.

B&N.com: Do you have a favorite character to write? I must say, Grunthor is my favorite to read.

EH: He's my favorite to write as well. What's fun about Grunthor is that he's such a contradiction -- ferocious and gentle, a brutal adversary, a no-nonsense Sergeant Major to his troops, but sweet to Rhapsody and later to Jo, the teenage street urchin she adopts. For a Firbolg crossbred with an even more monstrous race, he embodies a good deal of personal wisdom and uncommon grace. He likes to sing grisly marching songs. Plus he's funny. He is the fulcrum between Achmed and Rhapsody, who are opposite sides of the same coin. While they both undergo tremendous transition, Grunthor remains consistent. And he reminds me a great deal of my editor, Jim Minz.

B&N.com: What drove you to write fantasy fiction in the first place?

EH: Clinical insanity. Actually, it was a favor to an editorial friend. I had read C. S. Lewis as a young child, Tolkien as an older one, and some fantasy in college, but had lost touch with the field after that. I work in educational publishing. In 1994, I met up with an editorial friend and mentor in New Orleans at the American Library Association conference, and he asked me to write him a fantasy that might cross over to other genres and contain some of the mutual interests we shared, like medieval music, history, anthropology, and herbalism. I was uncertain about it (we had been drinking something called Dixie Blackened Voodoo, and initially, I thought he was drunk when he suggested it) because I had never written a novel before, but when it became clear he really wanted me to do it, I gave it a shot. I created a universe's history and then fell in love with the story. Writing in this genre has awakened a long-dormant creative side of me that I never realized I missed so much.

B&N.com: Is it true there is a movie in the works?

EH: Yes, it was optioned for film even before it was offered to publishers as a book. The screenplay is almost done.

B&N.com: Rhapsody is a massive fantasy novel -- in size and in scope. How many volumes do you see your series spanning? When can we expect Volume No. 2?

EH: Volume Two of the trilogy, Prophecy: Child of Earth,, is due out in July 2000. It's complete and in the process of minor revisions right now, so I don't expect any significant delays unless I get a hernia carrying it to the post office.

Part of the development of the Rhapsody trilogy was the mapping out of the world's history from its formation to its destruction. I wrote it with a time line; if the beginning of the world is zero on the time line, and the farthest event I could envision is ten, Rhapsody takes place approximately at six. I know what came before this era, and what will follow it.

Because this story is a history, it has many epochs to it, eras of time which are distinct stories. The trilogy that began with Rhapsody will offer a definitive conclusion to this story at the end of the third volume. I'm an impatient reader myself, and I need some points of conclusion in a story, so I can't see myself writing a completely open-ended series with the same characters going through a series of new adventures each time. That being said, there are eras both before and after this trilogy that I would love to explore. The surviving characters from this trilogy do have future stories. Also extremely interesting to me is the exploration of the stories that precede the trilogy -- the events that are history to the people in Rhapsody. All of this depends, of course, on the readers.

B&N.com: Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, Elizabeth. Tons of luck with Rhapsody.

EH: Thank you. I appreciate your time and the opportunity.

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Reading Group Guide

The Three shall come, leaving early, arriving late,

The lifestages of all men:

Child of Blood, Child of Earth, Child of the Sky.

Each man, formed in blood and born in it,

Walks the Earth and sustained by it,

Reaching to the sky, and sheltering beneath it,

He ascends there only in his ending, becoming part of the stars.

Blood gives new beginning, Earth gives sustenance,

The Sky gives dreams in life—eternity in death.

Thus shall the Three be, one to the other.

Every reader longs to fall beneath a storyteller’s mystic spell, to be swept away by the thrill of adventure and the power of imagination. When Elizabeth Haydon’s first book Rhapsody was released in 1999, readers found themselves captivated just so, quickly becoming enchanted with her fresh approach to epic fantasy and the startling strength of her fully-realized world. Critics too were impressed with her tale of the resourceful and beautiful Rhapsody, a fledgling singer of magic, and her equally fascinating companions as they undertook a journey through time to escape the ravages of the F’dor, a being of fearsome evil and unimaginable power.

That wondrous story continues in Prophecy, as Rhapsody and her companions, the assassin-king Achmed, and the barbaric fighter Grunthor, each discover their own critical role in fulfilling an ancient legend. Yet, the foul F’dor has survived the journey as well, and has not forgotten their escape. And even as the companions begin to piece together the scattered fragments of destiny that will guide them to the final confrontation, the F’dor bides its time, gathering strength and allies, ever growing in power and menace, and all the while, hiding in plain sight, swathed in the guise of a friend. Showing a mastery of character and plot that heralds the full flowering of a gifted storyteller, Prophecy continues the fantasy saga that is destined to become a classic.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    great- the last reviewer was way wrong...

    ok- the last person was wrong... yes its a fantasy novel.. but if you look at the genre its also classified as ROMANCE... duh... i personally loved the plot and everything about the charcters... i like the way that gwydion and rhapsody speak 2 each other... and if the previous idiot had kept reading the series.. he would have found out an amzing fact about who ashe is and how he ties into rhapsodies past.. the dork.. hawever- this is about the book and not how stupid the previous reader was so.... the book gets like... a million stars from- the fact that this book is so controversial proves exactly HOW amazing it is... not alot of writers can stick to plot while having double meanings in there and so much symbolism, and whilst addig in there own beliefe and political views to something at the same time... it was EXTREMELY cleverly written.. i also especially like how rhapsody is so willing to trust other people and find the best in the no matter what.. there needs to be more of that in this wold- the previous reviewer is just TOO mesimistic... i mean or course it not realistic... its a FANTASY novel.. what dueche... anyways... i think this book was the epidemy of fantasy, romance, and adventure all in one... it sticks true to the themes of good v.s. evil, love conquers all, your past can haunt you, your TRUE friends will never leave you and so forth... it also symbolisize the fact that there will be rough spots in lie- be heart strong (NOT headstrong) people can overcome that... no matter what atrocities you undergo... i have read these books 42 times.. and i still look back on them, and everytime i reread them i tear up, i laugh and i hold my breathe at places that i have many times before- i also find something new in it, some new meaning, some new idea, some new veiw, more symbolism... books like that are true literature... as a writer myself- i truly admire elizabeth haydons work.... she is an amazing author and i get alot of my inspiration from her.... (my favorite character is achmed, he's very cynical and hes a badass fighter....) i also loved all her other books............. she should just ignore some... people... i wont mention names.... if someone doesn't like the book they shouldn't read it- i dont know WHY they wouldn't like it but hey... that's their lookout now isn't it.. 82 thumbs WAY WAY up for our leading lady... give it up for elizabeth haydon... who will probably be the Van Halen of the new literary world (cuz lets face it, shakespear sucked and he's been dead for years....)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Totally Awesome

    All i can say is that this book is amazing, i enjoy all fantacy series and for Haydon being a new author she really catches my attention with these books I really do believe that these books rate high along with Robert Jordans "Wheel of Time" series and Terry Goodkings "Sword of Truth" series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Tremendous SF

    Rhapsody the singer, the assassin Achmed the Snake, and deadly weapons expert Grunthor the gentle giant survive their incredible odyssey through time and geography. Now Achmed and Grunthor are establishing an independent homeland for their people, the Firbolg with the former serving as the King. Meanwhile Rhapsody spends much of her time in fascination with her admirer Ashe, who keeps secrets from her. <P> While the trio goes about their business in a world far distant from that they originally came from, through the tree of life, the darkness begins to descend. Rhapsody begins to dream of the upcoming destruction caused by the deadly elusive F¿Dor. Many people believe in the PROPHECY that states that the ¿Child of Blood, Child of Earth, Child of Sky¿ remain the only hope to stop the darkness. However, is the PROPHECY referring to Rhapsody, Achmed, and Grunthor who seem too occupied with their current tasks to care about a life-threatening quest? <P>PROPHECY, the sequel to the fantastic fantasy tale, RHAPSODY proves that Elizabeth Haydon is a superstar and not a one hit wonder. The story line is intelligent, filled with action, but does not neglect the characters. The prime cast retains its witty banter that was a trademark of the first novel. Ms. Haydon¿s world is so real the audience will feel that we too have been transported in time and space to a wondrous vision that makes it easy to for readers to rhapsodize that the author is becoming one of the top wizards of the genre. <P>Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 27, 2009

    Great reading!

    My library had book 1 and 3 of this series so I bought book 2 (Prophecy) and donated it after I finished it. The main characters are hero's that fight evil but not in the usual manner of other books. The female hero, "Rhapsody" goes through many things, from conversing with a dragon, fighting villains, romance, and experiences I've never read in any other book. This is well worth the read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Disappointing

    I recently read Rhapsody and really enjoyed it. I loved the uniqueness of Haydon's world. Everything about Prophecy was perfect in the beginning. I could even get around Rhapsody's annoying tendency to love everyone and everything. What is that about? Nobody is that sappy. Anyway, the History of Haydon's world is so rich. I really enjoyed the mystery and myth in the book. The dragon Elynsynos is beautifully described. I loved that portion of the novel. However, as soon as Haydon introduced the romance between Rhapsody and Ashe, she lost me. The way the couple speaks to one another is overdone. There is way too much sex. Once is enough. Get back to the real story. I feel really disappointed, because I thought I paid for a fantasy series. And that's what I got in the first one and a half books. But I just feel like the book turned into a cheap romance novel. I tried to get back into the book after Rhapsody, Grunthor and Achmed went after the Rakshas, but the section of the book involving the killing of the demon's toy and the death of Jo was silly. I couldn't picture anything that was happening. There was way too much language in this section; too many beautifully written lines that really didn't say anything. It was just... weird. I put the book down and do not plan to read the other four novels in the series. If you like a fantasy series with a lot of action but with a lot of mushy, sappy, gag-me-with-a-spoon stuff thrown in as well, then this is your series. But if not, don't bother.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2006

    loved it

    I liked this book, but it centered too much on things other than Achmed and Rhapsody and the bolg. there is like an 30 page part were its a whole other side of the world she is talking about. I didn't like that Phapsody falls in love with Ashe. He was getting on my nerves and all through the book you could begin to see that Achmed was in love with Rhapsody. I don't think she even notices! I really LOVE how Achmed is always protecting Rhapsody, but then he trys to be all cool about it. I never really liked Jo, so it was fitting that she died. I also loved how Achmed sang to Rhapsody when she was dying-Mo haale maar, my hero gome World of star become world of bone. Grief and pain and loss I know. My heart is sore, my blood-tears flow. To end my sorrow I must roam. My terrors old, they lead me home.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2003

    Better than 1st

    I enjoyed this book much more than the first one, though it did drag on as the first one, it didn't as much. It was much more interesting. I was fed up with Rhapsody's beauty in the first book, but by this book, she is too perfect to be true. The journey of defeating anything that comes her way lasts forever, but when they finally meet up with the enemy it ends in like, 5 paragraphs(kinda dissapointing). This book had way too much sex. Though I like some romance in fantasy, Haydon went overboard. Ashe's reaction to Rhapsody's true identity was great! In conclusion, it is a book that I would recommend, although it is not the best.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2001

    Just as good

    For those who have Rhapsody, you know perfectly well that Elizabeth Haydon keeps up her wonderful story just as well in Prophecy as she had in Rhapsody. If you have not read Rhapsody yet, then go and find it before you read Prophecy! A wonderful book with enchanting characters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2001

    If you like Tolkein--

    Wonderful! After reading Rhapsody, I waited impatiently for the continuation of the saga! And was delighted with the result. Now I'm looking forward to 'Destiny' being released! For those who love fantasy---with all the passion and drama--Elizabeth Haydon gives you a wild, wonderful read! Enjoy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2001

    I cant wait till Destiny comes out!!

    Rhapsody was awesome, and Prophecy was even better! The stories Rhapsody gets herself into, and its so cool!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2000

    Surpassed the First

    Prophecy was simply outstanding. I was thrown head first into the magical world of Rhapsody, and Prophecy did not dissapoint. I cried three times while reading this novel! The relationship between Ashe and Rhapsody was moving...I am waiting rather impaiently for the next book. Ms. Haydon, please hurry!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2000

    The Rhapsody & The Prophecy...Amazing!!!

    These books I bought on a Sunday and was finished with by Tuesday. Simply amazing; The texture of the characters; The flow of the storyline. I could not put these books down from the moment I read the first chapter. Ms Haydon kept the same feel of the first book right on to the second. Please Ms Haydon finish the third; this reader is waiting anxiously.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2000

    Do I really have to wait............

    Like it's predecessor, Rhapsody, this bookis entralling and wonderful. I read it from when I bought it Tuesday night till I finished it at 9:30AM on Wednesday morning. The main characters are superb as is their relationship (although I'll admit to caring little for Ashe, I really want to but... call it jealousy or something I don't know!). I love David Eddings and hve found little to rival his character base, until now. Keep up the incredible work! And hurry up on the last novel PLEASE!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2000

    Prophecy: Child of Earth

    I thoght it would be hard to improve on Rhapsody, but apparently the magical Ms. Haydon has a deep bag of magic tricks! I literally could not put this book down! The intensity, mystery and magic are all top notch! Bravo, Elizabeth!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2000

    This has been painful waiting for this book

    My whole family has read Rhapsody, one of them took only three days. This author really knows how to draw a reader into the story and helps you to 'love the good guys' and 'hate the bad guys.' I have been anxiosly awaiting Prophecy. The need to know what happens to Ashe and Rhapsody has been intense to say the least. This author gets my thumbs up for producing a first rate fantasy trilogy. I read a lot of science fiction/fantasy, so know when I find something worth writing about.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2000

    A STAR OF A BOOK

    Rhapsody was wonderful.So tired of all the same romance novels,and the kids Sci-Fi.This was hard to put down and I've been waiting [very impatiently]for 'Prophecy:Child of Earth'. I want to be informed as soon as it's out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2000

    An Excruciating Wait!

    I do not get to read many books do lack of time. I usually only read books that my brother recommends, such as Rhapsody. I couldn't put it down, to the detriment of a project or two at work¿.. From the first chapter, Elizabeth Haydon had me following the life of her heroin after she endures one of the cruelest blows a young woman can endure. And I was mighty angry with the Author at first. I quickly forgave her as the story quickly got going. Elizabeth has me coming back for this book, to tie up a loose end that started in the first Chapter of Rhapsody¿¿ But you have to read the first book to find out what that is¿¿.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2000

    Prophecy: Child of Earth

    I had been put off by what passes for fantasy these days for a long time. Then I saw RHAPSODY, the first book by Elizabeth Haydon, and was impressed enough by the difference in the cover design to give it a try. What a find! This is by far the best fantasy series I've read in years. Now comes PROPHECY, the sequel. The book's not out yet, but just from the excerpts I've read it's going to be pure gold! There is so much humor and subtle magic in these books. The writer doesn't seem to feel the need to 'write down' to the audience. Can't wait to see the whole thing!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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