Song of the Beast

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Overview

Brutal imprisonment has broken Aidan McAllister. Once the most famous musician of his generation, celebrated as a man beloved of the gods, his voice is now silent, his hands ruined, his music that offered beauty and hope to war-torn Elyria destroyed. Even the god who nurtured his talent since boyhood has abandoned him. But no one ever told him his crime. To discover the truth, he must risk his hard-bought freedom to unlock the mind of his god and the heart of his enemy ...
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Song of the Beast

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Overview

Brutal imprisonment has broken Aidan McAllister. Once the most famous musician of his generation, celebrated as a man beloved of the gods, his voice is now silent, his hands ruined, his music that offered beauty and hope to war-torn Elyria destroyed. Even the god who nurtured his talent since boyhood has abandoned him. But no one ever told him his crime. To discover the truth, he must risk his hard-bought freedom to unlock the mind of his god and the heart of his enemy

Brutal imprisonment has broken Aidan McAllister. Once the most famous musician of his generation, celebrated as a man beloved of the gods, his voice is now silent, his hands ruined, his music that offered beauty and hope to war-torn Elyria destroyed. Even the god who nurtured his talent since boyhood has abandoned him. But no one ever told him his crime. To discover the truth, he must risk his hard-bought freedom to unlock the mind of his god and the heart of his enemy.

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Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
If judging this book simply by its cover, it would be easy to categorize it as another dragon fantasy book. Instead, it is a well-crafted mystery centering on the character of Aidan MacAllister, a musical child prodigy who became a legendary bard, shunning the warrior destiny of his royal ancestry. At the age of 21, he is inexplicably imprisoned and tortured into silence. Released just as suddenly 17 years later, Aidan realizes he must hide his identity as he is still pursued, finding unlikely allies among the Elhim, the androgynous servant caste of his world. Berg does a wonderful job of creating the harsh, warlike world surrounding Aidan, with its defined social strata of the noble Senai, the merchant class Udema, the sexless, servile Elhim, and, protecting them all, the Ridemark clan comprised of barbaric warriors whose task is to ride the fire-breathing dragons held enslaved to the Ridemark's will through magical gems and spells. Aidan's lifelong fascination with these dragons holds the key to his imprisonment and the fate of his country. The plot moves well and the vocabulary and cultural references unique to this world are either easily explained within the text or intuitively grasped. This book holds appeal even for readers who traditionally shun fantasy; its open-ended conclusion suggests a sequel. Definitely recommended for libraries looking for high quality fantasy and mystery additions. KLIATT Codes: JSA—Recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2003, Penguin Putnam, Roc, 467p.,
— Courtney Lewis
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451459237
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 4/22/2003
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 4.26 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 1.28 (d)

Meet the Author

Carol Berg

Though Colorado is home, Carol Berg's roots are in Texas, in a family of teachers, musicians, and railroad men. She has degrees in mathematics from Rice University and computer science from the University of Colorado, but managed to squeeze in minors in English and art history along the way. She has combined a career as a software engineer with her writing, while also raising three sons. She lives with her husband at the foot of the Colorado mountains.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 20 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(15)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2012

    Great Story, Too Long

    Fantastic story, amazingly well written. Such a relief to read something written with correct grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary where most authors today dont seem to be bothered or have real editors.
    Character development was superb, I loved the multiple perspectives though feel she should have written more from Narim or left out his single chapter; it was too little so in the end felt almost superfluous.
    The twists and turns in the plot were very fun and incredibly creative, but not as totally surprisinb as they might be. The author foreshadows and hints a bit too much to keep her next twist a true surprise.
    My only real complaint is the story dragged on WAY too long. It could have finished equally well several chapters earlier than it did, and it started to become tiresome. It's not really necessary to tie off every loose end after all, some of the best fiction ever leaves open ends for the reader's imagination to finish off.
    Still, this is a great, epic story with characters you will instantly love and despise; even the Dragons. If you're looking for a unique, creative, short, and well written / rounded fantasy epic, this is the book you should definitely pick up!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2006

    something to remember

    This book has all the ingredients in making a spellbinding page turner. The Main character is constantly willing himself to go on with life after being almost living seventeen years in prison and becoming an almost living-dead creature. When he is suddenly released, he wanders the earth while meeting up with many different people who seem to change his life forever, while at the same time helping him search for answers to the ultimate question that plagues his mind. Why did this happen to me? Throughout the story, our character tries his hardest to fit in life with a set of hands that are virtually useless and a back that sends shivers down anyone's spine. He even finds love in a most unlikely place. I can only hope that a sequel follows this masterpiece. It is truly a must read for the ages.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2013

    This book was amazing.

    Wonderful characters, beautifully written countries and filled with intrigue. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2012

    Excellent

    Carol Berg's books are always evocative and absorbing, and this story is no exception! Her charactets are so well-defined; her writing is crisp and intelligent. Fantasy at its best.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2005

    Don't miss this book!

    Outstanding! I've been an avid reader of the fantasy genre since I was in grade school and this book surpasses everything I've read to date. The plot is intricately woven and possesses just the right amount of suspense and intrigue. The characters come alive. Especially Aidan. You can't help but to identify with him and be drawn into his story. Everything about this book makes you crave more. I read the book in one sitting then started it again!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2004

    One of the greatest books ever

    Carol Berg has raised the bar on what makes a fantastic novel. I stayed up till 3a.m finishing this book, I simply could not put it down! Each character brings a new view and piece to a 500 year old puzzle. who says heroes wear shining aromor and have perfect looks.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2003

    I couldn't put it down!

    This book was one of the best crafted, intricately woven books I've ever had the privilege of reading and it left me screaming for more. I just finished it and already, I am thinking of re-reading it. Aidan is a very human, very easy character to relate with, and Lara is the very embodiment of youthful dreams gone horribly wrong. Carol is one of a very rare breed of storytellers. Had she been born in another era, she would have been the storyteller whom all people, young and old alike, would have gathered round the campfire to hear her spin her tales of awe and wonder. What sets this book aside is how excellently crafted the dialogue is, and how the characters interact with one another. The duplicity and mystery, discovery and revelation all propel the reader forward, anxious to see what happens next and dreading the turning of the last page. More, Lady Carol Berg ... this cannot be the end of Aidan MacAllister's journey, nor that of Lara or Donal.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2003

    INCREDIBLE!

    This book was an outstanding read! I am a huge fan of fantasy fiction -I read nothing else. But I was bored of reading the same old plots of wizards and demons, but this book filled my craving for something unique, and I actually grew emotionally attached to this book. Carol Berg writes with delicious depth and detail. I was instantly connected to the characters, especially Aiden and Lara. The plot is superbly unique and grasping. I strongly recommend it to anyone with an apetite for beautiful writing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2003

    AWESOME

    This book is exceptionally well written. I enjoyed it more than her previous series. I felt I experienced the journey with the characters -- both mentally and emotionally. The details give the characters and the plot amazing depth.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Great fantasy

    The world has never known a musician as powerful as Aidan MacAllister, a man whose voice can make grown men weep. He is the cousin of the king of Elyria a powerful ruler who has conquered many nations and made it part of his empire. He couldn¿t have done it without the help of the Ridemark clan who control the bloodstones that make the dragons obey them and turn them into a fierce fighting machine. Aidan is not interested in wars only music and travels the world giving his songs to who ever wants to listen...................... At twenty-one the king ordered Aidan thrown into the hellacious prison of Mazadine where he was tortured until he broke. He stayed there for seventeen years and when he was released, he found out the reason for his imprisonment was that he disturbed the dragons. The long-lived, gender neutral race of the Elhim look upon him as their savior because only he can free the dragons in thrall to humans and right a wrong the Elhim committed against these glorious creatures. Aidan will do his best to succeed on his quest but there are many obstacles in his path, many of them deadly..................... Fans of ¿THE DRAGONRIDERS OF PERN¿ series by Anne McCaffrey will love this novel and will care more for the dragons than they do for any other character except Aidan, a man wounded in body and spirit. Carol Berg has written a brilliant and colorful epic fantasy placed in a world that is highly creative and imaginative. Although this is a stand-alone book, this reviewer hopes that there will be more tales written about this wondrous world........... Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2008

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    Posted February 2, 2012

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    Posted December 30, 2011

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    Posted January 3, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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