The Symphony of Ages Boxed Set (Rhapsody, Prophesy, Destiny) by Elizabeth Haydon, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
The Symphony of Ages Boxed Set (Rhapsody, Prophesy, Destiny)

The Symphony of Ages Boxed Set (Rhapsody, Prophesy, Destiny)

5.0 4
by Elizabeth Haydon

Boxed Set containing Mass Market Paperback editions of Rhapsody, Prophecy, and Destiny

The brilliant new saga is born ...

Rhapsody is a woman, a Singer of some talent, who is swept up into events of world-shattering import. On the run from an old romantic interest who won't take no for an answer, Rhapsody literally


Boxed Set containing Mass Market Paperback editions of Rhapsody, Prophecy, and Destiny

The brilliant new saga is born ...

Rhapsody is a woman, a Singer of some talent, who is swept up into events of world-shattering import. On the run from an old romantic interest who won't take no for an answer, Rhapsody literally bumps into a couple of shady characters: half-breeds who come to her rescue in the nick of time. Only the rescue turns into an abduction, and Rhapsody soon finds herself dragged along on an epic voyage, one that spans centuries and ranges across a wonder-filled fantasy world-- a world so real you can hear the sweet music of Rhapsody's aubade and smell the smoldering forges deep within the Cauldron.

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.

A Fellowship of Three

To stand against the F'dor-- an ancient, vile being intent on destroying the world-- a fellowship has been forged: Rhapsody, a Singer of great talent and beauty; Achmed, an assassin with unearthly talents; and Grunthor, a giant of jolly disposition and lethal skill with weapons.

Driven by prophetic visions, the three know that time is running short, know that they must find their elusive enemy before his darkness consumes them all. But after their final, brutal confrontation with the F'dor, their world crosses the threshold of disaster and faces utter oblivion. The action reaches a fevered pitch, achieving a crescendo of tragedy, love, and triumph of human spirit over world-shattering cataclysm.

With death at hand and the world crumbling at their feet, these three will finally discover their true ...


Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“The debut of a great new fantasy talent. With Rhapsody, Elizabeth Haydon begins an epic saga worthy of Eddings, Goodkind, and Jordan.... A spell-binding storyteller with the rare ability to manage memorable characters with both intimacy and power.” —Romantic Times (4-1/2 stars out of 5) on Rhapsody

“A stunningly told tale by a new fantasy author who is sure to go far.” —Anne McCaffrey on Rhapsody

“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 on Prophecy

“Filled with detail and a complex, multi-faceted plotline, and readers will quickly pick up on the echoes of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth and David Eddings Belgariad series, as well as Celtic and Norse mythology, and even a dash of Mozart's Magic Flute.” —Toronto National Post & Mail on Destiny
The Barnes & Noble Review
Reading this novel is like listening to a great work of music. The story of Destiny -- the final book in Elizabeth Haydon's marvelous trilogy that began with Rhapsody and Prophecy -- centers around Rhapsody, Achmed, and Grunthor -- three half-blooded outcasts who escaped their home island of Serendair, only to find that evil had followed them. Once leaving the bowels of the earth in which they traveled, they learned of their home world's destruction and the fate of its people.

Destiny takes up directly after the events of the last two books. The F'dor, now alone after the destruction of his Rakshas, is plotting and maneuvering different groups of people, preparing for the final battle. While he's setting up the destruction of the world, Rhapsody and Achmed take to finding the Rakshas' children, hoping to separate them from the demon's blood and giving Achmed a way of finding the elusive F'dor.

As the story progresses, the characters are manipulated and moved through areas and situations with grace and purpose. Only Rhapsody, Achmed, and Grunthor can be trusted not to be the evil entity, yet they aren't perfect, either. Still, you can't push aside the other characters without wondering who they really are and what their true goals are in helping or thwarting our heroes, and the story pulls at your emotions as you try to figure out who the demon's host actually is. Elizabeth Haydon has managed to create a world and its inhabitants that you want to learn more about. (Lisa Harshberger)

Publishers Weekly
Following Rhapsody: Child of Blood (2001) and Prophecy: Child of Earth (2000), Haydon concludes her high fantasy trilogy featuring the beautiful skysinger Rhapsody, who generates magic from music, with a dark, cataclysmic book filled with almost constant action. With the evil Rakshas destroyed in volume two, Rhapsody and her two shady half-breed sidekicks, clairvoyant assassin Achmed and the jolly green giant Grunthor, undertake a quest for the blood of the Rakshas' children, which they hope will help them solve the mystery of the hidden demon F'dor, the creator of the murderous Rakshas. Wielding her fire sword, Rhapsody summons starfire and metaphysical music for her final confrontation with the demonic force intent on world destruction. Though obviously inspired by music theory, Norse and Celtic folklore, and seemingly by such authors as Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Patricia A. McKillip, Anne McCaffrey and Palmer Brown (Cheerful), the author uses a fluid writing style to build a world uniquely and compellingly her own. In this shimmering symphony of exhaustive (though not exhausting) detail, epic myths, music and magic intertwine in a resounding fugal crescendo. Haydon fans sorry to see the end of the trilogy can take heart in knowing that the Rhapsody saga's vast historical timeline contains plenty of unexplored epochs and eras ripe for future book treatment. (Sept. 1) FYI: Haydon donated all her royalties from Prophecy to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation in perpetuity. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Called across time to fulfill her destiny, the harpist Rhapsody joins with the Firbolg king Achmed and his giant companion Grunthor to attempt to fight the powerful and elusive F'dor, a demon-born danger that threatens the fabric of existence. As the three champions' path grows more perilous, they learn to use the special gifts alluded to in ancient prophecies. Haydon's conclusion to her "Rhapsody" trilogy (Rhapsody, Prophecy) blends Celtic lore with Asian myth to produce a world both strange and hauntingly familiar. A good choice for fantasy collections. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
Symphony of Ages Series
Edition description:
Boxed Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.40(w) x 6.81(h) x 3.99(d)

Read an Excerpt


By Elizabeth Haydon

Tor Books

ISBN: 0-812-57083-9

Chapter One


When the mountain peak of Gurgus exploded, the vibrations coursed through the foundations of the earth.

Above ground, the debris field from the blast stretched for miles, ranging from boulder-sized rubble at the base of the peak to fragments of sand that littered the steppes more than a league away. In between, shards of colored glass from windows that had once been inlaid in the mountain's hollow summit lay like a broken rainbow, glittering in the sun beneath an intermittent layer of sparkling dust.

Below ground, a small band of Firbolg soldiers felt the concussion rumble beneath their feet, though they were some miles east of Gurgus. A few moments of stillness passed, as dust settled to the floor of the tunnel. When Krarn finally released the breath he was holding, the rest of his patrol shook off their torpor and resumed their duties. The Sergeant-Major would flay them alive if they let something as small as a tremor keep them from their appointed rounds.

A few days later, the soldiers reluctantly emerged under a cloudless sky, having reached the furthest extent of this section of their tunnel system, and the end of their patrol route.

Krarn stood on the rim of the crater-like ruins of the Moot, a meeting place from ancient times, now dark with coal ash and considered haunted. Nothing but the howl of the wind greeted him; no one lived in the rocky foothills that stretched into steppes, then out to the vast Krevensfield Plain beyond.

Having finished their sweep of the area, his men had quietly assembled behind him. Krarn was about to order them back into the tunnels when the hairs on his back-from his neck to his belt-stood on end.

It began as the faintest of rumblings in the ground. The tremors were not enough to be noticed on their own, but Krarn noted the trembling of vegetation, the slightest of changes in the incessantly dry landscape, little more than the disturbance that a strong breeze might make. He knew that it was no wind that caused this disturbance; it had come from the earth.

Silently ordering his men into a skirmish line, Krarn's eyes scanned the area, looking for any more signs. After a few minutes, the feeling passed, and the earth settled into stillness again. Nothing but wind sighed through the tall grass.

"Aftershocks," he muttered to himself.

With a shake of his head, Krarn led his men back into the tunnels.

And in so doing, missed the chance to sound a warning of what was to come.

As the days passed, the tremors grew stronger.

The surface of the Moot, baked to a waterless shell by the summer sun, began to split slightly, thin cracks spreading over the landscape like the spidery pattern on a mirror that had broken but not shattered.

Then came steam, the slightest of puffs of rancid smoke rising up ominously from the ground beneath the tiny cracks.

By day it was almost impossible to see, had eyes been in the locality to see it. By night it mixed with the hot haze coming off the ground and, caught by the wind, wafted aloft, blending with the low-hanging clouds.

Finally came the eruption.

Waves of shock rolled through the earth as if it were the sea, waves that intensified, growing stronger. The earth began to move, to rise in some places, shifting in its underground strata.

Then, with a terrifying lunge, it ripped apart.

The rumbling beneath the surface suddenly took on movement. It started outside of Ylorc but traveled quickly. It was heading north.

Unerringly, determinedly north, toward the icy land of the Hintervold.

All along the eastern rim of the mountains, then westward across the plains, a movement within the ground could be felt, a shifting so violent that it sent aftershocks through the countryside, uprooting trees and splitting crevasses into the sides of rolling hills, causing children miles away to wake in the night, shaking with fear.

Their mothers held them close, soothing them. "It's nothing, little one," they said, or uttered some similar words in whatever language they were accustomed to speaking. "The ground trembles from time to time, but it will settle and go quiet again. See? It is gone already. There is nothing to fear."

And then it was gone.

The children nestled their heads against their mother's shoulders, their eyes bright in the darkness, knowing on some level that the shivering was more than the ripples of movement in the crust of the world. Someone listening closely enough might sense, beyond the trembling passage, a deeper answer from below the ground.

Much deeper below.

As if the earth itself was listening.

Deep within her tomb of charred earth, the dragon had felt the aftershocks of the explosion of the mountain peak.

Her awareness, dormant for years, hummed with slight static, just enough to tickle the edges of her unconscious mind that had hibernated since her internment in the grave of melted stone and fire ash in the ancient Moot.

At first the sensation nauseated her and she fought it off numbly, struggling to sink back into the peaceful oblivion of deathlike sleep. Then, when oblivion refused to return, she began to grow fearful, disoriented in a body she didn't remember.

After a few moments the fear turned to dread, then deepened into terror.

As the whispers of alarm rippled over her skin it unsettled the ground around her grave, causing slight waves of shock to reverberate through the earth around and above her. She distantly sensed the presence of the coterie of Firbolg guards from Ylorc, the mountainous realm that bordered the grave, who had come to investigate the tremors, but was too disoriented to know what they were.

And then they were gone, leaving her mind even more confused.

The dragon roiled in her sepulcher of scorched earth, shifting from side to side, infinitesimally. She did not have enough control of her conscious thought to move more than she could inhale, and her breath, long stilled into the tiniest of waves, was too shallow to mark.

The earth, the element from which her kind had sprung, pressed down on her, squeezing the air from her, sending horrific scenes of suffocation through her foggy mind.

And then, after what seemed to her endless time in the clutches of horror, into this chaos of thought and confused sensation a beacon shone, the clear, pure light of her innate dragonsense. Hidden deep in the rivers of her ancient blood, old as she was old, the inner awareness that had been her weapon and her bane all of her forgotten life began to rise, clearing away the conundrum, settling the panic, cell by cell, nerve by nerve, bringing clarity in tiny moments, like pieces of an enormous puzzle coming together, or a picture that was slowly gaining focus.

And with the approaching clarity came a guarded calm.

The dragon willed herself to breathe easier, and in willing it, caused it to happen.

She still did not comprehend her form. In her sleep-tangled mind she was a woman still, of human flesh and shape, not wyrm, not beast, not serpentine, and so she was baffled by her girth, her heft, the inability of her arms and legs to function, to push against the ground as they once had. Her confusion was compounded by this disconnection between mind, body, and memory, a dark stage on which no players had yet come to appear. All she could recall in her limited consciousness was the sense of falling endlessly in fire that had struck her from above, and blazed below her as she fell.

Hot, she thought hazily. Burning. I'm burning.

But of course she was not. The blast of flame that had taken her from the sky had quenched more than three years before, had sizzled into smoky ash covering the thick coalbed that lined her tomb, baking it hard and dry in its dying.

Fighting her disorientation, the dragon waited, letting her inner sense sort through the jumble, inhaling a bit more deeply with each breath, remaining motionless, letting the days pass, marking time only by the heat she could feel through the earth when the sun was high above her tomb, and the cooling of night, which lasted only a short while before the warmth returned.

Must be summer's end, she mused, the only cognizant thought to take hold.

Until another image made its way onto the dark stage.

It was a place of stark white, a frozen land of jagged peaks and all but endless winter. In the tight containment of the tomb the memory of expansiveness returned; she recalled staring up at a night sky blanketed with cold stars, the human form she had once inhabited, and still inhabited in her mind, tiny and insignificant in the vastness of the snowy mountains all around her.

A single word formed in her mind.


With the word came the will.

As the puzzle solidified, as the picture became clearer, her dragonsense was able to ascertain direction, even beneath the ground. With each new breath the dragon turned herself by inches until, after time uncounted, she sensed she was pointed north-northwest. Across the miles she could feel it calling, her lair, her stronghold, though the details of what it was were still scattered.

It mattered not.

Once oriented in the correct direction, she set off, crawling through the earth, still believing herself to be human, dragging a body that did not respond the way she expected it to relentlessly forward, resolute in her intent, slowly gaining speed and strength, until the ground around her began to cool, signaling to her that home was near. Then, with a burst of renewed resolve, she bore through the crust of the earth, up through the blanket of permafrost, hurtling out of the ground in a shower of cracking ice and flying snow, to fall heavily onto the white layer that covered the earth like a frozen scab, breathing shallowly, rapidly, ignoring the sting of the cold.

She lay motionless for a long while beneath that endless night sky blanketed with stars, thought and reason returning with her connection to this land, this place to which she had been exiled, in which she had made her lair. The dragon inhaled the frosty wind, allowing it to slowly cleanse her blackened lungs as the dragonsense in her blood was cleansing her mind.

And along with thought and reason, something else returned as well, burning hot at the edges of her memory, unclear, but unmistakable, growing in clarity and intensity with each moment.

The fury of revenge.


Excerpted from DESTINY by Elizabeth Haydon Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

As the daughter of an air force officer, USA Today bestselling epic fantasy author ELIZABETH HAYDON began traveling at an early age and has since traveled all over the world. She draws on the imagery of these visits in the Symphony of Ages series, and blends her love of music, anthropology, herbalism and folklore into much of her writing. Haydon is also a harpist and a madrigal singer (a singer of medieval songs). She lives with her family on the East Coast.

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The Symphony of Ages Boxed Set (Rhapsody, Prophesy, Destiny) 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This series is by far the best in imagination and original design of epic fantasy I have read in my 40 years of reading this genre. Elizabeth Haydon has achieved a place above Tolkien in my experience. I hope to read all of her works, I have read & reread all of the six Symphony of the Ages several times and look forward to more in that series. Meanwhile, I plan on reading her other works.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ReaderLM More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend to read it to all who love good fantasy,action, and romance. I am reading Prophecy now, and I have a hard time going to bed - I want to keep reading! Great characters, captivating writing, you do not lose interest. Love plot develops in the second book (Prophecy). I can not wait to finish the second book and see what is next in the third!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love these books! If you love a good fantasy series, this is for you. Rhapsody is funny and beautiful, unaware that she even is beautiful. Achmed is a Dhracian, having only two friends in a lifetime that has spanned two worlds. Grunthor is a giant monster who would do anything to protect his friends. If you love Rhapsody, Propehcy, and Destiny, read the other books- Requiem for the Sun and Elegy for a Lost Star.