Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Bell at Sealey Head

Judd Cauley would rather read than run the inn he owns with his blind father, but their cook is so awful they rarely have guests, so he has a lot of time to read.  Raven Sproule is courting the daughter of the richest merchant in town, but Gwyneth Blair would rather write stories.  Up at Aislinn House, Lady Eglantyne is dying, or perhaps fading, and Emma the housemaid sometimes finds a completely different house behind the doors she opens.  Then a young scholar arrives to investigate the one thing that is the same in both worlds, the unseen bell that rings every day at sunset.

It's hard to summarize a Patricia McKillip novel, and there's not much point in trying.  To give any accurate impression of what it's like I'd have to read out the entire book.  McKillip is one of my favorite fantasy writers working today, not least because (gasp) she can tell a whole story in one book instead of going in for these Bloated Epics that seem to be so popular now.  But the main reason I snap up every one of her new books as soon as it comes out is that her writing style is so amazing: poetic and lyrical, but not overblown.

Originally posted at MySpace 11/23/08

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