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The Tower at Stony Wood by Patricia A.…

The Tower at Stony Wood (original 2000; edition 2000)

by Patricia A. McKillip (Author)

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6801221,239 (3.88)23
Title:The Tower at Stony Wood
Authors:Patricia A. McKillip (Author)
Info:Ace Books (2000), Edition: 1st, 294 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Tower at Stony Wood by Patricia A. McKillip (2000)

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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
I had a difficult time with this one. As much as I liked the idea of the story, the characters seemed to bleed together, and McKillip's style was--for me, at least--off-putting. It felt over-wrought and overly detailed, to the extent that it sometimes felt like the writing really hindered the story itself. I managed to make my way through the book, but I can't actually say I enjoyed it. There were moments when the story really shined, and when I really got caught up in a character... but, on the whole, I was sorely disappointed. ( )
  whitewavedarling | Oct 6, 2018 |
I always want to ♡ love ♡ McKillip's books because some of them have enchanted and enthralled. This one was too confusing and like the hero (Cyan Dag), I was pushed and pulled through a murky tale that never sorted itself out. Why the lady in the tower ever needed rescuing and who she really was remained something of a mystery. It was like being on a switchback road up the mountain, only I remained in the trees the whole time, even at the top. The cover art is luscious and I happen to have a large framed print of this illustration. I think the mystery was best represented there. ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | Mar 15, 2018 |
This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, & Librarything and links at Booklikes, & Goodreads by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: The Tower at Stony Wood
Series: -----
Author: Patricia McKillip
Rating: 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 306
Format: Kindle digital edition

Synopsis: Spoilers

A knight on a quest to free his rightful Queen. A noble on a quest to free his Kingdom. A bard on a quest to free her Sister. A mother on a quest to go back to the sea from which she came.

A story where all the storylines intersect at the oddest places and not even the characters know their true motivations.

My Thoughts:

In previous reviews of McKillip's works, I tend to liken her writing as silk; it is beguiling, sensual, sensuous and soft.

A half seen shape at night in the forest, with distant laughter and the faint tinkling of bells. You can't see it in whole, or even distinctly. When you look to your right, you catch a glimpse out of the corner of your eye to your left. When you spin around to catch it behind you, you feel it's eyes on you from the front. You don't know if it is your imagination playing tricks, an elven princess enchanting you or an evil sorcerer leading you astray. The only way to find out is to continue on. Is it a dot of honey on your lover's nose, a glob on a bear's paw or a comb in a bee's nest? What if the honeycomb is a magic sword and the bear is an an enchanted knight and your lover is a witch?

When you wrap fog, silk, honey and darkness into a tapestry of words, then you have this story, this book. And if your very soul is not moved, transported to another realm, then I pity you your grey, joyless existence that you think is life. ( )
1 vote BookstoogeLT | Feb 18, 2017 |
once again, I was swept away. This book was like a river meandering slowly yet inexorably toward it’s conclusion. Knights, dragons, quests, maiden’s in distress, it was beautiful. I really enjoy her stuff. ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
I found it hard to believe, but I'm giving this book by Patricia A. McKillip only 4 stars. It's a re-read for me, and one that includes the intricate, extensive language that she is known for. Like Guy Gavriel Kay, reading a book by Ms. McKillip is like sampling rich chocolate with a fine, deep red wine. And because this was a re-read challenge for me, I read through it more quickly than I have read her books in the past. And that's still all good.

The dedication says it all: "For Dave, who gave me Loreena McKennitt's 'The Visit,' an album that includes the song "The Lady of Shalott" based on the poem by Longfellow. So not only is there a king's champion in quest of the lady trapped in a tower, there is also the king's son of a neighboring (and warring) kingdom who is in quest for the tower of gold guarded by the dragon. And then there are the women we get to know, who are in their own tower near the sea, watching the trapped woman at her needlework and sewing their own scenes of embroidery.

I just love the descriptions of embroidery: the threads, the colors, choosing a color and letting it guide one's stitching, the revealing of the picture color by color on linen. They give the reader a viewpoint of why we who do needlework are so drawn to it, and there is a delightful scene where the bard corrects a questing knight about the difference between "weaving" and "embroidery."

But at some point the story becomes convoluted. I like the tale within a tale, the mirror within a mirror, but when Thayne of Ysse begins to fight with Cyan Dag in the tower of the dragon, Thayne shifts into something of light. Part of the dragon? A separate entity? The story of mother Sel, who remains drawn to the sea and embroiders a cloak of browns and greys that look like the sea, is a well-known shape-shifting motif. But in an effort to bring the mountains called The Three Sisters into the story of three towers, the story shifts into the un-reality of fantasy.

Still, it is a glorious book for all of its constant shifting, and probably reading the last hundred pages helped clear up a lot that would otherwise have been too confusing. ( )
  threadnsong | Jun 18, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Patricia A. McKillipprimary authorall editionscalculated
Craft, Kinuko Y.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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She saw the knight in the mirror at sunset.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Invited to the wedding of his king, Cyan Dag, a loyal knight, is warned by a mysterious old woman about the true nature of the king's beautiful new bride and embarks on a perilous quest into the unknown in order to discover if the new queen is the king'strue love, or a dangerous, sorcerous imposter.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0441008291, Paperback)

World Fantasy Award-winning author McKillip (Song for the Basilisk) returns with another lyrical, richly detailed fantasy. Cyan Dag, knight of Gloinmere, is sworn to serve King Regis Aurum of Yves. Cyan's oath leads him headlong into dangerous magical territory, however, when Idra, Bard of Skye, reveals that the King's new bride, Lady Gwynne, is an impostor. The true Lady Gwynne is trapped in an enchanted stone tower in distant Skye, a magical mirror her only means of viewing the outside world. Bound by his oath to protect the King, Cyan rides west to free Lady Gwynne. In the meantime, Thayne Ysse, son of the king of Ysse, has never forgotten his father's defeat at the hands of King Regis Aurum. Now he seeks a tower guarded by a dragon, a tower filled with gold enough to raise a new army and defeat Yves once and for all. And in another ancient tower outside the coastal village of Stony Wood, Melanthos, the daughter of a land-bound selkie and a fisherman, obsessively embroiders pictures of a lonely woman trapped in a distant tower who may or may not be real. Although Cyan Dag took up his quest with one goal in mind, he soon realizes that the only route to saving Lady Gwynne lies tangled with the lives of Thayne and Melanthos, and in the mysterious motives of Idra and her woods-wise sister Sidera. Once again McKillip skillfully knits disparate threads into a rewardingly rich and satisfying story. --Charlene Brusso

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:56 -0400)

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