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Harrowing the Dragon by Patricia A. McKillip
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Harrowing the Dragon (edition 2005)

by Patricia A. McKillip

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5161529,974 (4.02)22
Member:ellisonite
Title:Harrowing the Dragon
Authors:Patricia A. McKillip
Info:Ace Hardcover (2005), Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:1st Ed, Comfort Reading, Books I LOVE

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Harrowing the Dragon by Patricia A. McKillip

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» See also 22 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
a collection of her short stories. Interesting. ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
A collection of fantasy short stories. "Harrowing the Dragon" is a dreamy story about a young man who seeks to free his town from eternal winter. But perhaps the town does not wish to be free. Probably the weakest story. "A Matter of Music" feels like a novel crammed into a short story. A young musician gets involved in a generations-long conflict that is mirrored in the conflict between her friend and his half-blood wife. I think my favorite is "A Troll and Two Roses," in which a lazy troll grows enamored of a magical white rose and ventures out of his bridge to get it. Thereupon he fights a prince, argues with a princess, and defeats a sorcerer. McKillip has always been interested in her own twisting retellings of fairy tales, and each of these stories is an odd reflection of a classic. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Substance: Fantasies of varying interest and quality, but none are bad (of course).
Style: Also as usual, McKillip requires close reading and attention to the nuances.
CONTENTS: The Harrowing of the Dragon of Hoarsbreath; A Matter of Music; A Troll and Two Roses; Baba Yaga and the Sorcerer's Son; The Fellowship of the Dragon; Lady of the Skulls; The Snow Queen; Ash, Wood, Fire; The Stranger; Transmutations; The Lion and the Lark; The Witches of Junket; Star-Crossed; Voyage into the Heart; Toad. ( )
  librisissimo | Nov 27, 2015 |
This collection of short stories was just beautiful.
McKillip is an artist with words, the way she can describe the worlds and weave magic into every single story.

I must say, there are some stories that are a lot stronger than others. I particularly fell in love with the first two: "The Harrowing of the Dragon" and "A Matter of Music". Oh but "The Fellowship of the Dragon" was lovely too - and "The Stranger" was just heart-wrenching.
Ah, I should probably stop before I list most of the stories.

"The Harrowing of the Dragon" is about a boy who comes to save an island from their sleeping dragon - and a girl who wishes he would stop trying to save them. It's just lovely, lovely writing with a different quirk than you would expect.

"A Matter of Music" was (duh) about music. And oh, McKillip's description of songs and notes soaring through the old castle halls are just heart-stopping. The emotions were tense and beautiful and the ending was just perfect. I am definitely overusing the words "beautiful" and "lovely" to write this review, but really, what else can I do?

I almost threw a fit at the end of "The Fellowship of the Dragon" because I wanted to see the end, to continue following these characters. But as I reflected a little (and told myself it's not good to throw fits in public), it really did end perfectly.

There are a couple of weak stories that just seem to be based loosely on a fairy tale with a unique spin, but it never quite comes together.
"Ash, Wood, Fire" was just a little too odd with not enough concrete points to make sense of the whole story. "Toad" was just boring and a poor way to end the novel. "Star-crossed" was interesting for the premise, but also not very exciting or moving.

So there you have it. Some stories are just beautiful, some are meh. But this is one collection worth reading anyway.

3.5 stars rounded down. I really would have rounded up, but there were a few too many stories that were subpar. Highly recommended for any fairy-tale lovers out there, or anyone who loves beautiful language. ( )
  NineLarks | Sep 15, 2014 |
An imaginative and intense collection of stories. My favorites were her takes on classic fairy tales -- I liked seeing how she recreated them, and felt they were more complete than her original ones. (Those usually seemed like fragments of larger novels and left me wanting more.) ( )
  bostonian71 | Jul 12, 2013 |
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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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Once, on the top of a world, there existed the ring of an island named Hoarsbreath, made out of gold and snow.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0441014437, Paperback)

A fantasist without equal, Patricia A. McKillip has created worlds of intricate beauty and unforgettably nuanced characters. For 25 years, she's drawn readers into her spell, spinning modern-day fables with a grace rarely seen.

Now she presents a book of previously uncollected short stories, full of beautiful dragons, rueful princesses, and handsome bards, and written in the gorgeous - and often surprisingly funny - prose she's known for. This is her world, wrapped up in the finery of fairy tales.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:18 -0400)

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"Now, for the first time, Patricia A. McKillip presents a book of previously uncollected short stories - full of beautiful dragons, rueful princesses, and handsome bards, and written in the gorgeous - and often surprisingly funny - prose she is known for. This is her world, wrapped up in the finery of fairy tales." "A dragon has held an island in never-ending winter, until a man comes to break its fierce embrace - only to learn the true meaning of wisdom - in "The Harrowing of the Dragon of Hoarsbreath." The "Lady of the Skulls" lures men with what's most precious to them - and then kills them with it. "Star-Crossed" portrays the investigation into the deaths of Romeo and Juliet - and illustrates how little the world tolerates true love. These stories and twelve others are here in a collection from one of today's most popular and beloved authors."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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