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Song for the Basilisk (1998)

by Patricia A. McKillip

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8191720,729 (4.1)19
As a child, Rook had been taken in by the bards of Luly, and raised as one of their own. Of his past he knew nothing -- except faint memories of fire and death that he'd do anything to forget. But nightmares, and a new threat to the island that had become his own, would not let him escape the dreaded fate of his true family. Haunted by the music of the bards, he left the only home he knew to wander the land of the power-hungry basilisk who had destroyed his family. And perhaps, finally, to find a future in the fulfillment of his forgotten destiny.… (more)
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» See also 19 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
A greatly enjoyable read. ( )
  wetdryvac | Mar 2, 2021 |
Patricia A. McKillip has a lovely, lyrical, fairy-tale style of writing. This book revolves around the mystery of Rook's identity and his memories of fire. This is an unusual tale of loss and revenge, with intriguing, fully fledged characters and the occasional humorous bits. The setting is also wonderfully complex. This is a typical Patricia McKillip book, so if you don't pay attention you will miss something.
( )
  ElentarriLT | Mar 24, 2020 |
Man, what a big blah. The characters are blah, the plot is blah, the world is blah. Patricia McKillip is supposed to be amazing. I am disappointed. ( )
  miri12 | May 31, 2019 |
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 by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission

Title: Song for the Basilisk
Series: ------
Author: Patricia McKillip
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 318
Format: Digital Edition

Synopsis:


The city of Berylon was ruled by 4 Great Houses, which in turn were led by House Tourmalyne. 30 some years ago House Griffin [Tourmalyne] was overthrown by House Basilisk, led by Arioso Pellior. Pellior killed every direct member of House Griffin, or so he thinks. One young boy survives and is spirited away to the Isle of Luly to become a nameless bard.

Caladrius grows up, has a son and refuses to remember. Until he makes his trip off the island and realizes that he must revenge his family and destroy House Basilisk. He becomes a nobody musician and works his way into the palace. With a magic lute filled with killer fire, Caladrius plans on assassinating the Basilisk at his birthday celebration. What he doesn't count on is his son also coming to the city to find him.

He also doesn't count on the daughter of the Basilisk having the same powers as her father. But where the Basilisk is evil, it isn't so clear that his daughter is. Caladrius must decide if revenge for his past is the worth sacrificing the future of his son. And when it becomes apparent that the Basilisk plans to rule Berylon from beyond the grave through his daughter, she must decide if House Basilisk will stay ascendant over a dead city or bow its head to House Griffin and return things to their rightful place.

My Thoughts:

This book was about the power of magic within the guise of music. I don't know how to go about talking about this book without just fanboying. McKillip can write like no one else I've ever read. I think then next book of hers I will read selections outloud to see if there is rhythm to her sentences. Her words flow.

The story itself is good. A tale of revenge that redeems itself instead of creating more death and destruction. The use of multiple instruments to show characteristics of the various people was fun to realize. It was skillfully drawn and I couldn't remember which direction the Basilisk's daughter took, so the ending was new all over again. The benefits of waiting 11 years between re-reads I guess.

Last time I gave this 4 Stars, but this time around I'm calling this a solid 5. McKillip's writing is top notch. It is well crafted and more than that, it is artistic. It is a joy to read the story and a joy to read the wordcrafting itself.

Part of the reason I like most of McKillip's writing so much is that this is as close to poetry as I'm going to get and to enjoy. I've tried various books of poetry throughout the years and each time it has defeated me and left me bored. But I WANT to like Poetry.

★★★★★ ( )
1 vote BookstoogeLT | Jun 23, 2017 |
Utterly mesmerizing. This was even more Poetry and Silk than her others. I have no idea how she does it, but her words are so fascinating, drawing me in like nothing else I've experienced before. I shiver at her power. ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Patricia A. McKillipprimary authorall editionscalculated
Craft, Kinuko Y.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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As a child, Rook had been taken in by the bards of Luly, and raised as one of their own. Of his past he knew nothing -- except faint memories of fire and death that he'd do anything to forget. But nightmares, and a new threat to the island that had become his own, would not let him escape the dreaded fate of his true family. Haunted by the music of the bards, he left the only home he knew to wander the land of the power-hungry basilisk who had destroyed his family. And perhaps, finally, to find a future in the fulfillment of his forgotten destiny.

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