K Roberts Song Quest

ISBN 13: 9781903434468

Song Quest

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9781903434468: Song Quest
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On their first journey away from the safety of their island home, two novice Singers learn important lessons when they must confront an evil Khizpriest and stop him from stealing the power of their life-controling Songs.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-7-Rialle, Kherron, and Frenn, three novices in the Echorium, on the Isle of Echoes, are learning to use special songs to induce various emotions in their target audiences. Rialle and Kherron are truly gifted, but Frenn is a washout. The three end up across the ocean and high in the mountains, where the Karchlord and his people are causing a great deal of grief among the regular folks and slaughtering the merlee and quetzal, half-human creatures. Any book that starts with a guide to the elements of the story and definitions of the language is not one that successfully integrates its component parts to create a seamless whole. Song Quest has such a guide, and even the guide does not help. Not one of the characters is shaded with the complexities that signify living characters. Roberts's choice of the word "quetzal" for the feathered half-human creatures is annoying. Using an already-defined name for a fantastic creature is a disservice to dedicated fantasy readers. Rialle's abilities to "far-listen" and talk to the creatures of the sea gives her an omniscience that effectively kills most of the dramatic tension. The concept of songs that alter the mind is an interesting one, but it is never explained in enough detail to make readers believe that it works, or why. Given the poor plotting, shallow characters, and sloppy use of language here, readers are far better served by Patricia McKillip's The Riddle-Master of Hed (Atheneum, 1976; o.p.) or Ellen K. McKenzie's Taash and the Jesters (Holt, 1995).
Patricia A. Dollisch, DeKalb County Public Library, Decatur, GA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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