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ISBN 0575072792 / 9780575072794 / 0-575-07279-2
Publisher Tor Books
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There is a freshness and inventiveness to Elizabeth Haydon's first novel Rhapsody that is not especially common in quest fantasies any more. Manipulated by a time-editing savant in her far future, minstrel Rhapsody escapes from the sinister love-making of a brutal warlord to the almost equally threatening companionship of a tusked, giant warrior and his hideous assassin companion. Plunging beneath the earth, among the roots of the world-tree, she finds herself singing to sleep a dragon whose awakening would crack the world like an egg-shell. When she and her companions emerge, it is on the other side of the world, and centuries away from home--their adventures are just beginning.
The occasionally foolish, sometimes sluttish Rhapsody, and her power, literally to remake the world by changing the name and rhythm of things, is one of the most interesting heroines of recent years, and her companion, the hulking Grunthor and the sinister charming Ahmed, long enslaved to the worse of evils and hardly believing his new freedom, are fascinating variations on some old themes. Haydon's inventiveness, and preparedness to push things to the limit, make her one of the more delightful discoveries of recent years. --Roz Kaveney [via]