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Prophecy: Child of Earth

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In Rhapsody, a fellowship was forged-- three companions who, through great adversity, became a force to be reckoned with: Rhapsody the Singer; Achmed the assassin-king; and Grunthor, the giant Sergeant-Major. Prophecy continues their powerful epic. Driven by a prophetic vision, Rhapsody races to rescue a religious leader while Achmed and Grunthor seek the F'dor-- an ancien In Rhapsody, a fellowship was forged-- three companions who, through great adversity, became a force to be reckoned with: Rhapsody the Singer; Achmed the assassin-king; and Grunthor, the giant Sergeant-Major. Prophecy continues their powerful epic. Driven by a prophetic vision, Rhapsody races to rescue a religious leader while Achmed and Grunthor seek the F'dor-- an ancient and powerful demon. These companions may be destined to fulfill The Prophecy of the Three, but their time is running short. They must find their elusive enemy before his darkness consumes them all.


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In Rhapsody, a fellowship was forged-- three companions who, through great adversity, became a force to be reckoned with: Rhapsody the Singer; Achmed the assassin-king; and Grunthor, the giant Sergeant-Major. Prophecy continues their powerful epic. Driven by a prophetic vision, Rhapsody races to rescue a religious leader while Achmed and Grunthor seek the F'dor-- an ancien In Rhapsody, a fellowship was forged-- three companions who, through great adversity, became a force to be reckoned with: Rhapsody the Singer; Achmed the assassin-king; and Grunthor, the giant Sergeant-Major. Prophecy continues their powerful epic. Driven by a prophetic vision, Rhapsody races to rescue a religious leader while Achmed and Grunthor seek the F'dor-- an ancient and powerful demon. These companions may be destined to fulfill The Prophecy of the Three, but their time is running short. They must find their elusive enemy before his darkness consumes them all.

30 review for Prophecy: Child of Earth

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bob

    It's funny what the years can do to your taste in books - and I'm talking about something deeper, something more profound than those books that just don't stand up to being revisited. Instead, I'm talking about those books that you appreciated back in the day, but somehow knew you weren't quite ready to enjoy. Books that linger somewhere in the back of your imagination, biding their time until you're ready to continue with the series. Kushiel's Chosen, the second book of the Kushiel's Legacy seri It's funny what the years can do to your taste in books - and I'm talking about something deeper, something more profound than those books that just don't stand up to being revisited. Instead, I'm talking about those books that you appreciated back in the day, but somehow knew you weren't quite ready to enjoy. Books that linger somewhere in the back of your imagination, biding their time until you're ready to continue with the series. Kushiel's Chosen, the second book of the Kushiel's Legacy series by Jacqueline Carey, was the first book to really open my eyes to this. I would have read Rhapsody around the same time as Kushiel's Dart, with that same 20-something mindset, and I had much the same reaction. That first book was a different sort of fantasy yet again, largely a character study of three people, with a prolonged quest through the heart of the world. It wasn't a game changer in quite the same way, but a book that stuck with me. It was a slow read, a slow journey, and a slow burn, but I never forgot the sense of wonder. In looking for a good paperback fantasy to carry through hikes and vacations this summer, I finally decided it was time to continue with the series (prompted by a review copy of the final book). Despite the years in between, I immediately fell back into the world, with no introductions needed. At the heart of it all, this is a series about love, trust, and acceptance - not that far off, in fact, from Kushiel's Legacy. Where that had the BDSM-themed novelty to carry it forward, however, this is based on a far more traditional (fairy tale, almost) romance between Rhapsody and Ash. The difference is, a relationship that would have had me groaning in impatience back then had me nodding and smiling in appreciation now. The emotional aspects here some of the strongest parts of this second book, and I was actually anxious to get back to the romance every time Achmed and Grunthor interrupted. That said, I found new meaning in the struggles and sacrifices of all three, and greater appreciation for Jo, the annoying coming-of-age sidekick. I refuse to age, so let's just say I matured enough to appreciate the personal conflicts driving the story across both countries and ages. Originally reviewed at Beauty in Ruins

  2. 4 out of 5

    Maya

    This will be shorter than my review of Rhapsody, really. REALLY. The thing about this series is I love the plot. I love the world and the set-up and the mythos and I really, really love Achmed and his dry sense of humor and Grunthor and his violent nursery rhymes. But. But but but. I HATE RHAPSODY'S HAIR. NOW THAT WE'RE GETTING TO SEE ASHE WITHOUT HIS CAPE, I HATE HIS HAIR TOO. MAY THEY HAVE BALD CHILDREN, OH GOD, PLEASE. The sex is also... overwhelmingly unnecessary, just as I feared. And yet despit This will be shorter than my review of Rhapsody, really. REALLY. The thing about this series is I love the plot. I love the world and the set-up and the mythos and I really, really love Achmed and his dry sense of humor and Grunthor and his violent nursery rhymes. But. But but but. I HATE RHAPSODY'S HAIR. NOW THAT WE'RE GETTING TO SEE ASHE WITHOUT HIS CAPE, I HATE HIS HAIR TOO. MAY THEY HAVE BALD CHILDREN, OH GOD, PLEASE. The sex is also... overwhelmingly unnecessary, just as I feared. And yet despite that I had a great time reading this book and I am working on the third in the trilogy. It is also quite likely that I will pick up the next set of books after this one because again, the world is great. But that said, I need to read something without quite so much obsessive description of HAIR before I tackle Destiny - maybe a Roberts romance novel. No, I'm really not kidding.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    4.0 stars. Excellent sequel to the superb Rhapsody: Child of Blood. This is one of those "under the radar" fantasy series that really are worth-while reads. Good characters, strong world building and an interesting plot. Recommended!!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Blergh. You guys, I can't read high fantasy anymore. I don't know whether I've grown as a reader or I've just read too much, but high fantasy just seems really tired to me. And this particular book was a total Mary Sue fest. I probably would have enjoyed it more if Achmed was the main character and Rhapsody had disappeared from the story completely, though then we wouldn't have had Ashe, who I really enjoy. A big irritation for me was the way the author uses twenty-five dollar words. She misuses Blergh. You guys, I can't read high fantasy anymore. I don't know whether I've grown as a reader or I've just read too much, but high fantasy just seems really tired to me. And this particular book was a total Mary Sue fest. I probably would have enjoyed it more if Achmed was the main character and Rhapsody had disappeared from the story completely, though then we wouldn't have had Ashe, who I really enjoy. A big irritation for me was the way the author uses twenty-five dollar words. She misuses them, but you can still see what she’s aiming for. It was really irritating, because she used them in the sense of the meaning of the word, but it’s far enough outside the word’s general use that it detracts from the flow of the writing. It’s like I used “sky blue” to describe what color the sky is at night. I mean, it’s the sky, so the color blue it is is arguably sky blue, except it’s definitely not light blue. Unfortunately, I've already returned it to the library, so I can't give any specific examples.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jenn Cotton

    The heroine is frequently called intelligent, but never proves this. Despite her intelligence, she's completely unaware of the effect her utter physical perfection has on everyone that meets her. She is called fair and compassionate despite being haughty and judgmental. However, the absolute worst of it is any interaction that involves Ashe. Aside from the fact that he comes off as a player character someone rolled up for a d&d campaign (see, I'm this half-dragon...), his presence turns any c The heroine is frequently called intelligent, but never proves this. Despite her intelligence, she's completely unaware of the effect her utter physical perfection has on everyone that meets her. She is called fair and compassionate despite being haughty and judgmental. However, the absolute worst of it is any interaction that involves Ashe. Aside from the fact that he comes off as a player character someone rolled up for a d&d campaign (see, I'm this half-dragon...), his presence turns any chapter into something out of a bad romance novel.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lynzie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. All right, I give up. This is going to come off as if I'm a horrible, bitter person, and I don't care. This book was one of the worst I've ever read, and I really regret making myself finish it. Take this review with a grain of salt. If 50% of the words in this book had been cut none of the plot would have been lost. I shudder to think what the manuscript looked like before she sent it to her agent, and then again before her editor saw it. Rhapsody has got to be the most infuriating heroine I've e All right, I give up. This is going to come off as if I'm a horrible, bitter person, and I don't care. This book was one of the worst I've ever read, and I really regret making myself finish it. Take this review with a grain of salt. If 50% of the words in this book had been cut none of the plot would have been lost. I shudder to think what the manuscript looked like before she sent it to her agent, and then again before her editor saw it. Rhapsody has got to be the most infuriating heroine I've ever come across. Mary Sue does not even begin to describe her. She's perfect in every way, but especially in her "exquisite" beauty. She's supposedly incredibly intelligent, yet she shows her ignorance constantly. She's supposedly incredibly compassionate, yet she comes off as as haughty and condescending the moment someone disagrees with her - and especially when they're correct. She's supposedly selfless, but when she makes a decision the world has to move for her to change her mind. On top of that, she's practically invincible. Anyone she needs help from willingly gives it to her the moment she needs it, but it's rare that she needs help because the author has given her so many powers - most of which are vague enough that the reader can't possibly know their limits - that we can't even be biting our nails when she gets into trouble, because we know she's going to come up with SOMETHING to get herself out of it. Why do we care about her plight when we know it isn't even a plight to begin with? There were so many things that could have been awesome here, yet weren't. For example, her dragon ally refuses to call her by name but instead calls her "Pretty," yet another way to show how beautiful our heroine is. As if we needed another reason. Apparently this is supposed to be endearing - it comes off as patronizing to me. Despite the warnings against the dragon and how dangerous she could be, at no time do you fear for the character. There is no tension whatsoever; it just ends up boring. I couldn't help thinking, "Infodump!" every few pages. There is no possible reason that the reader needs to know even a third of the crap that Haydon piles onto us. I know that after I hit the halfway mark in the book I gave up on wading through the tripe and had not trouble understanding the actual plot. No reader wants to be bogged down by too much backstory or history, yet it's forced upon us anyway. And could the relationship between Rhapsody and Ashe be any more sickeningly sweet? No one talks like that, and even if they did the reader doesn't need to know every sweet thought that comes through the lovers' minds. But let's pretend that isn't an issue. What about the F'dor? It's a horrific demon that's supposed to be hell-bent on destroying the world, yet our heroes just decide to take a few months and live in bliss together and THEN go seek it out? What kind of sense could that possibly make? The tension in this could have been awesome, but instead I found it hard to care what the F'dor was up to because it couldn't be THAT bad if the characters could wait it out for a few months. The sex scenes were way over the top, too. Again, I found myself skipping them. If I wanted to read a romance novel, I'd have been reading one. I don't have a problem with sex scenes if they serve to further the plot, but these most definitely did not. On top of that, the entire time that Rhapsody was avoiding reality with Ashe she neglected her friends, including her "adoptive sister," Jo. I found Jo's death scene to be unmoving and Rhapsody's grief over it unbelievable. Nowhere did it ever show that Rhapsody really cared about Jo. We were TOLD that she cared, but the first rule of writing is to show, not tell, and it should definitely have been applied here. I won't even get into how annoyed I was with the several chapters that won't even matter in the next book because Rhapsody doesn't even remember them, because if I did I'd be writing a novel myself. The plot itself was good, but the tension was not there and the characters were so flat that they may as well have been pancakes. I didn't care what happened to them or to their world. This book could not have fallen further than it did.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sotiris Karaiskos

    In the second part of the series we read something more complete as the plot becomes more structured, the story has a more specific direction, and there is generally an... extension to the scale of the events and the way the author describes them. Our heroes are confronted with more complicated situations such as the political games they are involved in, which are becoming even more complex as it becomes evident that demonic powers can hide behind many of them in their quest to bring chaos to th In the second part of the series we read something more complete as the plot becomes more structured, the story has a more specific direction, and there is generally an... extension to the scale of the events and the way the author describes them. Our heroes are confronted with more complicated situations such as the political games they are involved in, which are becoming even more complex as it becomes evident that demonic powers can hide behind many of them in their quest to bring chaos to the world and so only corresponding magical powers can prevent them. Somewhere there the most complicated thing of all, love, makes its presence felt, giving a romantic tone to this book. Thus, between the mysteries of politics, magic and love, developments are running and lead us to both agonizing and intense emotional situations. On the other hand, however, this persistence in romanticism, although I liked it, may become exaggerated in some places, and some issues with the speed of the plot again arise, with important developments unfolding very quickly, while the author could devote more pages to them, making the book even better. So in this second part there is an improvement, with all the virtues of the former remaining, perhaps even to a greater extent, creating an interesting and moving result, but yet we do not read in my opinion something...great and epic, although surely the series stands at a very high level. Στο δεύτερο μέρος της σειράς διαβάζουμε κάτι περισσότερο ολοκληρωμένο καθώς η πλοκή γίνεται περισσότερο συγκροτημένη, η ιστορία έχει μία περισσότερο συγκεκριμένη κατεύθυνση και γενικότερα υπάρχει μία... επέκταση στην κλίμακα των γεγονότων και στον τρόπο που η συγγραφέας τα περιγράφει. Οι ήρωες μας έρχονται αντιμέτωποι με περισσότερο περίπλοκες καταστάσεις όπως τα πολιτικά παιχνίδια στα οποία έχουν εμπλακεί, τα οποία γίνονται ακόμα πιο περίπλοκα καθώς γίνεται φανερό ότι δαιμονικές δυνάμεις μπορούν να κρύβονται πίσω από πολλά από αυτά, στην προσπάθειά τους να φέρουν το χάος στον κόσμο και έτσι μόνο αντίστοιχες μαγικές δυνάμεις μπορούν να τους εμποδίσουν. Κάπου εκεί το πιο περίπλοκο πράγμα από όλα, ο έρωτας, κάνει αισθητή την παρουσία του, προσδίδοντας έναν ρομαντικό τόνο σε αυτό το βιβλίο. Έτσι, ανάμεσα στα μυστήρια της πολιτικής, της μαγείας και του έρωτα, οι εξελίξεις τρέχουν και μας οδηγούν σε αγωνιώδεις αλλά και σε έντονες συναισθηματικές καταστάσεις. Από την άλλη, βέβαια, αυτή η επιμονή στον ρομαντισμό αν και μου άρεσε ίσως γίνεται υπερβολική σε κάποια σημεία ενώ πάλι προκύπτουν κάποια ζητήματα με την ταχύτητα της πλοκής, με σημαντικές εξελίξεις να εκτυλίσσονται πολύ γρήγορα ενώ θα μπορούσε να αφιερώσει η συγγραφέας περισσότερες σελίδες σε αυτές, κάνοντας το βιβλίο ακόμα καλύτερο. Έτσι σε αυτό το δεύτερο μέρος υπάρχει μία βελτίωση, με όλες τις αρετές από το πρώτο να παραμένουν, ίσως και σε μεγαλύτερο βαθμό, δημιουργώντας ένα ενδιαφέρον και συγκινητικό αποτέλεσμα, ακόμα, όμως, δεν διαβάζουμε κατά τη γνώμη μου κάτι το... μεγάλο και επικό, αν και σίγουρα η σειρά στέκεται σε πολύ υψηλό επίπεδο.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tricia

    I am really enjoying this series. In this book Rhapsody and Ashe head off to find a dragon. Meanwhile Achmed and Grunthor attempt to seek out a demon. Looking forward to the next book in the series

  9. 4 out of 5

    wishforagiraffe

    Strong middle book that answers a lot of questions from the first book but sets up the concluding volume very well. The political situation gets much more interesting, and the mystery deepens. I really enjoyed this book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen

    This series just keeps getting better and better. I am absolutely in love with this author and how her words captivate me as I turn each page. This is a book where you will get lost in the story and everything around you will cease to exist! Can't wait to see how this pans out!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kelci | Steeped in Stories

    For half of this book, I thought there was no way I could love this as much as the first book. Of course I was wrong and those last 150-200 pages I COULD NOT PUT DOWN. I have come to the conclusion that Elizabeth Haydon is a genius. Throughout the first book and continuing into the second, nothing was rushed everything seemed to happen naturally. Or as naturally as the impending, ultimate doom of the world can. Though there were times that I was screaming at the characters to just "freakin' tell For half of this book, I thought there was no way I could love this as much as the first book. Of course I was wrong and those last 150-200 pages I COULD NOT PUT DOWN. I have come to the conclusion that Elizabeth Haydon is a genius. Throughout the first book and continuing into the second, nothing was rushed everything seemed to happen naturally. Or as naturally as the impending, ultimate doom of the world can. Though there were times that I was screaming at the characters to just "freakin' tell each other everything because it would solve so many questions and issues right there", I applaud Haydon for holding on to secrets until the time was right. Not surprisingly, she knew what she was doing and some of my favorite scenes came from her precise story-planning. *cue squealing into my hand so I don't type spoilers but man oh man do I want to because this entire book is a spoiler* Without giving anything away, this sequel got darker, more steamy, and so much more powerful. I have a greater respect for Rhapsody and all the other characters now after reading this book, and I can’t wait to read the epic conclusion!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Heiner

    Did not live up to the first one. I had very high expectations, and they were not met. I may read the next one, but if it's just as bad, I don't know if I'll continue.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Gaijinmama

    This book is the second of the Symphony of Ages series. The series is still in progress, but so far this is my favorite, for two main reasons. Firstly, not to mince words......our heroine Rhapsody finally Gets Some (nudge, nudge, wink, wink, know what I mean ?). Like every other aspect of her writing, Haydon gives us....ahem.... Good Parts that are really really good. In fact, go ahead and dog-ear pages 478 and 506 right now! Rhapsody had her sweet, romantic teenage encounter in the first book, This book is the second of the Symphony of Ages series. The series is still in progress, but so far this is my favorite, for two main reasons. Firstly, not to mince words......our heroine Rhapsody finally Gets Some (nudge, nudge, wink, wink, know what I mean ?). Like every other aspect of her writing, Haydon gives us....ahem.... Good Parts that are really really good. In fact, go ahead and dog-ear pages 478 and 506 right now! Rhapsody had her sweet, romantic teenage encounter in the first book, but now she is a grown-up and...well, as I've said before, this series is for grown-ups. A warning....in addition to the grown-up love scene, there are a couple of truly horrific, violent scenes. I wouldn't recommend this series for anyone under age 15 or 16. Aside from the Red Hot Whoopee-Making, which we've been anticipating for 1200 pages, I like this book best of the series because we finally get to meet and spend some quality time with Elynsynos the Dragon. Elynsynos is one of my favorite fictional dragons ever. She is big, golden, dangerous but surprisingly gentle with those she loves. She tells us about the history of her land in a multi-toned voice that really shows us the author's musical background. Rhapsody returns something that belongs to Elynsynos and offers her friendship. The dragon is pleased. Rhapsody has made an important ally here. She interests Elynsynos...and it's no mean feat to interest a nearly-immortal dragon whose hoard contains the most beautiful treasures in the world. However, as Elynsynos says, "You are wise to be afraid....You are perfect treasure, Pretty. There is music in you, and fire, and time. Any dragon would covet you for its own." (p. 117) Haydon fills in enough background information that this book could be read on its own, but the story really does begin with Rhapsody, the first volume. I strongly suggest that you read Rhapsody first....and pick up a copy of Destiny, the third book, while you're at it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Preacher

    Signed in recognition of my honorable mention in the Firbolg songwriting contest. It was probably horrible, like all of my other "poetry" from that era, but I still look on the inscription fondly. It's unfortunately the only part of the book that really holds up, because while the worldbuilding remains seriously cool, every third conversation is a pages-long infodump and the actual plot, such as it is, manages to be exceedingly slow-paced (in large part because of the aforementioned infodumps) an Signed in recognition of my honorable mention in the Firbolg songwriting contest. It was probably horrible, like all of my other "poetry" from that era, but I still look on the inscription fondly. It's unfortunately the only part of the book that really holds up, because while the worldbuilding remains seriously cool, every third conversation is a pages-long infodump and the actual plot, such as it is, manages to be exceedingly slow-paced (in large part because of the aforementioned infodumps) and at the same time bewilderingly, pointlessly convoluted. This is not one of the few, rare occasions where an amnesia plot works, and it's kind of pointless anyway since no one in the book actually shares information with anyone else, ever. I don't know how these people manage to eat - they must just sigh pointedly and stomp around until it occurs to someone to offer them food. Argh. It's more frustrating than most bad books because the cool parts are *really cool*. And then someone opens their damn mouth and spoils it with more unnecessarily coy, overwrought scheming.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Flint

    If you read the first book, "Rhapsody: Child of Blood," and felt it was a bit slow and uneventful, then you should stay clear of the sequel, because this one expands on all the things you didn't like about the first book. There is absolutely no action or suspense whatsoever, nor do you get any sense of urgency with the so called impending threat of the evil F'dor, who shows up at the end of the book. Haydon instead devotes her entire novel to writing as many crying scenes as she can for Rhapsody If you read the first book, "Rhapsody: Child of Blood," and felt it was a bit slow and uneventful, then you should stay clear of the sequel, because this one expands on all the things you didn't like about the first book. There is absolutely no action or suspense whatsoever, nor do you get any sense of urgency with the so called impending threat of the evil F'dor, who shows up at the end of the book. Haydon instead devotes her entire novel to writing as many crying scenes as she can for Rhapsody. This character is literally weeping and sobbing throughout this entire book! When Rhapsody isn't crying, Haydon is writing romantic subplots for her and Ashe falling in love and having lots of sex. What happened to going on adventures, exploring the world, finding allies and making enemies, introducing some new characters, getting into battles and sword fights, learning new magic tricks, fighting new foes, etc? This book really had no direction at all which was atually my criticism of the last book, but at least that one had alot more going on in it; this one was just plain dead.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    This book is well written, and the world building is fairly intricate. Unfortunately, the author is painfully in love with her characters. This book would be half its size if we eliminated all the tantalizing descriptions of how gorgeous and intoxicating the hero and heroine are. Her unhealthy admiration of her characters prevents her from taking risks that would further their development or create even create some sort of attachment for the reader. It's fun brain candy, though.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    If you don't like romantic plot lines, then this is definitely not the series for you. The romance between Ash and Rhapsody is what really drives this story, but it is all the secondary characters that kept me coming back for more. The main character can be so perfect at some times that its a bit annoying, but I really love this book. I live the world, and it's very easy to become immersed in it.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jason Mix

    This is more of a romance novel with fantasy elements than anything else. Be prepared for some extremely graphic sex scenes in this series. The heroine suffers from some Mary Sue issues. It does have some interesting and unique elements, such as the music-based magic system. Over all, this isn't a bad series, but does suffer from some flaws. Luckily, the books are pretty short, so you can get through them pretty quickly.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Arielle Ali

    I had to find out if Ashe and Rhapsody ever figure out their situation, so I kept reading this trilogy even though I disliked the first novel. This book was more rewarding in its storytelling. At least it's set in the same time period, so I could enjoy the moment without so many info dumps. I have to admit that I want resolution, and this book always pairs a good with a bad, feeling like every step forward is actually a step backward. I'll need to read the third book to find out what happens.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Elle

    I am annoyed at how long it took to read this book. Anyway, yikes. This one defo has some issues. Rhapsody is pretty insufferable in this one and the lengthy speeches between Ashe and Rhapsody are pretty gag-worthy. This book also suffers from giving too little to do to other characters or any significant building of the world, so it might have something to do with that. Ah well.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Data

    The saga continues (and is clearly not finished). Some of the scenarios seem just too simple, but Haydon makes them work anyway, perhaps because the main character remains almost childlike in her black and white interpretations of the world.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Keri Sparks

    *sigh* I gave up on page 83. This is the fourth book in a row I abandoned. I am not on a good streak. To summarize, this book bored me. And I got tired of all the sexual talk. And the stupidity of Rhapsody. I like Achmed though.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Anthoney

    Some of this was a struggle.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Edgar

    Excellent follow up to Rhapsody. The twists and turns reminded me of a great Fantasy Opera.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Gregory

    I am now obsessed with this series! Elizabeth Haydon weaves words into a world of wonder with characters that have depth, magic, faults, and great strength. I recommend Symphony of Ages to everyone!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    Rhapsody comes into her own in this second installment. More romantic entanglement than I would have liked, but it moves the plot forward in necessary and unexpected ways. Moving on to book 3!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bogormen

    As the first one it felt much longer than it actually is.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Manami

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I am summarizing the books as I read them because I can never get through all five books straight: In Prophecy, the book begins with Meridon continuing to mess with the time editor. Rhapsody has decided to leave with Ashe to see Elysions, the dragon. She travels with him, and she accuses him of having his heart cut out. Ashe reacts badly, decides that it was a coincidence. He allows her to see him before she goes into the dragon's cave. The dragon and she spend some time together, and she is told I am summarizing the books as I read them because I can never get through all five books straight: In Prophecy, the book begins with Meridon continuing to mess with the time editor. Rhapsody has decided to leave with Ashe to see Elysions, the dragon. She travels with him, and she accuses him of having his heart cut out. Ashe reacts badly, decides that it was a coincidence. He allows her to see him before she goes into the dragon's cave. The dragon and she spend some time together, and she is told more about the lore of the earth, including that the Fdor intend to burn it down with the release of the sleeping dragon that she had caused to continue sleeping. This was an infant stolen from the primordial dragon. Eventually, Elysynos gives her a mail shirt, and some other gifts, and she leaves for Tyrian, where she hopes Oelendra, the last bearer of her sword, will train her. She sends a message home through one of Llauron's messenger birds, and continues to Tyrian, where she is greeting suspiciously because someone like Ashe burned down and killed some Lirin. Meanwhile, Grunthor and Achmed continue to explore Ylorc and old Canrif, finding an area called the Loritorium, where they are met by the Grandmother, an ancient Dracian who is charged with watching over the sleeping child, the last of the children the dragon carved out of living stone. A rib bone can act as a key to opening the vault in the center of the world where the Fdor are locked in. Oelendra trains Rhapsody, and then lets her go to the benison because of a vision. Rhapsody saves him from his death by facing down the Rakshas, who looks like Ashe. Rhapsody then receives the bennison's ring of power, which bestows the knowledge of the station and I think also the succession. Rhapsody goes home, where she convinces Achmed to let her help Ashe, whose story she has pieced out thus: Gwydion, aka Ashe, was a warrior who tried to track down the F'dor and nearly died. The F'dor stole a piece of his soul before he escaped. He was taken to be healed to the Lord and Lady Rowan, where Oelendra sacrificed the piece of the star on Daystar Clarion to heal him. It worked, but ingited his dragon senses and all but Llauron, his father, believe him to be dead. Meanwhile, Prudence, Tristan's lover, is sent to invite Rhapsody and Achmed to his wedding to Margaret. She returns back to her kingdom when the Rakshas attacks her and leaves her savaged body on the moot. Tristan tries to declare war, but his constituents will not support him. The Fdor, now known to the leader as a holy man, tries to insinuate itself into his soul. THe only thing saving him is his obsession with Rhapsody. Also, the Rakshas repollutes one of the cleansed roots from the sapling in the house of remembrance. Rhapsody calls Ashe back to her home, where she heals him with the Bennison's ring, and asks him to become Lord Cymrian. He accepts and tells her he loves her, she loves him back. THey tell Jo, who runs away from them. The Rakshas finds her and, posing as Ashe, takes advantage of her and thralls her. The three go to kill the Rakshas, and succeed, but in doing so, they end up having to kill Jo, as well. Rhapsody is injured and Achmed sings her back to health. They go to Rhonwyn, oracle of the present, and ask how many children the Rakshas had (9). Ashe and Rhapsody travel to Manwyn, oracle of the future, and ask when the tenth child will be born, and Rhapsody also receives a cryptic warning about betrayal that Ashe becomes angry about. He asks her if he can take away the memory, and she agrees. They talk about Llauron's plan. He will approach Rhapsody and ask her to help him on a journey, but she can't interfere with anything. Lark, Llauron's herbalist, will challenge him and win, and Rhapsody will declare him dead. She will then immolate him with starfire, which will transform Llauron into dragon shape. During this night, Ashe realizes that she is Emily, and that Ashe is Sam, and they get married. He then takes this entire memory and hides it in a pearl. Rhapsody leaves him thinking he must go and find a proper Cymrian wife, and that they are now done forever. Next, the three go down to comfort the sleeping child and are attacked by the desecrated root from the saiga sapling at the house of remembrance. the grandmother holds the root in thrall while Grunthor melds with the sleeping child and moves her to safety. Achmed and Rhapsody also move to safety, leaving the grandmother behind. Achmed fills the area with liquid fuel, and Rhapsody refuses to light the fuse because of the Grandmother. The sleeping child speaks, relating the grandmother's voice to Rhapsody and telling her to light it. She lights it and destroys the vine. Grunthor secures the chamber and builds only one entrance to it through Achmed's chambers and they leave. The book ends with Rhapsody and Achmed preparing to seek out the nine children and purge the demon blood from them so that they can use it to track the demon.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller

    Via The Obsessive Bookseller at www.nikihawkes.com This is actually my second read-through of this novel. Why I chose to reread one of the most long-winded fantasies out there is beyond me, but at the time it perfectly suited my mood, so no regrets. You see, back in December (yes, it has taken me that long to get around to writing this review… embarrassing) I had signed up for so many NetGalley and Edelweiss ARCs that my life pretty much revolved around “obligation” reading. I finally got fed up Via The Obsessive Bookseller at www.nikihawkes.com This is actually my second read-through of this novel. Why I chose to reread one of the most long-winded fantasies out there is beyond me, but at the time it perfectly suited my mood, so no regrets. You see, back in December (yes, it has taken me that long to get around to writing this review… embarrassing) I had signed up for so many NetGalley and Edelweiss ARCs that my life pretty much revolved around “obligation” reading. I finally got fed up and picked up this 700 page behemoth and completely indulge myself in it for two whole weeks. A reading vacation, if you will. It’s not totally as random as it sounds, as I had just finished a reread of the first book for a book club about a year earlier, so I had intended on continuing anyway. [Jump forward a few months: Haydon is once again writing, and the release of her 7th "Symphony of Ages" book, The Merchant Emperor, (which I've been waiting for for eight years) was finally released. So it turns out my reread couldn't have come at a better time.] My impressions of the book this time around are mostly positive ones, reminding me why I’d enjoyed it so much. Knowing what was going to happen obviously took away a little bit of that build up and excitement I felt the first time around, but it also freed up my attention to focus on other things. Ahem: On one hand, I noted the excellent world building (specifically with the creation of the many nonhuman races), appreciated how thorough and rounded the plot was, and could clearly see how integrated dragons were into the story (because to me it wasn’t always that obvious). I also more than ever appreciate the excellent characters and how each of their stories culminate into a satisfying story arc. On the other hand, I also noticed how incredibly long-winded and repetitive the writing was. I don’t remember that bothering me the first time around, but I definitely think Haydon could have shaved off a couple hundred pages of reminiscing and still had all of the things that made the story great. I don’t actually consider it a boring book, by any means – there was some really good bits of awesomeness thrown into the monotony that made reading through the rambling all worthwhile. I’m just saying I found several places where Haydon could have just cut to the chase. Furthermore, there were several instances where she would ramble on and on for dozens of pages about things that were secondary to the plot and only to skim over details of something within the immediate story. It was designed to have a more dramatic effect, but I think those moments might have been wasted opportunities to make the book more active rather than passive. I also was a tad surprised at how confrontational and, shall I say it, downright bitchy the main character acted on occasion. I definitely don’t remember it being that prominent the first time around, but I’m thinking the overall arc of the story was so interesting I was mostly focused on that. In any case, once you get past the part where the characters are bristling at every little thing (say, the first half of the book), they mellow out a little bit and you’re really able to dive into the compelling parts of the story. As you can see, I’ve a bit of love/hate with this book… but am leaning more on the love side. Yes, it has some flaws, but it also has moments of brilliance to balance them out. I enjoyed every moment I spent reading it, but will probably stop my reread and jump right into the newest book next (I waited eight years, I definitely don’t want to wait any longer). If you are wondering whether or not this series is a good match for you, I’d say if you don’t mind slow fantasy reads, this book has brilliant world building, plot design, characters, and momentum, it just may take wading through a lot of words to find them.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Aelvana

    Because Achmed has found a dragon-claw dagger in the depths of the castle, Rhapsody goes with Ashe to return it before the dragon decides to come back for it first. Achmed and Grunthor strongly disagree, but Rhapsody will have her own way in this. As she and Ashe travel, the mystery around him deepens. Who is he? Why does he always remain behind a mask? And what of the F'dor, the demon bent on consuming the world in the unholy fire of destruction? Though clearly a sequel, in a nice touch the book Because Achmed has found a dragon-claw dagger in the depths of the castle, Rhapsody goes with Ashe to return it before the dragon decides to come back for it first. Achmed and Grunthor strongly disagree, but Rhapsody will have her own way in this. As she and Ashe travel, the mystery around him deepens. Who is he? Why does he always remain behind a mask? And what of the F'dor, the demon bent on consuming the world in the unholy fire of destruction? Though clearly a sequel, in a nice touch the book beings with layers of dreams that present the backstory of the first book through the principal characters. This frames the story with enough background to barrel right ahead where the first book left off, with Ashe and Rhapsody charging into the wilderness to find a dragon. The relationship between the two of them is one of the main highlights of the book. It adds an uncomfortable layer to her relationship with Achmed and Grunthor, who see Ashe as a potential assassin at worst and competition for Rhapsody at best. And as Ashe and Rhapsody are both not prone to revealing much about themselves, the various misunderstandings that ensue range from hilarious to deadly. Their true relationship to each other, revealed at the end of the first book, is still a mystery even to them, which adds a nice tease as they both prefer to talk around their first love rather than about it. Achmed and Grunthor, despite getting much less page time, are as hilarious as ever. Achmed in particular is full of zingers as he spars verbally with Rhapsody. His role as king doesn't get much play; the kingdom has settled, for the most part, and now it's down to the dirty business of actually ruling, in between bouts of further exploration or assassinations. The action in this book tended to be sparse and intense, and mostly towards the end. For the most part, the tension lies in the politics and the relationships, both of which are good places for the series to be since Haydon writes characters so well. It also leaves off in a better place than last book: the mission is clear, but the method uncertain. The only thing they know for sure is that they're going to have to move soon. Overall this is a great followup to Rhapsody. The prose feels tighter without quite so many detailed descriptions of Rhapsody's beauty, the witticisms are dead on, and the various bits of myth and history again make the book so much richer for their inclusion. Although the detailed introduction would allow this book to be read alone, I would pick up the first book first just to get all the action directly. I rate this book Highly Recommended.

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