marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote in bookish,


Kingfisher by Patricia A. McKillip

It opens with a young man, a sorceress's son, who meets some knights and sets out to find his father.  And an inn that is falling to pieces but still has a diner going when he arrives.  And a royal court where the king decides to send his knights on a quest for a vaguely defined vessel -- magical but ill-recorded-- which, it turns out, also draws in the past of his illegitimate son.

Taking place in a world with motels and sorceresses and cell phones and a polytheistic religion that do not entirely mesh into a coherent setting.  But there are some lovely pieces as these threads wind together into a plot that involves an enchantress who can't figure out why a man's chief worry is his sons, rats that cause problems when allowed in, stealing a kitchen knife, how the youngest princess wonders that her half-brother is hiding things from her, a historical gold rush, a restaurant that's magically closed, and much more.

A lot of recognizable Arthurian tropes.  Some not from medieval literature but Victorian speculation.
Tags: author: m, genre: fantasy, review

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