Elizabeth Haydon
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Buy *Rhapsody: Child of Blood* online Rhapsody:
Child of Blood

Elizabeth Haydon
Tom Doherty Associates
656 pages
June 2000
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

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Elizabeth Haydon's Rhapsody: Child of Blood is a fantasy tale about three unlikely companions and how, unbeknownst to them, they are the key to an ancient prophecy that is unfolding around them:

  • Rhapsody – ½ human and ½ Lirin, she is a singer of some ability (though she doesn’t know how much). Through her songs she has the ability to blend into the landscape, heal the wounded, and even to kill if necessary.
  • Achmed – An assassin of legendary prowess who was formerly known as "The Brother," he is able to blend into the darkness and can spot prey from miles away through his highly evolved senses.
  • Grunthor – Big, mean, and hungry, this former sergeant is happy being Achmed’s sidekick and traveling around the world killing his prey and then eating them.
Curled Up With a Good Book As I read the book in the beginning, I kept hearing the old Sesame Street song about how one of these didn’t belong in this group. However, as things progressed and Rhapsody’s powers proved useful, she fit right in. Especially likable is the fact that Rhapsody’s power is based on knowledge by learning from the past and delving into ancient lores to gain from that -- if more people in reality would do that, there might be fewer problems.

The world within a fantasy novel is the most important thing. The reader must be so captivated by it that they hate for the book to end and can’t wait until the next installment comes out. Haydon world-builds quite well, reminiscent of the great fantasy writers that came before her: Eddings, Anthony, Lackey, and so on. One of the drawbacks to Rhapsody, as in all fantasy novels, is that the plot has to follow certain points -- a prophecy in this case.

There’s another thing that Haydon is good at: putting twists on the usual fantasy novel cliché. Instead of elves and trolls, she has Lirin and Bengards. Instead of an evil wizard or king, she has a demon using a human host who tries to rule the world. If you are a fantasy fanatic and you get tired of all the Jordan and Tolkien rip-offs, this will be a refreshing change -- an author who follows the path of others but yet dares to be different. An excellent start to a must-read trilogy.

© 2001 by Kim Lightfoot for Curled Up With a Good Book

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