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The Assassin King (Symphony of Ages)by Elizabeth Haydon
Synopses & Reviews
Praise for The Symphony of Ages:
Elegy for a Lost Star
*"Unlike most middle books of fantasy trilogies, Haydon's dazzling second volume of the second trio of her bestselling Symphony of the Ages series (Rhapsody: Child of Blood, etc.) inspires and thrills all on its own. The ominous rumble of the scheming intensifies in a crescendo of fear and tragedy that leaves the reader breathless and not a little teary-eyed. Those who eagerly anticipated this volume will be even more desperate for the next, and if the author's stunning rate of improvement is anything to go by, it will be well worth the wait."--Publishers Weekly Starred Review
"Haydon expertly builds suspense, plays with the readers' expectation, and remains true to her characters and the world she created. With warmth, humor, and vivid details, the people and places of this saga feel far more alive than standard fantasy heroes and villains usually do. It's not necessary to have read the entire series."--Romantic Times Bookclub, 4 ½ Stars
"A compelling fifth book continues the richly detailed, complex Symphony of Ages saga, begun in Rhapsody: Child of Blood (1999), by taking up where Requiem for the Sun (2002) left off to relate events presaging a devastating war. Haydon masterfully maintains characters, the world they inhabit, and the flux of epic adventure and turmoil to make this book worthy of the series and leave readers yearning for the rest of the story."--Booklist
Requiem for the Sun
"With bright and tender touches, Haydon breathes new life into fantasy in this sequel to her bestselling Rhapsody Trilogy. . . . The rich complexities of historical subtext, unsubtle scheming of religious and political leaders and classical romantic elements keep the pages turning. Although quite readable as a stand-alone work, the looks threads left untied promise numerous future volumes, which are certain to be devoured by Haydon's growing legion of fans."--Publishers Weekly
"Sequel to Haydon's Rhapsody Trilogy fantasy/romance, begun impressively with Rhapsody . . . An opera of the four elements, moody and melodious."--Kirkus Reviews
"This sequel to the Rhapsody Trilogy (Rhapsody: Child of Blood; Prophecy: Child of Earth; Destiny: Child of the Sky) continues a tale of love and treachery that spans centuries and worlds. Vivid characters and a richly defined world borrowed from Norse and Celtic legends make this continuing fantasy saga a good choice for most libraries."--Library Journal
"Raise glasses to toast Haydon's high levels of achievement in characterization, world building through well-chosen detail, folkloric and musical expertise, and warmth of spirit. Let us be thankful that this rhapsody isn't over and, indeed, promises to linger with spirit for at least two more volumes."--Booklist
DESTINY: Child of the Sky
"Haydon culminates her powerful fantasy saga with adventure, treachery, mystery and romance . . . an exciting read that will pique new readers and delight fans of Haydon's first two books. Her superbly rendered characters incite us to share their triumphs and sorrows, even as her lyrical prose casts its wondrous invitation to visit her world."--Romantic Times Bookclub Gold Medal Review
"Though obviously inspired by music theory, Norse and Celtic folklore, and seemingly by such authors as Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Patricia A. McKillip, Anne McCaffrey and Palmer Brown (Cheerful), the author uses a fluid writing style to build a world uniquely and compellingly her own."--Publishers Weekly
PROPHECY: Child of Earth
"Prophecy proves that Elizabeth Haydon is a superstar and not a one hit wonder. Haydon's world is so real the audience will feel that we too have been transported in time and space to a wondrous vision."--Midwest Book Review
"As strong and compelling as its predecessor, the action is exhilarating; and sometimes broad, sometimes wry humor leavens the story's horror. As in high fantasy at its best, the sense of foreboding is palpable, the world building is convincing and consistent, the evildoers are truly wicked, and the battles are ferocious."--Booklist
RHAPSODY: Child of Blood
* "Distinguished by superior wit and intelligence, this fantasy debut opens what looks to be an outstanding saga. One of the finest high fantasy debuts in years."--Publishers Weekly Starred Review
"A stunningly told tale by a new fantasy author who is sure to go far."--Anne McCaffrey
"Rhapsody is movingly-written, epic fantasy. I read this book with a growing sense of pleasure, impressed not only with the author's deft plotting but also with her use of language. Haydon is a writer."--Morgan Llywelyn
"Filled with detail and a complex, multi-faceted plotline, it's an epic beginning to what is being billed as a major fantasy series, and readers will quickly pick up on the echoes of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth and David Eddings Belgariad series, as well as Celtic and Norse mythology, and even a dash of Mozart's Magic Flute."--Toronto National Post & Mail
"This author will surely go far. I am amazed at the growing number of strong new voices in fantasy, hitherto mostly male. Elizabeth Haydon is sure to change that."--Piers Anthony
"At the start of Haydon's lyrical sixth installment in her sweeping saga of musical magic and ancient prophecies (after 2004's Elegy for a Lost Star), the dragons of the world gather to mourn the loss of one of their oldest and greatest — whose demise leaves a weakness in their protective shield of the Earth. Ashe and Rhapsody, the Lord and Lady of Cymrian, also convene with their allies to prepare for the war looming between deadly powers that could tear the world apart. Rhapsody has the added distraction of caring for their infant son, Meridion, for as the heir to Cymrian the baby is an obvious target; he may also be the Child of Time, whose coming will change the world — and perhaps even the nature of Time itself. While deftly managing a large cast of intriguing characters in a story that's both grand and intimate but never predictable, Haydon moves all the pieces into place for the next volume." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The Assassin King opens at winter's end with the arrival by sea of a mysterious hunter, a man of ancient race and purpose, who endlessly chants the names of the pantheon of demons that are his intended victims, as well as one other: Ysk, the original name of the Brother, now known as Achmed, the Assassin King of Ylorc.
At the same moment of this portentous arrival, two gatherings of great import are taking place. The first is a convocation of dragons, who gather in a primeval forest glade--the site of the horrific ending of Llauron, one of the last of their kind. They mourn not only his irrevocable death, but the loss of the lore and control over the Earth itself that it represents. The ancient wyrms are terrified for what will come as a result of this loss.
The second gathering is a council of war held in the depths of the keep of Haguefort: Ashe and Rhapsody, rulers of the alliance that protects the Middle Continent; Gwydion, the new Duke of Navarne; Anborn, the Lord Marshall; Achmed, the King of Ylorc, and Grunthor, his Sergeant-Major. Each brings news that form the pieces of a great puzzle. And as each piece is added it becomes quite clear: War is coming, the likes of which the world has never known.
Cataclysm, both large and small, await in this sixth volume of the USA Today bestselling fantasy series, The Symphony of Ages. A twisting, fast-moving tale, The Assassin King promises endless surprises--most of which lead to pain.
About the Author
As the daughter of an air force officer, Elizabeth Haydon began traveling at an early age and has since traveled all over the world. She draws on the imagery of these visits in The Symphony of Ages series, and blends her love of music, anthropology, herbalism and folklore into much of her writing. Haydon is also a harpist and a madrigal singer (a singer of medieval songs). Currently, she works as an editor in educational publishing and lives with her family on the East Coast.
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