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SINGER by Jean Thesman

SINGER

By Jean Thesman

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: April 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-670-05937-4
Publisher: Viking

A gorgeous fantasy by a veteran maker of worlds who offers her own version of the events surrounding the Irish legend of The Children of Lir. The drama is almost wholly interior, but it is mesmerizing. The girl, Gwenore, is hated by her mother, Rhiannon, a vicious and terrible Welsh witch. She escapes through those who love her and the Fair Folk to Blessingwood, a place where women study and heal, and where, renamed Mary Singer, she finds magic in the study of healing and the making of music. Readers learn all these things through Mary’s own thoughts, as she puzzles out her life and the birthmark, red and shaped like a teardrop, on her wrist. The implacable Rhiannon’s search for Mary Singer leads to flight again as well as the destruction of Blessingwood. Singer comes to Lir where she learns to love Lir’s royal children, but Rhiannon marries their father and arrives to destroy both the children of Lir and Singer in a final climax that mixes pity, horror and hope. Not for every reader, but richly rewarding for those caught in its spell. (Fantasy. YA)