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THE TOWER AT STONY WOOD by Patricia A. McKillip


by Patricia A. McKillip

Pub Date: May 8th, 2000
ISBN: 0-441-00733-3
Publisher: Ace/Berkley

When Regis Aurum, King of Yves, marries the tall, pale, beautiful Gwynne of Skye, the old Bard of Skye warns Regis's greatest knight, Cyan Dag, to watch Gwynne carefully, especially when she dances. Sure enough, Cyan glimpses an extra finger, a hint of scaly toes, eyes deep and hooded like a snake's. The real Gwynne, so the Bard says, is imprisoned in a tower in Skye, and only Cyan Dag can rescue her. Horrified at the imposture, Cyan sets off at once. Meanwhile, Thayne Ysse, heir to the throne of the North Islands, thirsts for revenge against Regis Aurum, who bested him in a war in which Thayne's younger brother Craiche was crippled. Thayne's father descries by magical means a dragon, a tower, and a heap of gold—wealth and power enough to humble the haughty Regis. So Thayne also sets off for Skye. In Skye itself, young Melanthos weaves odd scraps of tapestry that waft away from her tower on the wind, taking magic with them; while her mother Sel unhappily watches, trying to remember her own past and the magic she once commanded.

For several years now McKillip arguably has been fantasy's premier stylist. To this talent and her fine characters she's recently added intricate, supple, satisfying plots (Song for the Basilisk, 1998, etc.): the upshot is mesmerizing and unforgettable—a true flowering of a major talent.