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The Innkeeper's Song (Innkeeper's World #1)

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  1,950 Ratings  ·  146 Reviews
This New York Times Notable Book is the captivating tale of one man's quest to capture the ghost of his dead lover. His odyssey draws him into the lives of three magical women on horseback with a dangerous quest of their own. A dazzling fantasy of love and death, lust and betrayal, from the beloved author of The Last Unicorn.
Hardcover, 0 pages
Published March 1st 1999 by Turtleback Books (first published 1993)
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Sep 12, 2011 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A plot summary of this book might go something like this: A wizard and his former students fight against another former student who has traded his life to the darkness for power. It would be accurate, but totally misleading. So what was the book really about? Stories. Singing. Love. Hate. Obligations. Responsibilities. Death. Rebirth. Redemption....

If I had to describe The Innkeeper's Song in a word, it would be this--chewy. Some books are like milkshakes. You just drink them down easily and go
Rebecca McNutt
The Innkeeper's Song isn't overly memorable to me, however it's a gripping, philosophical story of a person's search for the answers to the mysteries of life and death.
Honestly: I'm not quite sure how to sum up my feelings for this books...or just say anything about it. I found it awesome. I also think many people might find it terribly dull, which I somehow also understand but I still think it's awesome.
Well what's it about? There is a boy who sets out to save his true love (turns out she doesn't want to be rescued), there are two very beautiful and very misterious women, one of which has a name that reads like someone's been sick over a scrabble-board (it ju
Ана Хелс
Mar 30, 2013 Ана Хелс rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Една магична история, изпълзяла изпод кълба непрогледна мъгла, водена от мелодия отвъд живота , водеща към дълбините на смъртта , и по-далече...

Всичко започва в едно пасторално селце, дало ненавременна жертва - половинка на огромна любов. Писъкът на болката привлича своите и чуждите, един недовършен дух изпълзява изпод дверите на тъмнината, и тръгва на пътешествие без смисъл, с неясен спътник без минало и преследвач идващ точно от отминалите дни. Странните пътешественици се увеличават, и намира
Nov 08, 2014 Kalin added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Из предговора:

А сега (...) правя крачка встрани и поглеждам самата „Песен“. Защо е важна тази книга за човека Калин, за мечтите му какво да включва „Човешката библиотека“. По какво се отличава тя от другите книги, които познавам.

Ами например:

В целия роман ще срещнете всичко на всичко двайсет герои. Въпреки това ще ги помните по-дълго от стотиците в епичните десеттомници. Седмици след като ги изпратите към следващите им пътешествия, гласовете им ще ви съпровождат във вашите.

В „Песента“ няма ни ед
Isn't it annoying when a book ends that you don't want to end? Then, you sort of feel weird because a world has closed. You can reread it, reenter the world, but you'll never be the you that you were when you first read it, so it won't be the same. That's how I feel about The Innkeeper's Song just like I do about The Last Unicorn. Beagle is a magician, a good Arshadin, someone you know immediately is a master who you'll never surpass. But you don't mind because you get to experience the magic.
Jan 23, 2008 Rosemary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of those amazing experiences that come along every now and again was hearing Peter Beagle read from scraps of this book before it was published. And when it was published, what a novel! Nobody has ever kept so many point of view characters dancing in such an elaborate and intricate tale, with it all ending as it should, something only a true master of the art could pull off.
Michelle Wardhaugh
This was one of those "something to think about" books. Crossroads, change, endings and beginnings. The infamous bedroom scene actually grounded the story in a way that was necessary with all of the wizards' battles and heroes' adventures. It wasn't really a story about wizards and heroes even though many of the characters fit into those catagories. Like The Book of Atrix Wolfe, there's a strong element here of common people mixing in with wonder and a conscious and unconscious search for identi ...more
Jan 23, 2016 Chelsea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites, 4-stars, 2015
To be honest, I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately, so focusing on reading has been really difficult, and this is exactly the kind of book where you have to take your time and really pay attention to what you’re reading. So I’m not sure which parts of it were hard to get through because of me, and which parts were hard to get through because of the story. That said, while I have a couple of other criticisms, this is the bulk of it for me. I’m biased, obviously, because Peter S. Beagle is ...more
Nov 08, 2015 Adi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Винаги можеш да прочетеш тази книга набързо и също толкова набързо да отсъдиш, че не е за теб.
С "Песента на ханджията" не бива да се бърза. Но и не бива да правите като мен, започвайки три книги едновременно и разтягайки прочитането в рамките на повече от три месеца. Откриването на баланса е едно от нещата, изискващи практика.

Едно момче тръгва след възкръсналата си удавена любима и попада сред магьосници, убийци и нови приятели.
Три жени ще рискуват много, за да спасят магьосника, дал им нов живо
Aug 10, 2009 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've loved The Last Unicorn for years, but never read another Peter S. Beagle book - till now. I enjoyed this story, but it's a very different book from The Last Unicorn, though both deal with wizards and magic and quests.

The Innkeeper's Song has at its heart the intersection of many lives and quests - a young boy who watches his lover drown in a river, only to be resurrected by a mysterious woman; that mysterious woman and her traveling companion, both past students of a powerful wizard; the s
Jan 02, 2013 Steven rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Because Goodreads doesn't allow a half star, I'm placing this one at three stars, though I think it's more like 3 1/2.

I am a big Peter Beagle fan, but this book just didn't hit the mark for me. He tells it from the perspectives of at least 6 different characters, and there just wasn't enough difference in some of the voices to keep me from getting confused. Also, the one thing Beagle does best in some of his other works is create a world that draws you in. I never got that here until just about
Michael Conrad
Mar 13, 2015 Michael Conrad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was brought to this book by a song. The German progressive metal band Blind Guardian, which is one of my favorites, wrote a song called Road of No Release and I could not stop listening to it. I looked up the lyrics, which is habit for me when it comes to music, and saw that almost every verse was a telling of a character. So I had HAD to see what story they were from and found this book and knew it was a must read.

I'm glad I did read this and would recommend it but only to those who like both
Aug 21, 2013 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: have-ebook
A fantasy book for those that don't particularly like fantasy (like me). Beagle, also a songwriter, actually wrote the song (excerpted below) and then several years later, he wrote this book because he wanted "to find out what the hell the song was really about."

"There came three ladies at sundown:
one was brown as bread is brown,
one was black, with a sailor's sway,
and one was pale as the moon by day.

The white one wore an emerald ring,
the brown led a fox on a silver string,
and the black one carr
Sarah Cook
Dec 03, 2013 Sarah Cook rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, own-it
i read Giant Bones quite a few years ago and loved it. for those unfamiliar, Giant Bones is a collection of short stories. why i mention it here.. at least two of the characters in The Innkeeper's Song are in the book Giant Bones as well. Lal and Soukyan - i immediately fell in love with the old warriors in that book and started wondering if they appeared elsewhere in one of Mr. Beagle's novels. when i discovered The Innkeeper's Song, i was THRILLED to pieces. it was like being reintroduced to a ...more
Mar 15, 2016 Tim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I quite enjoyed the shifting perspectives of this book -- for some reason, though, I wanted every chapter from a new person's point of view. (Perhaps this was because the initial discovery of each character's distinct persona through a first-person lens was so exciting and entrancing, I just wanted that to keep going!)

Once I adjusted to that, and what all was going on plot-wise, it became a somewhat more introspective, at times almost mystical, fantasy. More creative than most, I dare say (this
 ☆☽ Ruth ☆☽
I found the unusual writing style of this author a little difficult to get used to for the first couple of chapters, but then I became engrossed in the story and ended up really appreciating the way he portrays his protagonists in an almost poetic, strangely enchanting way. All written in first person narrative, each chapter is a monologue related by different characters describing their experiences as the drama unfolds. I particularly enjoyed the fox, who surreptitiously steals the limelight an ...more
kostas  vamvoukakis
απογοήτευση...η αφήγηση πρώτου προσώπου σε πολλούς χαρακτήρες το έκανε υπερβολικά βαρετό που δεν μπόρεσα να ακολουθήσω την ιστορία...του βάζω 2* λόγω της ιδιαίτερη τεχνικής στην αφήγηση...αλλιώς σαν ιστορία το απόλυτο μηδέν
Oct 01, 2016 Randal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This book is imperfect. It's downright amorphous at times, with constantly shifting points of view, and certain unresolved questions at the end. And I loved it. Despite the deep magic involved, it is a very human novel at heart with secrets and yearnings, trust and mistrust, and old and new connections.

I'm having a hard time summarizing it. Safe to say, I've never read a novel quite like it before. And that's a wonderful gift in and of itself.

Jacqui Talbot
Feb 14, 2013 Jacqui Talbot rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When three strange women (one black, one brown, one white) arrive at a wayside inn called The Gaff and Slasher, Karsh, the innkeeper, takes them in against his better judgment. Two of the women—Lal and Nyateneri—are searching for their former mentor, a powerful magician who has summoned them to save him from destruction and worse at the hands of his most powerful pupil, Arshadin. The third, Lukassa, is a village girl whom Lal resurrected after she drowned and whose childhood love, Tikat, pursues ...more
This wasn’t a book I was really suited for. It’s slow paced and lyrically written. “Sedate” might be a good word to describe it. I had to struggle to keep with it.

Three strange women arrive at an inn, searching for a wizard two of them once knew. The story’s told from many different perspectives – the women, the innkeeper, the stable boy, a boy who’s searching for his dead fiancee, and a shape shifting fox are the main POV characters, although there’s a few others like the barmaid or the pot boy
Jan 29, 2014 Tim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading Peter Beagle's "The Last Unicorn," which I thought of as a reflection on beauty in the form of a fairytale, I picked up "The Innkeeper's Song," which turns out to be more in keeping with what I think of as fantasy. I'm always amazed at the creativity and imagination of authors who do fantasy well. This book is remarkably impressive in this way. Beagle's plot unfolds chapter by chapter from the perspectives of different characters, which is a cool way of giving us insight into the c ...more
Carol March
Oct 26, 2013 Carol March rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I've been a fan of Peter Beagle's literary fantasies since A Fine and Private Place and The Last Unicorn. The Innkeeper's Song is set firmly in the same tradition, but with a more complex and mature sensibility.

The language is simple yet beautiful, evocative and piercing in its lyricism. The characters may seem like the stock fantasy tropes, but we soon realize that this is an entirely different take on the wizard, the swordsperson, the lovesick boy, even the fox, one of the most engaging shapes
Feb 12, 2012 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2011
I loved some of this author's other work, and an online review of this book seemed to strike the right chord. So I ordered a copy, and it is now one of my favorite books. But it didn't start out that way.

It was a bit difficult at first to get used to the rotating points of view, and I wondered if this book was a single, coherent story, or a collection of loosely related tales. Anyway, I got discouraged with this book and I set it down. I'm sorry to say, I set it down for months.

Then one day I p
Jan 19, 2016 Nick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-adult
While this book is not Peter Beagle's best, it is an intriguing fantasy novel of interwoven stories. I had heard him sing the song long before reading the book, and part of it is included in the book.
Issues of power, life and death are at the heart of the tale, as two of the disciples of a wizard try to find him. The only clues have led them to a small village, and along the way they acquired another woman, formerly dead. The boyfriend of the formerly dead one, the innkeeper, the innkeeper's sta
Jun 19, 2012 Hobbes rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Hobbes by: phaedra lewis
This is definitely not one of Beagle's children's books. Every character in the story is tragic in some way. The girl who drowned and rose again, her love who loses his innocence and most of his sanity following her, two magicians-in-training who are following the call of their mad and dying master, who was master to his killer, an incredibly powerful magician who sold his soul to rise again and defeat the one who taught him, and even the boy at the inn with no past. The story is at it's heart a ...more
Jun 13, 2014 Evangeline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well Peter S. Beagle is officially the bomb. I really liked his writing style in The Last Unicorn, but it was such a wacky book I had a hard time deciding what I thought about it. The Inkeeper's Song is a bit more straightforward (though I don't think "straightforward" is a very accurate descriptor for anything related to Peter Beagle ever) and his writing really shines. The characters are all really interesting and compelling, and the structure of the book is a lot of fun -- each chapter is tol ...more
Brian Bergstrom
Aug 09, 2011 Brian Bergstrom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Beagle fans
If you're thinking about reading this book, lemme tell you something. It's amazing. Peter S. Beagle has created the simplest world with very little, yet it amazes me how thought provoking this fantasy is. It's the story of 3 women and the mischief they cause an innkeeper. Yes, it has wizards and magic and all that cliche fantasy stuff, but Beagle has something very few authors have in this genre. Wit and humor. His style of writing is so unique. It's told through POVs. Now if you're thinking Mar ...more
Mandy E
Jan 31, 2014 Mandy E rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"You see, the thing you are most afraid of is always the thing that happens--always. [...] We make it happen, we all do, wizard and weaver alike, though I could never tell you how." (269)
Jan 19, 2017 Katy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantastic
"The Innkeeper's Song" is a wonderful addition to Peter S. Beagle's astounding repertoire of fantastical stories. It deserves to be remembered with his classic works such as "The Last Unicorn" and "A Fine and Private Place."

The story starts with death. Lukassa and Tikat are very much in love. They grew up together in their small fishing village, sharing joys and sorrows their entire young lives. Until by cruel twist of fate, Lukassa falls into the river, and though Tikat valiantly tries, he ulti
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Peter Soyer Beagle (born April 20, 1939) is an American fantasist and author of novels, nonfiction, and screenplays. He is also a talented guitarist and folk singer. He wrote his first novel, A Fine and Private Place , when he was only 19 years old. Today he is best known as the author of The Last Unicorn, which routinely polls as one of the top ten fantasy novels of all time, and at least two of ...more
More about Peter S. Beagle...

Other Books in the Series

Innkeeper's World (2 books)
  • Giant Bones

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“Her face was a stranger’s face, which was as it should be. Love each other from the day we are born to the day we die, we are still strangers every minute, and nobody should forget that, even though we have to. ” 15 likes
“...the bad dreams are the way I bleed...” 0 likes
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