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A Dark Horn Blowing
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A Dark Horn Blowing

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  81 ratings  ·  8 reviews
A woman is spirited away to raise the sickly heir of the evil Erl King in this dark fantasy. “If you purchase only one book of fantasy this year, make it this one.”--School Library Journal
Paperback, 272 pages
Published September 15th 1997 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published June 20th 1978)
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The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingCharlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald DahlSwitch! The Lost Kingdoms of Karibu by Karen  Prince
Best Children's Fantasy
357th out of 537 books — 787 voters
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Mythopoeic Fantasy Award Winners
61st out of 70 books — 224 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 167)
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Miriam
Ipcar draws from the Child ballads and other folkloric sources to create an original story about a new mother who is bespelled away to Elfland to nurse the newborn prince. Her memories stolen, she forgets her husband and own baby, who in her absence suffer the attentions of the local witch.

The mythology is strong and even, and the prose, while not brilliant, has a pleasant feel and is mostly even (I felt the brief scenes in the human village broke from it a bit). However, for a story that hinges
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Megan
I have read this book so many times since I first was given a copy by my aunt when I was a teenager. And yet every time I read it, it's like the first time.

I've never known anyone else (besides my aunt) who has read this book, and I wish to goodness I did, because it is beautifully haunting and one of my favorite books. My copy is well-worn and hopefully isn't going to fall apart on me. I hope one day to give it to my children and watch as they (hopefully) enjoy it as much as I have.
Mary-Beth
I ended up liking this one more than I expected to from the beginning. It just seemed such an improbable opening, a mother being lured away from her son and husband into fairy land, but being completely unable to feel anything about it. Now, I understand that magic was the cause of her detachment, but I have to suggest that having an unemotional narrator for the beginning of the novel is probably not the best route to go.

However, the mythical world which the rest of the book creates is wonderful
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Macha
high fantasy set in faerie land. a bit slight going in, but in the end it feels like it might belong on the shelf with Lin Carter's Ballantyne series of classic fantasies: pretty good company. based on various ballads collected by Child and others, which gives it a different look and, with a Russian Baba Yaga thrown into the field to meddle with outcomes, it offers up a few twists on that trad cold hillside end.
MaryAnn
This was one of my favorite books as an adolescent. The story, told from three points of view, is of Nora who is lured away from her husband and newborn son to become a wet nurse for an infant prince in another land. Full of magic and old-world flavor, I still haven't tired of rereading this book every few years. A definite read if you enjoy fantasy, but may be difficult to find.
Kristen
Found in the Teen section – a lovely faery tale in the ancient tradition. It’s even based on some of the Child Ballads – amongst other things. This novel is a great, lyrical-but-not-highfalutin’ treat for anyone who likes faery tales.
Derek
Beautiful and strange. Cousin to Eudora Welty's The Robber Bridegroom in its use of folklore and ballads.
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