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The Harp Of The Grey Rose (Cerin Songweaver)

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  1,077 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
The Harp of the Grey Rose is one of Charles de Lint's rarest novels, originally published in trade paperback in 1985, and out of print in any edition for more than a decade. We're proud to be publishing the first hardcover edition of this rare fantasy, bound in full-cloth, with a full-color dustjacket.
Hardcover, 228 pages
Published January 5th 2004 by Subterranean Press (first published 1985)
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Oct 08, 2010 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Harp of the Grey Rose has been called many things. A collection of cliches...a same old quest fantasy...nothing special.

For me, it was much more. This book was a return to my reading roots. I grew up in the days of Terry Brooks first fantasy stories and cut my reading teeth on Raymond Feist. This was built to appeal to the audience that dominated the mid-80's.

This was the first book de Lint actually wrote, but it was the second or third that he published. It is rough and I easily recognized
Erica (daydreamer)
The Harp of the Grey Rose was a wonderful folklore tale. Like a ballad of old, suffused with magic, love, friendship, pain, and evil. It read a little like The Lord of the Rings, the adventure and the friendships bonded tightly through the journey, and the mythical and dark creatures found within. I found that I was enchanted with the story, I became attuned to the characters and found them endearing. De Lint’s storytelling gave the perfect feel of fantasy and folklore to this tale.

Cerin, a lowl
Mike (the Paladin)
This is another one of those that's just a bit hard to rate... I'm torn between 3 and 4 stars. The only reason I stay with 3 here is that I can't quite rate it as high as other books I have given 4 stars.

I have read a few books by de Lint and I suppose I'd rate this one as my second favorite. While the book opens well and sucked me right in it didn't hold my interest. A young man beginning life, a seemingly hopeless love, a horrible monster all leading to a quest for our intrepid young Harpist..
This has a lot of fantasy tropes: young man learning he has magic, stone-carving dwarf, intelligent non-human character, battle between good and evil gods. So much is going on that there wasn't time for much world-building.
Laurel Flynn
There are early books in an author's career that show the years of striving that are poured into a work and those that show a craft being honed but not yet great. The Harp of the Grey Rose is the latter, one of the very first books written by Charles de Lint. For a fantasy, by today's standards, this is a short novel. With time, several characters could have been filled out and the plotlines steadied and interwoven with a more coherent pattern. I find Galin, who appears approximately two-thirds ...more
This is another one of those books that I've looked at for several years, tried to start more than once and always ended up putting down for one reason or another. After several people, who don't know each other and have no way of ever meeting, tell you that you should check out an author, you will probably do it, right? Well, Charles de Lint is that author for me. I like fantasy novels usually, and I sometimes enjoy lush characterizations with richly inventive worlds, but there is just somethin ...more
I haven't read too many books by De Lint. I read Wolf Moon and found myself utterly enchanted; it's a book I still go back to, re-reading and remembering. But I find that I simply do not have the same enchantment with his other books. This one was not any different.

I did still enjoy the story. I was much like many other classic fantasy stories, with elements of it that easily link to LOTR, Dune.....really any like that. At the same time, such elements were not taken upon with so much time. That
Barrett Brassfield
I have had this book for quite a while. I don't even remember buying the special cloth edition I own but it is quite nice and as I was looking for books to donate to the Little Free Libraries that are everywhere in Madison I realized I had never read this particular de Lint. I've enjoyed most of what I have read by Charles de Lint in the past. I enjoy his themes and he draws very engaging characters even if he tends to be a touch long winded at times in the novels. These early stories do not suf ...more
Feb 27, 2009 Lindsey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
A young man sets out on a quest, after his friend/love was captured by an evil entity. The young man is a harper,and there is magic in his music. There is even magic in his blood.

He finds friends in strange guises who help him along the way - like a bear who mind speaks, a young woman who is part deer and part human, and a grouchy little dwarf who was cursed by the young man's mother. With help like this, he finds his Grey Rose and confronts an evil even darker than the one who had stolen her aw
Kirk Macleod
May 27, 2014 Kirk Macleod rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Harp of the Grey Rose (1985) follows a pretty straight forward fantasy fiction storyline; a young man meets a mysterious woman, sets out on a quest, and ends up having a significant destiny.

Even with that, however, the story moved along swiftly and like an excellent fairy tale, kept me either smiling at the great characterization or enthralled by the action sequences. Having been a little underwhelmed by his first two books, but hanging on as my wife kept telling me that his later books woul
Ryan Mishap
Dec 21, 2008 Ryan Mishap rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Having just gotten into his writing, i thought I'd get his first book and that was a mistake. I know this was written in the eighties, but it fulfills many a fantasy cliche. The writing isn't that great and the characters don't seem as if they could be real, like in his later works. Check out his urban fantasy stuff and avoid the so-called high fantasy.
I wrote a parody of a fantasy story (which you can find in my writing) before I had read this, yet a couple of things I wrote as parodies of fa
Jun 14, 2007 Cathy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, gave-away, fiction
This is constructed along the lines of a generic fantasy quest narrative: an accidental but nevertheless intrepid hero must go on a quest to save his love and is accompanied by a cast of characters along the way. De Lint does much better urban fantasy than traditional, and this is one of his earlier works, before his voice really came into its own. It's not bad exactly, but I'd recommend skipping it for one of the Newford books. There's nothing here that hasn't been covered a million times befor ...more
Dec 29, 2008 Nikki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So this was apparently Charles de Lint's first book, and it was the first book of his that I've read. I have heard his praises sung over and over again, and this first book? was a little bit of a letdown. I felt that he utilized half the clichés in the fantasy genre. The characters stirred no particular emotion in me; they didn't seem real at all. Still, it was prettily written. I wouldn't reread it, but I will still check out his other things to see if I can see why he's so highly pra ...more
jillian n.
Much like Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain (but with less humour), with a bit lot of Tolkien. Actually, it's probably a lot like a hundred other high fantasy boy-goes-on-quest-and-there's-magic-and-a-girl books. I don't really know. I haven't read so many that I'm sick of them yet. Lovely characters (perhaps a bit distant, but there's a story telling bear with mind powers, so we're all good), good plot, beautiful writing... A fairly satisfying read. I liked it. Not brilliant, but worthwhi ...more
You know how sometimes a book just never grabs you, but you don't understand quite why? That was this book for me. It was easy enough to read. I went through it quickly. It wasn't one of those cases where I just thought, "Ugh. This book is awful. Why can't I be done with it already?" The writing was just fine. The story was fine. I can't put my finger on anything in particular I disliked about it. But . . . I don't know, it was just sort of unremarkable to me.
Lesley Arrowsmith
I was given this book by a friend who knew I liked Charles de Lint, and you can see the promise in the fairly cliched story - what did impress me was the way that the standard quest story was finished quite quickly, and turned into something else.
Interesting for completists, I think - but it does show how the author developed his craft, and his later books (those I've managed to track down, anyway) are among my all time favourites.
This is an interesting read to compare to his latest works.

De Lint is so unique in his current fiction, and has been for so long that this book is startlingly similar to all the other epic style fantasy of the 80's. It's not bad by any means, it just doesn't have that de Lint feel, though I can see hints of his current writing style showing through.
Feb 16, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
I love books by Charles de Lint, but I've been reading his modern fantasy, so this was a bit out of the way from that. I liked the storyline, although some of it was a little too predictable. I liked the growth process the main character goes through, and the friends he takes up along the way that were more unexpected. It was a sweet little book.
hard to get into the style somehow, and finished with a kind of summary style, but the story, the characters, and that middle whole is well done. Celtic mystic quality to it, though not wholly, and definitely not dark horror, which some of the descriptions had me worried about.
Feb 16, 2015 Tina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-02
Had this book been written today, it would have been 3 novels, easily. It was actually really refreshing to read a whole story in one book. I liked this one better than Wolf Moon, but not as much as Riddle of the Wren. Great story and well written, as always.
Dec 25, 2015 Tracy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book had its own flavor, but it reminded me of an extremely condensed version of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. However, I loved that it had several strong female characters, and its own brand of magic.
Apr 20, 2016 Cindy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I liked it well enough, the story kept my interest, but the characters didn't seem as developed as in other works of de Lint's. Good but not one of my favorites.
I have an earlier edition than the cover pictured.
Nov 17, 2008 P.D. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Early fantasy by de Lint. Not as well written as some of his books, but still highly entertaining. While it isn't explicitly stated, characters in this book might be the beginning of two somewhat mysterious characters in de Lint's Newford stories.
Mar 10, 2015 Rachael rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Nice story, not one of his best.
Jun 08, 2014 Brenna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not my thing.
Feb 02, 2008 Amy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Reading a lot of de Lint I can definitely see how his writing has developed and improved. This just doesn't live up to his later standards.
Stephanie Krause
Oct 02, 2011 Stephanie Krause rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick and easy read with an excellent, if slightly rushed, story. Really enjoyed it. :)
Jennifer Kyrnin
This was a wonderful story. It reminded me of many other fairy stories I've read and was comforting that way.
Dread PirateRobots
I'm in absolute awe of the way this man weaves.
Mar 30, 2012 Don rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Not a bad book but the ending seemed rushed.
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Charles de Lint is the much beloved author of more than seventy adult, young adult, and children's books. Renowned as one of the trailblazers of the modern fantasy genre, he is the recipient of the World Fantasy, Aurora, Sunburst, and White Pine awards, among others. Modern Library's Top 100 Books of the 20th Century poll, conducted by Random House and voted on by readers, put eight of de Lint's b ...more
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