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Song of the Beast
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Song of the Beast

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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  1,371 ratings  ·  77 reviews
Brutal imprisonment has broken Aidan McAllister. Once the most famous musician of his generation, celebrated as a man beloved of the gods, his voice is now silent, his hands ruined, his music that offered beauty and hope to war-torn Elyria destroyed. Even the god who nurtured his talent since boyhood has abandoned him. But no one ever told him his crime. To discover the tr ...more
Paperback, 467 pages
Published May 6th 2003 by Roc (first published May 1st 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,692)
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Carol.
Sep 01, 2012 Carol. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: epic fantasy fans
A bump up from three and a half stars. Written like a traditional epic fantasy, plotting still went in a few unexpected directions in romance and manipulation. At heart is a mystery why the lead was imprisioned, and part of him is reluctant to find out. He meets a person or two to boot him on his way. I enjoyed the mixup of races and clans. A few times, I was completely unsurprised by the direction the plot took, but nonetheless, it was an enjoyable ride there.

Here's the problem: I enjoyed it, b
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Sarah
It’s been a really long time since I’ve read a fantasy book that I enjoyed as much as this one. It’s definitely a fantasy novel, but it has a lot of really delightful aberrations from standard fantasy tropes. For example, rather than being a young handsome farmboy thrust into the middle of a great struggle, the main character is 38, is of noble descent, has been imprisoned for 17 years for reasons unknown to him, and is horribly disfigured from his stay in prison. Before his imprisonment, he was ...more
Ron
Dec 09, 2010 Ron rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Vanessa
Aidan McAllister spent seventeen years imprisoned in solitude for treason—although he never learned what this supposed treasonous act was. He was a wandering singer who enjoyed celebrity not only because he was the cousin to the king, but also because he was exceptionally talented. What could he possibly have done that warranted such abuse?

Song of the Beast opens with his release and Aiden, now voiceless and with crippled hands, is thrust out penniless into a world that believes him dead.

Aiden
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Feliz
A singer without a voice, a musician with mangled hands, his enemies think him broken beyond repair. But the truth cannot be silenced.

Aidan Mc Allister is a wonderful tortured hero. I read a lot of Carol Berg's, but this one was the first, and it had me immediately hooked. Set in a world remotely resembling a late medieval Europe, this book is inherently consistent on speech, clothing, behaviour and so on. Berg's worldbuilding is flawless as usual. Unless her other works, this book doesn't linge
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Laylah
Man, I don't know, am I just falling out of love with this genre?

I was engaged enough to keep going, but I just didn't feel moved or compelled by anything in this book. Aidan's wholesomeness annoyed me, Lara's constant self-blame and self-denial (coupled with the consistent "let's not talk about our issues everrrrr for reasonsssss") frustrated me, the good-vs-evil conflict left me going "Yes, and?" (Enslaving another race is bad! You don't say!) ...And far too many things seemed to occur at just
...more
Jon
Sep 04, 2010 Jon rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jon by: Janny Wurts
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bookwatcher
Sep 28, 2010 Bookwatcher rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fantasy readers of all ages
I like it… well, the end was not what I was expecting but I love it! My eyes were full of tears reading the last words... so sweet!
The book is also well writing but the change of narrator is a little confusing (maybe only Aidan MacAllister as storyteller would be better).

My compliments to Carol Berg. Her imagination is amazing and her world with dragons and dragon speakers was wonderful.


5 stars are not enough... I love this book and would love to say more, but I'm speechless!
Annette Gisby
Song of the Beast by Carol Berg

This is one of the most imaginative fantasy books I have ever read and I have read a lot of them! Quite often, I can guess where a twist might be appearing or if indeed what the final twist might be, but not in this one. There is indeed a twist in this novel but it was one I would never have guessed in a million years.

If you thought fantasy novels were all the same and full of cliches, give this one a try. You won't be disappointed.
Sueij
It's not earth-shattering, and I didn't garner any astonishing insights that will change the way I live my life, but (a) I couldn't put this book down and (b) when I got to the last page, I was sorely tempted to go back to page one and read it again with all the knowledge of what's really going on. Yep, that makes for a five-star rating for me.

I think there were two things that really sucked me in. First, the author is clearly deeply in the main character's head, and does an outstanding job tell
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Benjamin
Aidan is the king’s cousin, but as he begins his narrative he has just been released after seventeen years brutal imprisonment; imprisoned at the age of twenty one for reasons not quite clear to him, but presumably with the king’s knowledge.

Aidan is a remarkable man. In his youth he was renowned as a singer of unsurpassable talents, able to move the hardest of hearts; as such he travelled throughout the lands performing to all from kings to beggars. But now, having been silenced he is released
...more
Rebecca
This was a rather enjoyable, self-contained story. I find I often like one book stories since it forces even not-so-perfect authors not to dawdle or try to pad it out much. That's the case with this one. The pacing is very good, with periods of both action-suspense and reflection. The mystery surrounding Aidan's imprisonment is slowly revealed throughout, not making you wait too long to learn something new, but keeping it obscure enough that you can't really guess exactly where it's going.

The PO
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Furio
As it was the case in her unjustly celebrated demon trilogy, Transformation, Revelation and Restoration, the story told here by Ms Berg has potential.
Dragons are a popular topic in fantasy fiction and, if a subject is so well loved, this also means that it carries a strong fascination in itself. Many of her ideas are interesting, convincing, some even fascinating.

I am not saying her writing is bad: in many pages a talented writer lurks and the pacing is excellent.
It is the overall attitude that
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Petra Eriksson
Once again I was not dissapointed! The only problem with this book was that it was to short! Before I blinked the last page was turned and I found myself wishing for more! I could not help thinking about how much more alive the story woudl have been if would have strechet into one more book for I truly loved the story! Dragons and singing, can it get better than that! I'm delighet that she is writing the story further in an anthology, now I can just hope I'm able to get my hands on it!
Michael
Not one of Berg's highlights, I'm afraid. More impossibly long suffering in prisons and then improbable action sequences followed by many many adverbs and stereotypical characterizations. The standard but sudden and generally surprising twists to character that fill Berg's fiction are rote and uninteresting in this novel, the characters flat, driven and unchanging. There's just not much to recommend this one.
Kristi
I love Carol Berg with the fire of a thousand suns! She gives us all of her classic moves: a renegade expatrate, a headache worth of background information on a make-believe world, plot twists galore, a good versus evil where the good may not be good and the evil is not actually evil... Oh, and did I mention there are dragons? This is book is sizzling hot!
Km249
Entertaining enough. There are some interesting concepts here. I have no specific complaints, yet the book seems a bit... Flat? Hmm... how to explain it better. If you ask me any details about this book in 2 weeks, I probably won't remember any. Nothing really memorable about it, but I did quite enjoy reading it. Interesting mix here.
DeAnna Knippling
The parable of the prodigy--brilliant, destroyed, reborn with purpose rather than talent. With dragons.
Amanda Langdon
Brilliant, beautiful, and amazing - why did it have to be a stand-alone?
Christine
I really liked this story and will now seek out other books by this author
Hafiza
Hated that ending with Aiden and Lara
Sandra
What a lovely, lovely book.
Shan
As with all of the other books I've read by Carol Berg, Song of the Beast invoked a lot of different emotions in me while I was reading it. I went from raging, to sadness, to hanging onto every word to see what will happen next. That being said, I could tell this book was one of her earlier works. The phrasing was awkward at times and the story itself had elements a bit too contrived to my tastes. Still, I enjoyed this book a lot.

I am, however, developing a major beef with the way the author wri
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Victoria Dixon
Mar 01, 2010 Victoria Dixon rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Victoria by: Janny Wurtz
Really enjoyed this story for the most part. It's Count of Monte Cristo meets dragons - kinda. LOL

There's a delectable love story in there and it was both the most intense and, at the end, the least satisfied part to the book. I'm NOT saying it wasn't satisfied, but that I felt like the author wrapped up the story too soon. I had either wanted two characters to come to a face-to-face understanding and either feel that with them, or not have that understanding reached at all. It landed somewhere
...more
Lori
Much like in Berg's "Transformation" the protagonist (Aidan) of the story is a person that has endured much before the book even starts. It begins with his release from prison, where he has been held for years and horrifically tortured for reasons he doesn't really understand. He's not a criminal, he's a bard and kin to the King... who apparently put him there in the first place. Unfortunately, Aidan's trials are soon revealed to be far from over and he finds himself on the run with unlikely all ...more
Jen A.
Oct 26, 2012 Jen A. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
I'm pretty sure my sister gave me the small stack of Carol Berg paperbacks that got lost in my office for want of an actual to-read pile, and I've only now just gotten around to reading them. I started with Song of the Beast because it looks like two are part of a trilogy and the other one is the start of a series. Song of the Beast seemed to be a standalone book, so it got picked up first.

I liked Berg's overall story for this book, but sometimes felt like I didn't *quite* follow the "reveals" o
...more
Sherry
I won this book as part of a Good Reads First Reads Giveaway.

I really like this book. I spent part of the day one day, then pretty much the whole day the next day, and then finished it up with a partial day of reading. I only do this with books I really like.

This was an interesting book. You follow Aidan McAllister after he is released from prison after 17 years. He does NOT know why he was put there. He was only told to be silent for 7 years and he would be released, no music that he loves, no
...more
Kevin
Almost three years ago, I was able to meet Carol Berg at a World Fantasy Convention. During the meeting, I had asked her which book of hers she would recommend I read first. She give me several suggestions and finally, after almost three years, I have decided to ignore those suggestions and read Song of the Beast.

Song of the Beast is a standalone fantasy novel. It centers on the character of Aidan MacAllister who has been imprisoned and tortured for seventeen years. He does not know why, but wi
...more
Freyavenlyo
Aug 27, 2013 Freyavenlyo rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: other Carol Berg books, Sarah Monette, Sarah Ash
I had this books for years, I think. I bought it shortly after I read Carol Bergs "Books of the Rai-Kirah" which I loved, but never really felt like reading it. So a friend mentioned, that she really loved it and having just finished "The Whitefire Crossing" by Courtney Schafer, i started reading.

First to say, I'm not much for dragons. I read some, not many, but they really never did something for me. But to say "The Song of Beast" is "just" another dragon book, is really not true.

Carol Berg wri
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Dragons, dragons ...: Roelan 9 7 Oct 14, 2012 04:24AM  
  • Wheel of the Infinite
  • To Ride Hell’s Chasm
  • Devlin's Luck (Sword of Change, #1)
  • The Last Dragonlord (Dragonlord, #1)
  • Traitor's Moon (Nightrunner, #3)
  • Dragon Blood (Hurog, #2)
  • The Golden Key
  • Covenants (Borderlands, #1)
  • The Fire's Stone
  • Emerald House Rising
  • The Hidden Queen (Anghara Kir Hama, #1)
  • The Battle Lord's Lady (Battle Lord Saga, #1)
  • Brute
  • Beyond the Pale (The Last Rune, #1)
  • Snowflakes and Embers
  • Children of Amarid (Lon Tobyn Chronicle #1)
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Carol Berg is the author of the epic fantasy
The Books of the Rai-kirah, The Bridge of D'Arnath Quartet, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award winning Lighthouse Duet - Flesh and Spirit and Breath and Bone - the standalone novel Song of the Beast , and the three novels of the Collegia Magica.

Berg holds a degree in mathematics from Rice University, and a degree in computer science from the University of Col
...more
More about Carol Berg...
Transformation (Rai-Kirah, #1) Restoration (Rai-Kirah, #3) Revelation (Rai-Kirah, #2) Son of Avonar (The Bridge of D'Arnath, #1) Flesh and Spirit (Lighthouse, #1)

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