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Harpist in the Wind (Riddle-Master #3)

4.21  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,516 Ratings  ·  117 Reviews
In the midst of conflict and unrest the Prince of Hed solves the puzzle of his future when he learns to harp the wind, discovers who the shape changers are, and understands his own relationship to Deth, harpist of the wizard Ohm.
Mass Market Paperback, 272 pages
Published March 12th 1980 by Del Rey (first published January 1st 1979)
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Mar 20, 2012 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, reviewed
A riddle is a tale so familiar you no longer see it; it's simply there, like the air you breathe, the ancient names of Kings echoing in the corners of your house, the sunlight in the corner of your eye; until one day you look at it and something shapeless, voiceless in you opens a third eye and sees it as you have never seen it before. Then you are left with the knowledge of the nameless question in you, and the tale that is no longer meaningless but the one thing in the world that has meaning a ...more
Dec 28, 2015 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was a bit disappointed with this book. A bit too much mysticism & I wanted to kick some of the main characters a few times. My wife liked it a lot, better than the other two. It certainly, FINALLY, answers the myriad of questions that have been raised & comes to a resounding conclusion, but it wasn't blood thirsty enough & idolizes the idea of 'doing no harm'.

Let me explain. It's not blood thirsty enough because our hero has put up with a lot & this is a sword & sorcery boo
Oct 26, 2015 Kathleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-scifi, ya, audio
I listened to the series opener (The Riddle-Master of Hed) and Harpist in the Wind (this book), skipping book 2 because it sounded like filler and many reviews stated that the story became more gripping in book 3. I found that to be true, also. I cried towards the end. I was able to predict some of what happened, but McKillip didn't employ all the normal tropes (only some of them). The plot and mythos is not terribly complex, but as a listener I had to pay attention and replay several scenes.

Kat  Hooper
Aug 12, 2011 Kat Hooper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are some fantasy epics that all literature professors, and most normal people, would consider essential reading for any well-educated person — J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Lewis Carroll, etc. So, yeah, I read those a long time ago. But beyond that, there's not much fantasy literature that's essential reading. So, for a long time, I didn't read any. In my drive to be educated, I stuck to the classics (which are classic because they're great literature, usually). But one day, maybe 15 years a ...more
Amanda Kespohl
Apr 27, 2014 Amanda Kespohl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I have a confession to make. I actually tried to read Patricia McKillip's Riddle-Master trilogy once before and failed. Despite the glorious things I had heard about the books, I got lost in a maze of odd names and confused about who was who, and I stopped reading about 20-some pages in due to an information overload. But I promised myself that I'd come back to it one day, because some of the things I'd been told about the books made them sound like a story that should not be missed.

To say that
Isaac Clarke
Jul 11, 2016 Isaac Clarke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
ის მომენტი წინა წიგნიდან რომ არაფერი ვიცოდით მთავარ ანტაგონისტებზე, ის თუ რა მოტივაცია ამოძრავებდათ მათ, რაც მაგრად მაღიზიანებდა და შეგრძნებას მიტოვებდა რომ ხელოვნურად წელავდა წიგნს, აბსოლუტურად გამართლებული აღმოჩნდა. ზუსტად იმ დოზით იხსნება კარტები და ირკვევა ამბები ტრილოგიის დასკვნით წიგნში, რა დოზითაც საჭიროა. ყველა დეტალი გათვლილი და გადანაწილებულია, შესაბამისად წიგნის კითხვაც კომფორტული და სასიამოვნოა.

მორგონის გაზრდა-განვითარების პროცესი ძალიან საინტერესოდ მიდის და პერსონაჟებიც მოტივირებულ
So I do like the story this told, but I think I'm sticking with the feeling that the writing just was a bit lost on me.

I did, however, have to stay up until I finished this last night, which says something!
Kevin Michaelis
Nov 14, 2013 Kevin Michaelis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After discovering this trilogy more than 2 decades past, I have read the: "Harpist in the Wind," almost once a year. Mostly for the purely symbolic way Ms. McKillip has woven events of riddlery like unto prophecy, and how those events shape and bind upon the Starbearer an unimaginable outcome, foreshadowing the coming of the High One. Surely there is much in these novels that is delightful, powerfully awesome fantasy! There is also realism in the symbolism so captivating and relational to our ow ...more
May 12, 2010 Jeffrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A magical series, one of the best fantasy series that I have read. This third volume is a great read. I have re-read these three books many times and I think they hold up remarkably well. This concluding volume is especially good end because it answers all of the riddles.

Timeless fantasy from a master
Oct 02, 2015 Michaela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-books
i don't know why but for some reason i got into parts 1 and 2 more than this final part of the trilogy. can't put my finger on it ... too much? too complex? just not the right time / mood?

beautifully written as always, of course, and the world created by mckillip is a marvel.
Jennifer Freitag
Aug 28, 2012 Jennifer Freitag rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Patricia McKillip is pretty nearly as good as Rosemary Sutcliff in wringing my heart. This was a fantastic conclusion to her Riddle-Master trilogy, cutting deeply, bitter-sweet, full of beautiful prose and a powerful plot. My library would be sorely lacking without this trilogy.
Esta última parte me pareció muy confusa; sí, obviamente al ser el final del "cuento" pues se atan algunos cabos pero otros quedaron totalmente sueltos. El final me pareció rebuscado y de alguna manera no me pareció «digno» ni de la propia historia, ni de la vida de sus personajes. No sé, me dejó con la sensación de que pudo haber terminado de una manera mucho más amable con sus protagonistas.
En cuanto a la forma del texto, creo que se perdió demasiado tiempo en persecuciones estériles y en pe
I'm not sure why this book receives such high praise around these parts. It's ok. It's a perfectly functional epic fantasy story, with a satisfying arc for the main character and an intriguing world. Why didn't I particularly like it, then?

I think my problem is similar to the one I had with another fantasy classic from the 70s/80s, The Chronicles of Amber. This series also focuses on descriptions of visions, rapidly changing surroundings etc. and is as confusing to read and chaotic in places, if
Ian Mathers
Mar 19, 2016 Ian Mathers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I think when I was younger I found the way the end of this one played out just a little deflationary, but now I think it's really amazing. I keep going back to the line from the previous book, "they were promised a man of peace", and what it's revealed to mean, in terms of who said it, who "they" were, who made the promise, and who it's said too. I apologize if these reviews have become just impossibly cryptic, but 1. I don't want to spoil any part of these really wonderful books for anyone 2. I ...more
Ryan Middlebrook
Mar 20, 2015 Ryan Middlebrook rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy readers, teenagers
Shelves: fantasy, series
The conclusion of the Riddle-Master series finds Morgon and Raederle struggling to find the mysterious High One and the reason for the war that has spread across the realm. The quests begins simply enough as they head for the ancient wizard’s city of Lungold. This book, like the other two, has almost all of its action take place on the way to destinations instead of at them. Morgon and his bride-to-be struggle on the journey and have their characters developed. They fall into traps, escape, get ...more
Jun 11, 2014 Onefinemess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
There's a lot to recommend about this book - and a lot to get nit picky about, if you have a hunger for nits. Maybe with salt.

The world has both the classic sense of ...whimsy (?) (that word kind of demands italics, doesn't it?) that you just don't see in fantasy anymore (or at least I haven't seen in years) paired with a sense of eternal foreboding (those pesky bad guys...always locked up, never killed) and some of the weird evasiveness that you see in modern works like the Malazan stuff - som
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Feb 19, 2012 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of High Fantasy
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: A Reader's Guide to Fantasy: Seven-League Shelf
This is the third and final part of the Riddle-Master Trilogy, and you should definitely read the two earlier books first, this is definitely no standalone, you should really think of it as one novel in three parts. The first book, The Riddle-Master of Hed belongs to the title character, Morgon of Hed, Riddle-master and Farmer-Prince who finds the most challenging riddle of all is his own identity and destiny. The next book is the story of Raederlie, Morgon's love who in Heir of Sea and Fire goe ...more
Vanora Rydel
One of my dearest friends suggested this trilogy, saying that it was fabulous and worth my time. She's an author and artist and every book she's suggested has been exactly what she told me to expect... and yet there is always an exception. I really wanted to enjoy these books, but I just couldn't. They do get better as the plot progresses, but the plot itself leaves something to be desired. Its hard for me to put into words what made me dislike this book, it could that my standards are high, but ...more
Paul Fergus
Oct 04, 2013 Paul Fergus rated it it was ok
Fabulous prose, but pretty substandard story.

The author really gains incredible command of their gift with words. At times the narrative dances through your brain from concept to concept as the main character uses their considerable magic power to understand nature. It really makes for some fine reading all by itself.

Unfortunately, the characters just don't seem to make a lot of internal sense most of the time. The plot drags, and even the action sequences seem to lack urgency. What's at stake a
Feb 24, 2016 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this whole trilogy over a few months, with some other books in between to clear my palate.

For years I've been reading bits of early fantasy from the likes of Robert E. Howard and Fritz Leiber but avoiding anything more modern than Tolkien except for Harry Potter and more magic-realist/literary stuff. I don't have a strong reason for this, but I guess I just find myself with low tolerance for people writing about trolls and dwarves post-Zeppelin and Sabbath. I have a friend's copy of Game
Stephanie Herron
With the Riddle-master trilogy just become available on kindle I re-read all three (The Riddle Master of Hed, Heir of Sea and Fire and Harpist in the Wind. I first read these books back in the 1970s and they, together with (inevitably) the Lord of the Rings, are largely responsible for my starting to read fantasy. It is now many years since I read these books as they are in storage in NZ while I work in Africa, so I was delighted to find them available as e-books and then even more delighted to ...more
Michael Farrell
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 08, 2016 Amelia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes fantasy
Recommended to Amelia by: Mary Brister
This is the final installment in the Riddle-Master trilogy. You really must read all three to get the whole story, of course. What I liked best was how the first book focused on the main male character and was told from his point of view and then the second was focused on the main female character and was told from her point of view. Then, it all comes together rather fantastically in the final book.

This is epic high fantasy with world building and very enjoyable. I hope to read more of the aut
Apr 09, 2016 Topher rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
About 3/4 of the way through this book, I had to go looking to see if I was wrong about it being a trilogy. Despite this being the longest book in the trilogy (I think), it felt very rushed, particularly towards the end. On the other hand, if that meant I got to stop reading about Morgon's whining, that really was going to be okay. So - all things being equal, I preferred this as the end of the series so I didn't feel like I was abandoning a story midway through.

Raederle was a far more interesti
Dec 28, 2015 Vendela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This trilogy, I swear. A brilliant conclusion and the last three pages are so beautiful I could hardly breathe.
Jun 03, 2016 Simona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good book - still Morgon's character didn't lose the annoyance that bothered me in the first book, "The Riddle-Master of Hed", namely his remarks every time he appears in the story that he has no idea what he's doing or why he's doing it. I would have supposed that after so many things have happened, even if the whole tangled mess didn't clear up a lot, that he would try and WANT to look for answers - somehow this attitude of "I have no idea who I'm supposed to be and I don't even want to k ...more
Jonah Kirk-moffett
I wish I could review this story for you.

But, quite simply, I cannot. It would be like trying to explain the feeling you get gazing up at a gnarled, ancient Oak; there's something indescribable about it, the sense of awe and wonder it inspires.

It's also not possible for me to think of these books singly. Most sagas are like sections of wall; the same base, but each unique, with its own nicks and broken pieces. This series is like the wind; separate, yes, but all part of one great roiling mass w
Kevan Dinn
Jun 24, 2016 Kevan Dinn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent classic fantasy from the 70s. Three things stood out for me:

1. The world building is terrific. Reminded me of Robert Jordan. A nice mix of hope and darkness, dead and living, seen and unseen. Nice variety.
2. None of the major characters are annoying. Some very likable characters and some detestable ones, but no wimpy ones (as is the case with some of the more celebrated authors). Good, solid characters who take their destinies in their hands.
3. The writing is very good, with a nice mix
Vote: 3,60
Class: L-A3 (FP)

(third and final book of the Riddle-Master Trilogy)

Well, from the beginning to almost the end I was often torn between putting it down or hoping it would get better, and... it didn't get better!
It's a good Fantasy Series but I was almost never caught by it and it's certainly not in the same league of the great classics of the High Fantasy.

The world (3,50) is a fantasy world well built but it lacks... normality: when more than half the people we meet are several centuri
This book starts with Morgon and Raederle at a loose end, with many places they should be going, and no real motive to go to them.

It ends with a proper epitaph: "Peace, tremulous, unexpected, sent a taproot out of nowhere into Morgon's heart". Why this should be unexpected is the mystery. If the dead children were promised a man of peace, it's only to be expected that he would find a way back to peace, however many scars he may acquire on the journey.

One hopes, indeed, that the (now perennially,
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Goodreads Librari...: original publication date 2 12 Mar 19, 2015 05:48PM  
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Patricia Anne McKillip is an American author of fantasy and science fiction novels, distinguished by lyrical, delicate prose and careful attention to detail and characterization. She is a past winner of the World Fantasy Award and Locus Award, and she lives in Oregon. Most of her recent novels have cover paintings by Kinuko Y. Craft. She is married to David Lunde, a poet.

According to Fantasy Book
More about Patricia A. McKillip...

Other Books in the Series

Riddle-Master (3 books)
  • The Riddle-Master of Hed (Riddle-Master, #1)
  • Heir of Sea and Fire (Riddle-Master, #2)

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“Night is not something to endure until dawn. It is an element, like wind or fire. Darkness is its own kingdom; it moves to its own laws, and many living things dwell in it.” 47 likes
“All I wanted, even when I hated you most, was some poor, barren, parched excuse to love you. But you only gave me riddles.” 18 likes
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