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Heir of Sea and Fire (Riddle-Master #2)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  6,347 Ratings  ·  151 Reviews
By the vow of her father and her own desire, Raederle was pledged to Morgon, Riddle-Master of Hed. But a year had passed since Morgon disappeared on his search for the High One at Erlenstar Mountain, and rumors claimed he was dead.
Raederle set out to learn the truth for herself, though her small gift of magic seemed too slight for the perils she must face. The quest led th
Unknown Binding, 204 pages
Published January 1st 1977 by Atheneum
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Sep 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
McKillip pulled off a real coup with this book. The first one was told from the typical male hero POV & it was excellent. Instead of keeping that same POV, she switches to another character, a strong woman at that. Fantastic, especially given the time. Off hand, I can't think of another trilogy that did this & certainly not so well. It allows her to fill in the world & develop characters that rounds everything out. It also puts a real point on the love interest & drives it in dee ...more
I picked this one up as part of my reading project for this year. I'm really trying to read more books written by ladies pre-2000 in SFF. This definitely fit the bill, but unfortunately it didn't grip me anywhere near as much as I had hoped for...

This follows on from the story of Morgon, Prince of Hed, by instead following his lady love, Raederle. She is the second-most-beautiful lady in the world and she's also a fairly intelligent and progressive young lady who's not just going to sit and wai
Apr 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The ‘Heir of Sea and Fire’ is perhaps my favorite fantasy book of all. (‘The Forgotten Beasts of Eld’ is serious competition for title.) It is a little unusual for the second book of a trilogy to be the strongest, but that is the case here. I found the book richer, faster paced, and more vivid than the first book in the trilogy (or the third). It takes your deeper into the world and shows you more of its secrets—and its bones.

Then there is Raederle (“the second most beautiful woman of An”), sur
Aug 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
So, two quotes. One from Faulkner (a famous one): "The past is never dead. It isn't even past." In The Riddle-Master of Hed, Morgon is dragged out of his comfort zone and into the realization that the ancient riddles he studied at the School of Riddle-Mastery in Caithnard are not just riddles. They are truths of a former present that now simmers beneath the surface of everything he thought he knew about the High One's realm. In this second book of the trilogy, Raederle, Morgon's "betrothed," lea ...more
Abigail Hartman
Jun 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Abigail by: Jennifer Freitag
Shelves: fantasy
These books have such ridiculously cheesy covers. Also, had the person who wrote the back cover copy even read the book? It combined spoilers with inaccuracy in a way marvelous to behold.

Anyway, if "second book blues" exist, I don't think Heir of Sea and Fire had them. In fact I'm pretty sure I enjoyed this one more than the first book: the writing seemed less choppy and I noticed less head-hopping, both of which were pleasant to me; also, the plot has thickened considerably, and while there is
Jan 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More of a 4.5 than a 4 (out of five). McKillip's writing, I believe, improved since "The Riddlemaster of Hed," though also did some small part of the mysteriousness. One of the brilliant aspects of the first part of the trilogy, for me, was the acuteness that McKillip's writing found in the abstract and the wordless and although this novel got at some very interesting aspects of the world, I don't think it was as effective as the original. Still, Raederle came out to be a very interesting charac ...more
I think I liked this more than the first, but ohhh, I did think I'd like this trilogy more and I'm sad I don't. The writing isn't quite clicking and I feel like some of the story telling is too subtle for me, like I'm missing stuff. (view spoiler)
Jul 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was better than the first book. I liked the second half of it more than the first half. There were some good quotes toward the end.
Heir of Sea and Fire by Patricia A. McKillip is the second book in the Riddle-Master trilogy. Just as the first book is the story of Morgon and his path to self-discovery, this book is the story of Raederle of An, the second most beautiful woman of the Three Portions of An.

A year has elapsed from the events of The Riddle-Master of Hed. Morgon, along with the High One’s harpist, has disappeared after leaving Danan Isig’s house. Because Morgon has not come to claim Raederle as his wife, other lor
Robert Beveridge
Patricia A. McKillip, Heir of Sea and Fire (Ace, 1977)

McKillip's follow-up to The Riddle-Master of Hed somewhat surprisingly avoid the middle-novel-of-the-trilogy doldrums, which is a welcome change from most fantasy trilogies, and it does so in a somewhat novel way; rather than continuing on with the story of Morgon, the hero of the first novel, McKillip focuses on Raederle, Princess of An and Morgon's betrothed, who sets out to find out what happened to Morgon at the end of the first book. (As
Amanda Kespohl
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I'm on book three right now and so far, I love these books beyond reason. I want to pull each of the characters out of the pages and hug them, then release them to go back about their business. This world is so beautiful and complex and rich that I could not stop turning the pages, even though I never wanted the books to end.

I'll do a more detailed write-up once I'm done with book three, but honestly, it would take a mighty plot catastrophe to make me change my opinion now. Basically, to make m
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
Sheryl Tribble
A friend of mine in high school loaned me The Riddle Master of Hed, which I devoured rapidly and then demanded he loan me the next one. Heir of Sea and Fire also ended on a cliff hanger, and when I demanded the third, my friend blithely replied, "It isn't out yet. I needed someone else to suffer with me."

I Was Enraged. Then I pulled the same stunt on my sister, because I am evil.

Finishing it this time, my response was more a puzzled, "Huh. That isn't much of a cliffhanger." Different ages, diff
Jun 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not the page-turner that the previous one (The Riddle-Master of Hed) has been, but still full of poetry and charm, interesting characters (if slightly annoying), twists, mystery. As usual, the middle book in a trilogy cannot hold as much mystery and excitement as the first, and neither can it offer resolution to any existent situation - it is like a link between the first and the third. This one is no exception, but for the many extra elements added to the story. All the same, it's very good fan ...more
Julia Hendon
I enjoyed this second book in the trilogy much less than the first. The pacing and plotting seemed slack with a lot of dithering by the main characters, three women connected to the central figure in the series, Morgon. However, my reaction also reflects my disappointment with the narrator of the audiobook. I guess because the protagonists are women, the decision was made to switch to a female reader. She mispronounced names and was also inconsistent in how she said them. Her efforts to distingu ...more
Umbes sama köitev kui esimene, ehkki tore oli see, et esimese raamatu kangelane jäetakse suuremalt jaolt kõrvale ja tema õde, võimalik mõrsja ja wannabe-ihukaitsja lähevad ise teda taga otsima, kõik teismelised plikad ja väga hakkajad - esimeses raamatus punnis kangelane seiklustele väga vastu ja ähvardas vähemalt kord peatykis kõik sinnapaika jätta ja minna koju kartuleid kasvatama.
Carol Colfer
It should have been one I'd like, but I found the characters confusing, and was never entirely clear what had happened in the book. Maybe too fantastical for me?
Josh Forbes
This book accomplishes a really fun switcheroo in changing the POV from the hero-in-training from the first book, Morgon, to the damsel-in-wait, Raederle. She is a lot of fun. She's plucky, resourceful, and refreshingly modern in the face of the antiquated patriarchy. She was betrothed to Morgon in the first book because of a bet, essentially, but McKillip smartly course corrects and makes their bond more one of shared destiny than arranged marriage.

These books are quite short and yet still fin
Book two in the Riddle-Master trilogy. Strong, as the first, starting one year after we left Morgan at the end of the first book. Interesting in that we get to follow what is going on in the land and with its people while Morgan's away; specifically we follow Raederle, the woman Morgan is to marry. As others, she sets off to search for Morgan, discovering her own powers and some surprising information about her ancestors along her journey.

Good story that ends strong, with good excitement, more q
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The book was short, but kept my interest throughout. It didn't spend much time recapping the first book, which was both good and bad. The new characters were interesting and stood up on their own. A quick enjoyable read.
May 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Liked it well enough. Think if I'd read it when I was 12, I would have thought it amazing. Oh well.
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Slightly better than the first, but still relies too much on elaborate descriptions and too little story development.
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
wow! fantastic second book of a trilogy. I loved all the lady power and grouping up and fellowship. this was even better than book 1!
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Audrey by: Beth, Quark
I'll try to do a more thorough review of this volume, but it's still highly subjective and less for others to get a sense of the book and more for me to have a record of what I thought upon reading it for the first time.

I'll caution you against spoilers in this review. If you haven't read the book, you may want to skip over it.

With that out of the way, I loved it. One of the main reasons I loved it? Raederle

From the first or second page, I loved her. I can't even say exactly what it was, but m
Jim Barnabee
Good stuff. More Fantasy.
Mar 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Raederle of An receives some distressing news, she sets out on a quest that will take her far from home and back again. Along the way, she learns many things about her own power, where it comes from and what it can do.

While I appreciated many things about this book, including its many strong female characters, I never found it particularly compelling. I also found more of the dreamy abstraction that I associate with McKillip's writing in this book, which made for slow going when I hit those
The character of Raederle of An is not very well fleshed out in the first volume of this trilogy. She's seen in people's memories, mostly as a hopelessly romanticized object of desire, a sort of princess on a hill of glass type.

That's remedied in this volume almost from the first line: "In Spring, three things came inevitably to the house of the King of An: the first shipment of Herun wine, the Lords of the Three Portions for the Spring Council, and an argument."

It's not amazing that Raederle w
I read this immediately following Riddle-Master of Hed, which makes sense as it's a sequel. Instead of continuing to follow the main character (Morgon) from Riddle-Master, we instead get the adventure continuing with three female leads, which was a nice departure. A year after Riddle-Master ended, this story picks up with something having happened to Morgon, but nobody knows what. The girls are tired of sitting at home and waiting, so off they go to find out Morgon's fate. The girls in question ...more
Superbly written sequel to "Riddle Master of Hed".

The narrative is suspenseful and clever, and the reader is quickly immersed in a sweeping saga filled with love, uncertainty, betrayal and suspense. And, of course, lots of riddles (though not in the silly rhyming manner that we are accustomed to).
Matthew Galloway
Sometimes I have to leave modern fantasy behind for a bit and lose myself in an older one -- where things are sometimes simpler, usually less concerned with overt "realness" of experience and yet, despite that, speak to real life more powerfully anyway. Yes, much of the danger in the book has more to do with emotion or identity and other internal struggles than all the blood and gore and sudden shocking character deaths of many popular modern fantasies, but it means a lot more to me. I think mos ...more
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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)
  • Harpist in the Wind (Riddle-Master, #3)

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