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Song Quest (The Echorium Sequence, #1)
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Song Quest

(The Echorium Sequence #1)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  1,503 ratings  ·  63 reviews
The debut title in Katherine Roberts' thrilling new fantasy trilogy, The Echorium Sequence.

Welcome to a world from another time -- where legendary half-creatures still exist. A world where nature itself can be controlled by unearthly music. A world where the forces of good and evil are held in harmony by the Singers who have mastered the secret Songs of Power.
Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 1st 2002 by Chicken House (first published September 28th 1999)
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Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,503 ratings  ·  63 reviews

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Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, childrns, ya
Really original YA fantasy story. I originally read this maybe 20 years ago and absolutely loved it. I’d completely forgotten the story except that it had singers who could do clever things with their voices. As with many coming of age plots, the story starts at the Echorium, where Singers are trained. I’d forgotten about the wonderful quetzal, a rather wonderful and fantastical half creature. There are Merlee and evil priests too. I’m so glad I reread this. I plan to reread the rest of the tril ...more
I picked this up when I was about 9 or 10, and I immediately fell in love with it. I have all three of the books, and I don't think I'll ever get rid of them. The book just really stood out to me, the idea of the school, and the songs. Even now I can remember the beginning of the book in great detail, although I haven't read it for years - though writing this makes me feel like re-reading it.
Dec 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
Rialle has spent her whole life in the Echorium, learning to be a Singer. But after her ears distinguish a cry in the storm, she is appointed to a delegation leaving the island to talk to the mainlanders. The treaty that protects the Half Creatures like the merlee (mermaids) from being slaughtered is being broken, and the Singers intend to stop it. Kherron, another Singer in training, is also determined to get off the island, but his rebellion lands him in the middle of an international conflict ...more
Sammee (I Want to Read That)
May 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

This is one of those books I really wish I had read when I was younger. As an adult it’s a book I really enjoyed but as a child I would have absolutely treasured it.

I love Rialle from the get go. She came across as really caring and sweet, vulnerable yet strong and I really enjoyed spending time with her. I also adored Frenn - he was really kind and obviously cared a great deal for Rialle. I wasn’t sure how much I like Kherron in the beginning – but as the story
Mar 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I read this series while at school and I think must have annoyed the librarian very much by forever re-reading these as I really loved them and will probably end up buying them some day :)
Sarah Mansfield
Sep 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Ok. An interesting world but feels a little underdeveloped, especially the characters. I think in a way i would be better twice as long to flesh things out, though only that if well executed of course.
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
One of my favorites from my early teens. Love this book so much I would basically just read it all the time. I would finish and then read again.

I would love to do a reread soon.
Adrianna Scibor
I just remembered that I used to read and re-read this book as a kid! Don't ask me about the plot or the characters but I do remember the singer bits. The cover is what jogged my memory.
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
I may have enjoyed this if I read it when I was younger, but I'm not a fan. It's sad most of the way though. The world has potential but I just didn't like the story.
Mar 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: by-women
If I hadn't read this when I was younger I'd probably give it 2 stars, but it gets three because nostalgia. Wasn't exciting enough to warrant reading the second book, which is about new characters in a different time period.
Maia Moore
May 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Original review posted here

I feel like I should announce my bias towards this, as it's one I've loved since I first read it (probably about 14 years ago) and I've tried to read it with fresh eyes, but I know part of me is just loving revisiting that world that enchanted me so much as a child.

That said, I'm just going to gush and say I adored it all over again.

The fantasy world that Roberts introduces you to is well developed and just beautiful. Blue haired Singers wh
May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
As I started reading I will be honest and say I wasn’t convinced. From the first few pages I thought I wasn’t going to like it, but I persevered – and am so glad I did. After the first chapter, the story really picked up – and quickly. I flew through it, completing this in a matter of days.

The fantasy world is amazing, so intricate and detailed. There are mermaids, nasty villains, warriors and Singers with flowing blue locks. The concept of the novel is imaginative, like really imagi
4 stars

Book Series
Book 1 of The Exhorium Sequence trilogy.

Song Quest
On an island, children dye their hair blue and train to become singers. Singers have different types of songs that can change the emotional and physical state of the listener. There's a song for joy, and one for sadness. There's a song for healing, and one for dying. These songs are very powerful, and only the best will become singers. The ones who don't make it will become orderlies. Orderlies are second-class citizens./>/>
Even when i started reading about Rialle and Kherron i knew that i'd find the main characters boring and flat. The idea that Katherine Roberts had with the Singers and Merlees was interesting, and if written with the right characters i would definitely have enjoyed it a lot more. Firstly i'm not too sure if i think that having two main characters was the right decision, maybe it would have been better from just the perspective of Rialle. Secondly, Rialle. Her motives were so unclear that i was c ...more
N.A. Fedorak
Mar 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
I like the series, but:
a) They need to go into a bit more detail with the character's feelings/wy hey're doing what they are doing.
b) The female characters need to do more, rather than just sitting there.
c) The whole 'Rialle will be terrified of ever going in doors after a few weeks in prison' thing is unbelievable - it either needs to be more traumatic, or else she needs to be written as a character who is very emotional/mentally weak.
d) The whole 'skipping a generation' betw
Jul 07, 2013 rated it liked it
While I don't think this book really deserves the comparison one reviewer made to Le Guin, it's still a good young adult fantasy. It's rare in that male and female characters each have their chance to shine. I particularly liked the apparent transformation in Kherron's character. The half-creatures were interesting, especially since they were given their own specific skills and personality traits.

And the device underlying the plot -- that trained singers can affect others by singing
Jun 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. I liked how there were two POVs: Kherron's and Rialle's. The whole concept of Singers really intrigued me. I liked that there was a glossary in the back of the terms the author made up. I really connected with Rialle, and near the end of the book, Kherron. The merlees and the quetzals really fascinated me, as I think they were supposed to. I wanted to know more about them! (view spoiler) ...more
May 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone ages 8 and upwards.
Rediscovering this book in my collection had really given me a burst of nostalgia.

When I was younger, this book truly captivated my imagination. Every spare moment I would spend thinking of Rialle, how I would love to live as a Singer in the Echorium.

I recommend this to anybody ages 8 upwards, it is an imaginative and enthralling series [Crystal Mask, Dark Quetzal are the following books in the trilogy.]

The descriptions are detailed and fabulously creative. Gi
Lynette ~ Escaping Reality – One Book at a Time ~
Oh my goodness, I loved this book.
I don't know exactly how to describe this book... it just sorta, I don't know... drew you in, but not in the same way some other books do.

I really don't know how to describe this book, it was...simply amazing.

It pulled me in, but at the same time.. I wasn't THERE, like with some books, yet, I still couldn't put it down. I wasn't crying over semi-main deaths, yet I still was very, very, sad. I wasn't extremely happy with the ending,
Jul 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
Yes! I finally found this book. I remember my mom buying this book for me at a small bookstore in Bayfield, Ontario during the summer when I was in elementary or middle school. I COULD NOT remember for the life of me what this was called (give me a break, it was 14 years ago) but I am so happy I finally tracked it down. All I could remember was "children, island, masks, songs." I don't even remember why masks...

I LOVED THIS BOOK. Fantasy, school, action, adventure, it had it all. In
Kelsie Beaudoin (The Bookworm)
This is one of my very favorite fantasy books which borders between Middle School and YA. This is likely because singing has such a huge part in this book. I loved how there were different songs that did different things, so original, and so much fun to read!

Rialle and Kherron were both wonderful, interesting, developed characters. They were such a joy to read. I definitely will be reading the next book.
Anna del C. Dye
Nov 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
Interesting and entertaining. A great twist in a fantasy book. Young kids and young adult live in an island and never had venture out from there. They are trained in different things according to their abilities and talents. Some are healers other teachers and so on.
Life in the world become very interesting when a mankind kingdom is killing mermaid people and feeding it to their king. The king doesn't know it but instead it is poising him.
Good book.
May 22, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not a patch on anything by CS Lewis, Ursula Le Guin or Anne Macaffery
(or even 4 Children and It)
Why do they dye their hair blue and with what?
And how does it work on dark hair? or red?
And what about regrowth?
Not to mention that it's bad for their hair - it ruined the First Singer's......
Not good enough to make me want to read the rest of the series but I'm an adult - and read much better 'fantasy'as a child
Feb 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended.
Read this when I was really young and forgot about it. Remembered it years later and could only remember it was a fantasy, it started with an S, and I had a vague idea what the cover was like.
So, I went to my library's website and looked through pages of fantasy books until I found it again.
I never got into its sequels, will be trying them again at a later time, but I absolutely love this book.
Mar 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Rialle is not the most...energetic of protagonists, nor is Kherron the most likeable of characters, even in later books, but the premise of Song Quest is unique. These are humans, yet not humans that can do awesome things. There are half-creatures that many don't believe in, even though they themselves have awesome power and so it's kinda a learning and growing book for everyone.
Feb 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
I am not usually drawn to this type of book, however, this one captured my interest right away and it held my attention all the way through. I think there are several students in my 5th grade class that will enjoy this book. The characters are interesting and believable and the plot events are compelling.
Jan 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful book but possibly for junior high age- I can't remember the style only that I loved it. I would recommend it and number two in the sequence. Three left something to be desired from memory but it was still pretty good. Each book stands alone so you don't need to put aside a mountain of time for this trilogy.
Sandra Gerrits
Aug 04, 2015 rated it liked it
At times I really liked it but sone parts I found harder work. Those times I found that the story left me with too many Why questions or I missed the logic which I found distracted me from the story.
Feb 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I Loved this book when i read it, which was many years ago. I found it amazing as the world described seemed so interesting. I always found myself wanting to join the school, i dreamed of being a singer with a voice which could control emotions.
Mar 17, 2009 rated it liked it
This is just a good book, not great, not wonderful, but good. I enjoyed the story and the plot. Oddly enough i really liked that she had blue hair! i also really enjoyed the half-creatures; they were painted very clear and they played a very simple but important role in the story.
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I grew up in the south west of England and studied Mathematics at the University of Bath, writing fantasy books in my spare time. After graduating with 1st class honours (in maths, not fantasy writing!), I worked with computers for about 5 years before redundancy convinced me that working with horses might be healthier.

I spent ten years working in various horse racing yards, and kept o

Other books in the series

The Echorium Sequence (3 books)
  • The Crystal Mask (The Echorium Sequence, #2)
  • Dark Quetzal (The Echorium Sequence, #3)