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Hero's Song

(The Songs of Eirren #1)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  1,656 ratings  ·  103 reviews
Collun has always been happiest working in his garden. But his peaceful life is shattered when his sister, Nessa, mysteriously disappears. He sets off to find her and soon realizes that he and his traveling companions, including the feisty young archer Breo-Saight, have become involved in something much larger and more sinister than he had imagined.
Paperback, 348 pages
Published September 1st 2005 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published November 15th 1991)
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LobsterQuadrille It's probably considered a middle-grade or young adult book since it does have some violence (the characters have to fight monsters and other villains…moreIt's probably considered a middle-grade or young adult book since it does have some violence (the characters have to fight monsters and other villains). One or two mild swear words too, but I don't think there's anything blatantly inappropriate for older kids. I'd say it's best for about ages 12 and up.(less)

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Average rating 3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,656 ratings  ·  103 reviews

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Aug 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fantasy fans
This is not Edith Pattou's best work ever but you still need to read it in order to fully apreciate the next book, Fire Arrow, which is just flat out spectacular.
This is the story of a boy named Collun who desperately needs to get over his cowardice in order to save his kidnapped sister from who knows what? As he journy's to find her he troups up with a wizard out to help, a fenale archer with a firey disposition and a thing for revenge, an old witty friend, and a mysterious elf like fellow w
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
I picked up this book and the sequel a long time ago because I absolutely loved East. This was definitely disappointing in comparison. (I'm still going to read the sequel because I hear it's better, but let's just say things improved between 1991 and 2003).

This book is definitely aimed at kids, and there's really not much there for adults. It reads like an outline that was filled in hastily and then never edited. Even kids probably wouldn't like it unless they've never read a quest story before
Aug 24, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kids who want something Prydain-esque
Since the East duology was so good, I thought I should try something else by Edith Pattou, and Hero's Song seemed promising. For me it didn't live up to the admittedly very high bar set by East, but it's still a good high fantasy adventure.

The world of Hero's Song reminded me of Lloyd Alexander's Prydain, partly because of the many Welsh-derived names, and a couple of plot elements, (view spoiler)
Jul 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Revisiting a staple from my childhood. It's pretty good, but the final confrontation is super rushed, and the book meanders quite a bit before it gets there. Nothing too in-depth, but this is aimed at middle grade readers. I remember liking the sequel better, we'll see how that holds up. ...more
Apr 02, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5.....this was a good adventure story. Im curious to see where it goes from here.
Mar 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Edith Pattou was written wonderful books from East to Hero's Song. I kind of expected this book to become an book that I would have liked to read over and over. Despite the fact it was a little run on exspecially with the main character. I thought this book would be like East where there would be diferent characters thoughts in each chapter or so. ...more
Ally B. 6
Oct 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Hero's Song by Edith Pattou is a Fantasy novel about a boy named Collun and his sister. Collun sister who's name is Nessa, decides to visit her Aunt in a place called Temair. While there, Nessa is kidnapped and Collun decides that it is his duty to go find her. Before he leaves, he gets some interesting advice from his mother, Emer, and heeds it with caution and suspicion of what is really going on. As Collun journeys to find his missing sister, he comes by some strange things and figures out wh ...more
Silver Petticoat

Review by Clarissa Hadge

Overall Rating = 5; Romance Rating = 3

There are brief romantic notes between Collun and Brie, but there is a romantic and folktale-like quality to the novel. This is certainly an adventure story, and a definite page-turner, especially in the second half of the book! Hero’s Song was one of my favorites as teen, and is just as appealing as an adult!


Jun 13, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was genuinely a young adult adventure with a gentle, reserved and thoughtful hero that relied on his friends and companions on his journey/quest. There were no incidents of restless adolescent angst or duplicity that messed up the companionship and no dark family dynamics. So refreshing! I think for these reasons alone it's worth reading, even aside from the quest and interesting world building. The story reminded me at times of other more traditional quest stories - like the Wizard of Eart ...more
Jul 19, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emma Rose Ribbons
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
That was absolutely gorgeous. There's a passage in this that made me weep and weep and weep. When all seems lost, Brie asks Collun, a gardener at heart, to describe to her the garden of his dreams. His words are so simple, so deeply moving and beautiful it hit me then that they aren't enough tales that talk of rewards. This passage, to me, was about what's to be gained by fighting. And in the end, the answer is heartbreakingly simple - beauty, love and peace. I loved this so very much and can't ...more
Kenzie Barnett
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good book with an interesting story. The added "new" language makes it very cool and engaging as you are transported along with the characters on their far reaching quest. It incorporates reimagined history and storytelling in a nice human twist as one becomes very close to the characters and sees how they deal with what confronts them, in an interesting fantasy tale. ...more
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved the writing style of the author, I felt in a way like I was the character, I knew as much as he did and felt as he did. I also liked that he wasn't the classic brace hero, but that he had to earn his courage by doing things that terrified him! Somewhat relatable and inspiring. And the characters are all super lovable. ...more
Bettina Schempf
Jun 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Found it in my neighborhood library and really enjoyed the read. Well developed historical novel with varied character and plot that held my attention and wanted me to get back. Vivid language and imagery.
Apr 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Just what I needed. A classic quest! I really, really enjoyed this book, even a bit more than 'East'. I thought the writing was solid ad well-paced and enjoyed the character development. I cant wait to read 'Fire Arrow' next! ...more
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
Well, I started "Hero's Song" after long last, since I read the second one first a few year's ago and enjoyed it. So now that I remember little about the sequel, I picked up the first to begin anew.

Yikes. "Hero's Song" is painfully typical stuff. Collun is a young boy (of course) living on a secluded farm (naturally) who doesn't enjoy fighting but would prefer to stay at home, tending his garden and being rather nondescript. But there are secrets in his family that are pretty obvious to the read
Jun 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Cullen is a farmer, the son of a blacksmith, but when news comes that his sister is missing, he sets off on a journey to rescue her. Accompanied by his friend, Talisen, and several other unusual companions, he ventures forth---to find the real story is stranger and more convoluted than he might have guessed. The creatures of Scath hunt after him, and more than his sister's life is at stake.

I'm continuing to work my way through the backlog of great books I haven't read in at least a decade. This
Lynae Herndon
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The pinnacle of a man in any fiction book is his courage, his bravery to overcome some great evil, and slay a dragon. Edith Pattou's "Hero's Song" is not like other fiction books, it's realistic (to a degree). Collun, the main character, is human, and his emotions are as well. He would be perfectly fine living his life as a farmer, than have to play knight-in-shining-armor. Every page was packed full of regular, human emotions, Collun was terrified to fight his dragon, and he wasn't so sure he w ...more
King Haddock
Dec 12, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hero's Song is Edith Pattou's first novel, and although she's an amateur story teller Hero's Song has a compelling story line and love able characters. Collun the main character is at the beginning a coward but he's driven forward by the love for his sister who has gone missing. His gang is also an interesting group. Some of them are stock characters and are slightly flat, but he novel is good for a first attempt. I would recommend this novel for young adults ages 12-16. As far as censorship goe ...more
Isana Skeete
Sep 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
I like this book it is interesting and good and makes me feel confident in my own writing? This is because it's not overly amazingly written like some other books that blow you away by how the author weaves language. But that doesn't take away from the story in anyway. It was still a good exciting quest. It was also not exceptionally heartwrenching which was good. You knew good would prevail and it does. Though things feel a bit anticlimactic at times, things pick up a lot in the second half and ...more
Dec 12, 2010 rated it it was ok
Eh. While there were a few things I enjoyed about Hero's Song (Collun's love of gardening and knowledge of herb lore, Brie, the mystery behind Collun's weird family), for the most part I found it...uninteresting. It's a very typical journey/quest fantasy story, but not a particularly well done one. The main word that comes to mind here is clumsy. The dialogue is stiff, and the characters don't feel fully-formed, and it seems like things fall into place too easily at times, or are just too obviou ...more
Dec 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
I liked Hero's Song very much. It is an easy-paced, Irish fantasy, full of fairytale elements. The hero, Collun, is not your ordinary young man - he's gentle, wise, and though he thinking himself a coward, his courage runs deep. (view spoiler) ...more
Deanna Drai Turner
Mar 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
A fun read. Best written? no. A pleasurable fun fast journey? yes. What i liked best about this book was the various types of monsters we were introduced too and also the fact that the author used names and "persona" of several Irish Legendary Characters...she kept their architypes, but did not limit their contribution in this story to just their known myth. She had them act as HER characters behaving how they likely would behave based on what we think we know about them. This was fun for me, ha ...more
Mar 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
During his journey to rescue his sister who has been kidnapped by Bricriu, a spy for the Queen of Ghosts, Collun begins to unravel a past of mysteries that ultimately lead to him saving his home, the kingdom of Eirren. Edith Pattou adopts fantasy elements likened to the that of J.R.R. Tolkein as the world of Eirren is broken into various races with various abilities such as Ellyl and Morgs. As the reader encounters all these elements they are transported to Eirren and develop connections to the ...more
Beth Cato
Apr 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
This book for middle-graders probably would have appealed greatly to me at age 11, but I could never quite get into it. It felt like Hero's Song did its utmost to hit every fantasy cliche down to the cast: the humble gardener, the tomboy archer, the bard, the elf, the old wizard as the mentor, the bad guys who are absolute evil without any nuances. It felt like it was trying to be Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles, but without that charm and sparkle. The plot is also predictable, and I think ...more
Jun 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who wants another world to fall into for a while
Shelves: fantasy
I like the world this book created, with new words and plants and creatures. It was easy to get lost in it and follow the story. There were surprises, some, well... surprising! And some less so. But all good. I really liked the characters and how they interacted and were developed. The ending was a little sudden, but it seemed real, like the book was just a snatch of life, and it had been happening before the book began, and would continue happening after the book finished, even without someone ...more
Becca Kirkman
Jun 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a great heroic story. I really enjoyed the sense of adventure and epic journey feeling. It similar to Lord of the Rings storyline, and there was similarities between the two stories. Unlikely hero, a fellowship, mystical monsters, epic battle scene, etc. The only thing I did not like, was the writer used made up words that were part of that world, but not ours. She didn't explain them or use context where I could understand, which made me feel lost sometimes.
Overall I liked the book, an
Mar 17, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction-ya, fantasy, magic
This was a pure escape read for me. Nothing too heavy or brain consuming. It seemed to have a few Tolkienesque elements, which at times were a little annoying, but I learned to overlook it. It took me a little time before I cared much about the characters, and although I did not love the book at the beginning, I did find myself enjoying it by the end. I think at some point I will finish the series.
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What's the Name o...: Fantasy book from past [s] 8 171 Dec 15, 2012 03:03PM  

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Edith Pattou is the author of several fantasy novels, including East, an ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults. She is a graduate of the Francis W. Parker School, Scripps College (B.A., English), Claremont Graduate School (M.A., English) and UCLA (M.L.I.S.). She is married to Charles Emery, a professor of psychology at The Ohio State University. They have one child, a daughter.

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Other books in the series

The Songs of Eirren (2 books)
  • Fire Arrow (The Songs of Eirren, #2)

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