Jennifer's Reviews > Song for the Basilisk

Song for the Basilisk by Patricia A. McKillip
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's review
Aug 17, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: patricia-mckillip

What an unexpected ending! I will have to re-read it sometime, and look for the signs of it.

I enjoyed this book over-all. It is full of McKillip's usual candy -- poetic prose, colorful imagery, fascinating and intriguing characters who draw you in, feral and fay magics that have a life of their own, a smattering of comforting details of daily life. It was slow to start, but once it got going, the intrigue and carefully woven paths of the different characters really drew me in and I could barely put it down. The beginning scenes felt very obscure to me, but as the book progresses and Rook confronts his memories, the picture of what happened becomes more clear. It was interesting to follow a protagonist who has unconsciously repressed memories in order to cope with PTSD.

It was refreshing to have the main protagonist have a not-so-perfect love life (to avoid spoiling it), and to have him aged to be 40-something and father to a teenage boy by the time the real action really begins.

The ending, like I mentioned earlier, was completely unexpected. I'd been preparing myself for a certain type of ending...what actually happened had never entered my head as a possibility. It was fun to see such an unconventional ending, and I think McKillip made it work well. It seemed to come out of nowhere, but I'm sure if I go back for another reread some day, I'll find little clues hidden in the build-up.

Song for the Basilisk earns a spot on my bookshelf, and I'll be happy to lose myself in it again in the future.

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Reading Progress

August 17, 2010 – Started Reading
August 17, 2010 – Shelved
August 17, 2010 –
page 26
August 18, 2010 –
page 44
August 19, 2010 –
page 79
August 19, 2010 –
page 143
August 20, 2010 –
page 263
82.19% "This book was slow to start, but I could barely tear myself away from it last night at bedtime. It's also fun to have the main protagonist grown to be a 40-something essentially-divorced father of a teenager. In a fantasy world!"
August 21, 2010 –
page 273
August 21, 2010 – Shelved as: patricia-mckillip
August 21, 2010 – Finished Reading

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