Gaijinmama's Reviews > Rhapsody: Child of Blood

Rhapsody by Elizabeth Haydon
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Feb 19, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: fiction, favorites

I've been addicted to the fantasy genre since before I could read chapter books by myself. Rhapsody is the sort of book that still keeps my attention even though I've passed my 40th birthday, enough that I am now on my fourth re-read.
I don't want to spoil the story for you, but the elements that hold my interest, in no particular order, are:
a butt-kicking female protagonist, weird creatures with a nasty, sarcastic sense of humor that would give Hugh Laurie's Dr. House a run for his money, time travel, magic, and a gorgeous, mysterious man who happens to be part dragon. Most importantly, however, is the fact that Haydon is a writer who can actually write! I'm an English teacher by training, and have a very low tolerance for lousy writing.
One warning. Haydon doesn't focus on the horrific, but she doesn't shy away from the dark side. I am not especially squeamish (I read vampire stories and murder mysteries
when I'm not reading fantasy or SF), but Rhapsody and every other book in the series has at least one passage that I found hard to handle. Again, horror isn't a major part of the story, but when Haydon does gross-and-scary, she **REALLY** does gross and scary. She doesn't emphasize or glory in it, but she does describe torture and abuse in a direct, graphic way that still gives me a few days of nightmares even though I've read this series several times. For this reason, I would be reluctant to recommend this series to a child younger than 15 or 16.

Next, I'll describe Haydon's dragons in a bit more detail, since they are so darned cool! Dragons in Haydon's world are not romanticized. They are as complex as all her other characters. In this first volume of the series, one dragon is the still-living stuff of legend. We don't actually get to meet her yet, but by the end of the book we know we're going to. The other dragon, whom we not only meet but get to see the world with his eyes, is actually inside a character who has a human form. This dual nature is a "source of constant struggle"(p. 435), a split-personality voice in his head that must be kept under control. It is sometimes humorous; for example, the dragon wants to count every peppercorn in the marketplace and sort them by colors. It is also sensual and exciting, as when the dragon "tastes" the object of its fascination and takes in every minute detail of her being, before she is even aware of it.

I love this series enough to be re-reading it for the fourth time. I promise: this book, and the other 5 books of the series, will not disappoint.
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Quotes Gaijinmama Liked

Elizabeth Haydon
“Second, and far more important: tuck your chin. You're going to get hurt, so expect it and be ready. You may as well see it coming.”
Elizabeth Haydon, Rhapsody: Child of Blood


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