Mary-Beth's Reviews > The Innkeeper's Song

The Innkeeper's Song by Peter S. Beagle
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's review
Oct 02, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, fiction

In comparison to The Last Unicorn, what a departure. I wasn't even sure I liked it at first. It might start a bit slowly with all of the switches in perspective, not something I look for in a novel. Ultimately, Beagle did a masterful job at balancing the narratives and eventually I quite enjoyed this tale. Beagle has done the kind of world building I enjoy - that is, the kind that doesn't thwack you over the head like a giant mallet, but builds slowly throughout the novel.

The complexity that Beagle is capable of in characterization is not limited to the main character, but also extends to Karsh, the innkeeper, who wasn't nearly as central to the narrative. The magic was suitably twisty and strange, so it felt really otherworldly. I liked the magician without a name a great deal. He wasn't at all your typical wizard in any sort of way. He was a very ambiguous and unusual character.

The relationships were likewise twisty and unresolved. Maybe that won't be appreciated by some people, but I happen to enjoy ambiguity to some extent. I already knew that I liked Beagle, but I think I'll definitely be searching out more of his books.

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