Series: Symphony of Ages #1
Published: 2000 by Tor
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I had been meaning to buy this book for a while, and finally did this weekend. The back cover looked interesting, and I have a weakness for books where music and art play a key role.
I really enjoyed the book once I got past the prologue, which in the case of this book is called an Overture. The Overture contained one of the most ridiculous sex scenes that I’ve ever read. Hint: If both parties are crying the entire time, they’re doing it wrong.
The book tells the story of Rhapsody, a former prostitute turned powerful Singer who is being hunted down by a deranged and perverted former client. While escaping his henchmen, Rhapsody is rescued by two giants, one of whom she renames in the process. As names have tremendous power, and Singers have the power of Naming, Rhapsody’s renaming the giant to “Achmed the Snake” freed him from his previous enslavement to the demon F’dor. The giants kidnap Rhapsody, leading her on an epic journey spanning both time and space, and the Three become a family and a formidable fighting force.
Haydon has a sense of humor that is present throughout the novel. There were several parts in the story that made me laugh. Although at times Haydon does follow various fantasy conventions, at others she comes up with some intriguing ideas.
While glancing at some other online reviews, it seems as if many readers thought that Rhapsody was too much of a Mary Sue. I really didn’t think so, considering that for half the journey she reminded me of a toddler saying, “Are we there yet?” That, and random episodes of emotionalism made her seem balanced enough as a character. I preferred Achmed’s standoffish ninja-like character and the warm-hearted giant Gunthor to Rhapsody herself. Even so, I think that she does make a strong female lead.
This novel is the first in a trilogy. I plan on continuing to read the next two books, which I purchased last night. I’m beginning to think that I have a serious book addiction problem.