The Riddle-Master's Game

Patricia A. McKillip
The Riddle-Master's Game Cover

The Riddle-Master's Game


The Riddle-Master's Game is an omnibus of the Riddle-Master trilogy, containing The Riddle-Master of Hed, The Heir of Sea and Fire and Harpist in the Wind.

I've already reviewed the first book separately, and I think the second and third books lack some of the impact simply because the world and the tone have already been established. It looks like a regular epic fantasy series - it even has a map - but it feels very different indeed.

The only reference points I could really come up with were Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea and Jack Vance's Lyonesse. This is a world where very odd things happen and it seems completely natural to the inhabitants. The limits and form of magic are not very clear. Sometimes the language of the telling is not so clear, either, and that helps make the magic more magical. Hardly anything is resolved by violence.

It really is an unusual take on the tropes of fantasy, and I'm very glad I picked it up (following a positive notice from another Worlds Without End member). I've given it 4/5.