Thomas the Rhymer
By Ellen Kushner
(Spectra, Mass Market Paperback, 9780553586978, 304pp.)
Publication Date: June 1, 2004
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Award-winning author and radio personality Ellen Kushner’s inspired retelling of an ancient legend weaves myth and magic into a vivid
contemporary novel about the mysteries of the human heart. Brimming with ballads, riddles, and magical transformations, here is the timeless tale of a charismatic bard whose talents earn him a two-edged otherworldly gift.
A minstrel lives by his words, his tunes, and sometimes by his lies. But when the bold and gifted young Thomas the Rhymer awakens the desire of the powerful Queen of Elfland, he finds that words are not enough to keep him from his fate. As the Queen sweeps him far from the people he has known and loved into her realm of magic, opulence—and captivity—he learns at last what it is to be truly human. When he returns to his home with the Queen’s parting gift, his great task will be to seek out the girl he loved and wronged, and offer her at last the tongue that cannot lie.
Ellen Kushner grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, attended Bryn Mawr and Barnard Colleges, and has an A.B. from Columbia University. She started out after college working as a sf/f editor in New York City for Ace and then Pocket Books, but in 1987 found her way to public radio on WGBH 89.7fm in Boston, and has been on the air there ever since. In April 1996, PRI launched her new national, public radio series, Sound & Spirit, which explores the musical connections between myth and magic, folklore and literature, anthropology and history. She resides in Boston, MA.
“Elegant and cozy. Witty and wise. Innocent and sensuous and, at times, downright sexy. Kushner’s Thomas the Rhymer does it all.” —Jane Yolen
“A perfectly splendid story, splendidly told with great style and originality.”
“At once traditional and bold...Richly imagined scenes of Faerie, elegant and incongruous as the films of Cocteau.”
“Elegant and beautiful...a magical tour de force shot through with strange melodies. I loved it.”