Mythopoeic Fantasy Award nominee 2011.
Eager to graduate from the school on the hill, Phelan Cle chose Bone Plain, oft immortalized by poets and debated by scholars, for his final paper because he thought it would be an easy topic. It was commonly accepted – even at a school steeped in bardic tradition – that Bone Plain, with its three trials, three terrors, and three treasures, was nothing more than a legend, a metaphor. But as his research leads him to the life of Nairn, the Wandering Bard, the Unforgiven, Phelan starts to wonder if there are any easy answers...
Jonah Cle, Phelan's father, is also hunting through time. When he's not lost to drink, Jonah leads digging expeditions around the city, piecing history together from forgotten trinkets. His most eager disciple is Princess Beatrice, the king's youngest daughter, who loves getting into adventures outside the castle. And when they unearth a disk marked with ancient runes, Beatrice feels compelled to pursue the secrets of a lost language that she suddenly notices all around her, hidden in plain sight.
Patricia Anne McKillip (born 1948) is an American author, distinguished by lyrical, delicate prose and careful attention to detail and characterization. She is a winner of the World Fantasy Award (The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, 1975, Ombria in Shadow, 2003) and Mythopoeic Award (Ombria in Shadow). Most of her recent novels have cover paintings by Kinuko Y. Craft. She is married to a poet David Lunde and lives in Oregon.