Thomas the Rhymer
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Thomas the Rhymer

by Ellen Kushner
Release date: 1990
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: fantasy
Tags: mythopoeic awards, world fantasy award

World Fantasy Award 1991, Mythopoeic Fantasy Award 1991, Tähtifantasia Award 2009.

Kinuko Y. Craft's original painting.

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.

(updated 2017-01-18)

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