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Title: The Cygnet and the Firebird
Series: Cygnet #2
Author: Patricia McKillip
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Format: Digital Edition
Taking place 2 weeks after the Sorceress and the Cygnet, we follow the continued adventures of Nyx Ro and Meguet Mervaine.
A magician invades Ro Holding looking for a hidden key of Chrisom’s. Nyx and Meguet foil him. At the same time a magical firebird that turns everything to jewels and gold with its cry comes to Ro Hold. Nyx figures out it is an ensorcelled young man and in her studies he, she and Meguet all go to the land of Saphier. Where the first magician lives as well.
Saphier is ruled by the son of a magician and a dragon and he, Draken, wants ALL THE POWER. And he wants Ro Hold. It is up to Brand (the ensorcelled young man, who happens to be Draken’s son), Nyx, Meguet and Rad (the first magician) to put a stop to Draken’s quest to conquer all of time and space.
The dragons solve it all because the humans are annoying them.
SO MUCH BETTER THAN The Sorceress and the Cygnet. There is no Corleu. In fact, there are no stupid characters; confused, unsure and discombobulated characters, but not an idiot in sight! And that pushed this book right into traditional McKillip territory. Beautifully worded phrases, symbols and pictures with much deeper meanings, lyrical prose that you have to follow like a song. It was everything that I like about McKillip.
I found this more polished, more lyrical and more fantastical than Sorceress. Sorceress was a rough fairytale told by farmers after a tough season of haying. Firebird felt more like a courtly bard singing a story before the entire court. Obviously, with me being King Bookstooge, I prefer the latter.
I was glad to have read the duology so close together. I’m not sure I would have enjoyed Firebird so much if I didn’t have the immediate taste of Sorceress still on my mental tongue.
This, along with Austen, is the kind of romance that not only can I stand but actively enjoy. It is understated but powerful, much like a current in a river. Too many authors rely on the rapids of the river for their romances and it always upsets my literary canoe and tosses me into the drink. I don’t like that. But this, this is like gliding down the Mississippi on a shady day. You can’t ask for much better.