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Thomas the Rhymer
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About the Author

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.

Reviews

Thomas the Rhymer's carefree life as a wandering minstrel changes forever when a fateful encounter with the Queen of Elfland takes him from the world for seven years, returning him unmarked by age and gifted with the inability to lie. The author of Swordspoint brings the freshness of her storytelling talent to this ballad-inspired tale of a man's brush with immortality and its inescapable legacy. This graceful medieval fantasy is highly recommended and may have appeal to nongenre readers.

Based on the famous ballad of the medieval minstrel who was abducted by the Queen of Elfland, this romantic fantasy is a happy blend of discreet scholarship and literary style. A Boston-based radio producer, Kushner ( Swordspoint ) is at ease in Middle-Earth where Thomas, insouciant harper and rhymer, appears at the humble dwelling of a weathered crofter and his wife. Dazzling them with stories of the king's court, the damsels he's won and the sights he's seen, he also enthralls young Elspeth, a neighbor. Their mutual attraction is frustrated when Thomas suddenly disappears, and for seven years is held captive by the silken Queen of Elfland, who releases him with a questionable gift, the inability to speak anything but the truth. As Thomas renews his earthly life with Elspeth, the gift leads to interesting complications. Kushner creates a lavish microcosm where riddles and runes and magical transformations govern. (Apr.)

"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."
--Anne McCaffrey "At once traditional and bold...Richly imagined scenes of Faerie, elegant and incongruous as the films of Cocteau."
--Locus "Elegant and beautiful...a magical tour de force shot through with strange melodies. I loved it."
--Neil Gaiman

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