Review of Kingfisher, by Patricia A. McKillip


by Patricia A. Mc.Killip

Ace Books, New York, 2016. 346 pages.

This fantasy tale begins with a young adult named Pierce who is ready to leave his sorceress mother, ready to go to the capital city and find his father, a knight. It’s also about an illegitimate prince looking for his own heritage, a chef who takes on a job her shapechanging father is opposed to, another chef who makes beautiful food that is tantalyzing but tasteless, and a princess who’s worried about her half-brother.

The fantasy world is interesting — with modern things like cars and cellphones, but a magical realm with gods and goddesses competing for power.

The unifying theme is a quest for an object of great power. No one knows where it is or what it will look like, but their heart will know it when they see it.

Along the way secrets are uncovered and there are battles between good and evil.

This is the kind of fantasy I find a little bit annoying. It’s beautifully written and evocative — but I never feel like I actually know quite what is going on or exactly how the magic works or what just happened.

I’m still glad I read it and glad to have spent time with these characters and enjoyed their quest. But it will be better for readers who don’t get hung up on details of world-building and internal logic like I do.

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Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

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