The Riddle-Master of Hed

Patricia A. McKillip
The Riddle-Master of Hed Cover

The Riddle-Master of Hed


I almost feel that I can't accurately judge The Riddle-Master of Hed until I've read at least the next book in the trilogy. I was enjoying it immensely all the way through, and then it ended somewhat abruptly, leaving me wanting some explanation, which I hope will be forthcoming in Heir of Sea and Fire.

The feel of the book reminded me of Wizard of Earthsea and Lyonesse. It's picaresque. The hero, Morgon, travels around the lands attempting to avoid his destiny, and along the way has some extraordinary adventures, which don't always seem quite so extraordinary to the people involved.

It's an unusual tale in that there's hardly any physical violence. Hed is a peaceful island, and Morgon wants nothing to do with weapons.

The writing has an unreality to it, where you're often not quite sure if what you're reading is really happening or if it's a metaphor or a dream. The nature of the world and its magic doesn't entirely help with this.

I liked it a lot. I gave it a 4/5, and I'm keen to get back to the series as soon as I quiet the clamour of other books begging to be read. It was hard for me not to go straight into book 2, which is something I very rarely do. I usually prefer a significant change of direction for each book.