I have read the works of Tolkien, Robert Jordan, George R.R. Martin, Terry Goodkind and many others. I am no stranger to an epic fantasy. Rhapsody is the first book in the Symphony of Ages series, the series which will always hold a special place in my heart and on my book shelf, at the top, right beside the Lord of the Rings and the Wheel of Time series. They are my personal favorites, which no one is allowed to touch let alone borrow. I will buy you your own copies before I let my beautiful hardcovers leave my sight, that is how much I adore these books.
I have read Rhapsody multiple times through the years to the point that my copy is falling apart and will have to be replaced soon. I truly wish more people would read and fall in love with this series the way that I have.
Rhapsody has lived a difficult life, she left home very young and ended up on the streets living as a prostitute. She becomes a singer/namer of great talent. By knowing the true name of someone or some thing she is able to change, heal or even return it to it’s original state. Using musical lore and being in tune with vibrational frequencies instead of casting spells made this fantasy unique. The lack of magic and Rhapsody’s talent or powers being based more on a somewhat scientific level was actually very refreshing and interesting to me.
When Rhapsody is being pursued by an old customer of hers from her days as a prostitute, she literally runs smack into an assassin and a giant Bolg. She uses them to her advantage and inadvertently changes the name of the assassin releasing him from his bonds to an evil entity. The three are swept into an epic adventure involving elemental weapons, wars, prophesies, dragons, immortality, a journey through the center of the earth, love, lust, hope, heartbreak, time travel and so much more.
Rhapsody is a character some might label a Mary Sue because she is too perfect, too beautiful, too powerful, too good at everything. Well, I agree. She is perfect. Physically she is flawless. After having walked through the fires at the center of the earth, all of Rhapsody’s physical flaws, scars, impurities are cleansed and she is left absolutely stunning.
Men fall at her feet, profess their undying love and adulation to her, it’s almost comical. What I love about her, is that she is completely unaware of her beauty. She’s humble, she’s kind, she’s loyal even when the person doesn’t deserve her loyalty but she is also flawed in many ways. I love how she irritates Achmed to no end with her stubbornness, obliviousness, and obsession with adopting children. Sometimes I wanted to knock some sense into her head. Wake up girl! Yet I adore her. I can’t help it. She will always be one of my favorite characters.
Achmed the assassin is such an amazing character. He’s half Dracian half Bolg. He is one, less than handsome, dude with a sandy voice, ill temper, sarcastic attitude, and yet still completely lovable. You can’t dislike Achmed.
Grunthor is one enormous, furry, scary, lovable Bolg! He makes these books. I love everything from his accent to his big heart and the raunchy battle cadences he is always singing. They are hilarious. I rate Grunthor most lovable character in the entire series.
I started reading this series back in 2000. The Assassin King, the 6th book in the series came out in 2006. Nine years later the author has reappeared and begun to publish the final books in this series. I am so excited and scared and sad to finally be coming to the end of this amazing journey.