by Patricia McKillip
Old style medieval Fantasy with wizards and dragons, magical animals and a child who must be hidden.
The narrative reeks of fairy tale, yet doesn't come over as a children's story. Although it has the usual patriarchal society, the main character is a strong female.
I can see why Patricia McKillip is so well-known and highly regarded. How I've missed reading her before is a mystery to me! She weaves magic and drama together artfully so that the impossible feels perfectly believable and I found it easy to care about the characters, especially Tam.
She addresses hard choices and issues of human nature in a way that engages the reader in the lives of the main characters rather than preaching. Though her style is definitely for my fairytale-like Fantasy moods, I will definitely be reading more of her work. This was apparently one of her early ones, now re-issued.
There were some surprises and a lot of conflict near the end that I couldn't see a way out of, so kept me interested and gave me a resolution that I didn't see coming. Highly recommended for Fantasy fans.