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Destiny: Child of the Sky (Rhapsody Trilogy) [Mass Market Paperback]

Elizabeth Haydon
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 864 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (4 Feb 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812570839
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812570830
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 3.6 x 16.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 800,397 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nonsensical and rushed ending 19 Nov 2003
Format:Hardcover
Destiny by Elizabeth Haydon is the third in the "Rhapsody" trilogy. This is the grand finale to the trilogy as the three heroes finally come up against the demon F'dor. As the longest in the series, there is obviously a large build-up, as no one knows the identity of the evil fire demon. In this book, politics and grudges between the different lands and races are far more evident than the previous two. The Cymrians (the people that came from the old world of Serendair) are fighting among themselves and war threatens.
The biggest criticism by far is the ending to this book (in fact probably the last hundred pages). A council takes place in which cheers and boos do nothing for the story but appear cheesy. This goes on for too long (the book should have ended long ago) and the mishaps are tedious and predictable. There's worse to come: a nonsensical and perhaps rushed ending in which the reader discovers exactly who Meridon is and what he is doing, is far to vague and short. This aside it's a great book and recommended (you've got to read it after reading the first two anyway).
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent 16 Feb 2011
By queenie
Format:Hardcover
This book was in wonderful condition, very pleased with the service and speed of this order. It arrived in better condition than I had hoped for.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  98 reviews
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolutely AMAZING end to an astounding trilogy 7 Aug 2001
By Amy Rittenaur - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This may be a first: a big epic fantasy series that has a trilogy conclude in a highly satisfying way, while leaving more of the history to be explored. I am a longtime fantasy junkie, and have watched in dismay as Robert Jordan wanders aimlessly in directions that do not seem as if they will intersect in his lifetime; George Martin is taking forever to write a 3, er 4, er 6 book saga, and Terry Goodkind is making no longer making sense.
Here, however, is a conclusion to Haydon's wonderful trilogy begun two years ago with RHAPSODY, improved upon in PROPHECY, and brought to a brilliant conclusion with DESTINY. This volume is much more gripping than the first two, with multiple plotlines converging into some wonderful scenes. It is also the least predictable fantasy I have ever read. The plot breaks from where you think it is going at a 90 degree angle, fast enough to give you whiplash.
I was completely enthralled with the mystery aspect of this trilofy as well. I am going back through the first two books now, picking up the clues to the F'dor's identity, surely one of the most anticipated revelations in recent fantasy.
All I can say is if you do not check out this trilogy you are missing something extraordinary--not the least aspect of which is that the author knows when to bring the story line to a riveting stop. I can only hope that she will go on and write more in this fantastic series, either with the surviving characters or some of the historical ones we've heard about under her masterful storytelling.
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly deserving of the rating 10 Aug 2001
By David Lewandowski - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I admit it, I am a tough grader [college English professor] and I don't think I've ever written a review and given a 5 before, not even on Rhapsody and Prophecy. I thought those were two of the best books in the fantasy genre I had read in a decade or more, but still couldn't bear to break a 4. But with Destiny, this book really deserves it. I wholeheartedly assign it a 5 and urge anyone who loves mystery, riddles, suspense, action and the poignancy and nobility of spirit to lose yourself in this book.
It has been a joy watching the characters of the Three evolve. Perhaps that should be two of the Three--Grunthor, the beloved Sergeant Major/cannibal, remains his lovable stalwart self. Rhapsody has grown from a clueless girl into a strong and capable woman, and Achmed had learned that there are things that matter in the world, something he didn't know when the trilogy began.
The Meridion tie-in is perhaps the most amazing aspect of the book. Incredibly well written.
Finally, let me say that Haydon is an evil genius. She has a penchant for tweaking the nose of the genre, by putting it through twists and turns and flipping it upside down, resulting in a completely fresh angle. She rehabilitates one character, moves that character along, and sets it up for what you know surely is death, then snatches the scene away to another character It's master-level work, worthy of Martin or Tolkien wrapped up with Agatha Christie.
Simply put, do yourself a favor: read this series, because it ends with a BANG!
34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy as Harlequin Romance - 3-1/2 Stars. . . 2 Dec 2001
By Mary Jacco - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I found myself torn on how many stars I wanted to give this series. I felt that the plot and characters (with some trepidation, which I will explain later,) deserved at least four. And, with one exception, the writing was solid. That exception was that there were entirely too many words. That fact also brings me to my biggest gripe of how those words were used - to turn what could have been a modern fantasy classic into a Harlequin Romance. That really turned me off. For that, I wanted to go no more than 2 stars. I wish I could have given out 3-1/2 stars to rate the book as above average, but since I'm a nice guy (even though I'm not a fan of romance novels) I compromised at 4 instead of 3.
What I'm trying to say is that I really enjoyed these books ("Rhapsody", "Prophecy" and "Destiny") but feel that there were potentially fatal flaws that I hope Elizabeth Haydon can remedy before she writes any more fantasy novels. Or, if that's not her nature, perhaps she can turn to romance novels exclusively - I'm sure she'll do it well.
Ostensibly, this series was concerned with three characters - Achmed, Grunthor, and Rhapsody - and, at the beginning, it seemed that each would get equal billing. After all, the first book was alternately titled "Child of Blood" (i. e., Achmed) and the second "Child of Earth" (i., e., Grunthor). Then, while reading the second book, I realized that the "Child of the Sky", i.e., Rhapsody, was getting all the press. This was also when the series turned from pure fantasy to fantasy adulterated with romance and gratuitous sex. By way of explanation, I do not consider myself a prude - my favorite series' these days are George R. R. Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" and Jack Whyte's "Camulod Chronicles". Anyone who's read those books or the reviews on Amazon knows that fantasy can be brutal, backstabbing, adult-themed, and good. It seemed to me that half of the second book of this series ("Prophecy") was dedicated to play-by-play accounts of Rhapsody and Ashe's trysts at Elysian and elsewhere. Was the writing titillating? Yes. Was it necessary to advance the plot? To a degree, yes. Was it incredibly overdone? YES. In book two, entire pages were spend describing the colors of Rhapsody and Ashe's eyes. In book three, Rhapsody and Achmed went from finding two of the F'dor-spawn to nine in the space of one sentence. Am I the only one that finds this extreme??
It's fairly obvious that Rhapsody and Ashe were Elizabeth Haydon's favorite characters and she lost all semblance of reality and practicality in making them larger than life itself as the story went on. Rhapsody was a truly amazing woman, but she lost all credibility when I realized that every decision she made was to ease more and more of the pain and suffering of the rest of the world and took it on herself. Nobody is that altruistic, plain and simple. Add to the fact that she was expert in everything she did and was skilled in every form of magic known in the world. Same with Ashe, though to a lesser degree. Give me a break. . .
I found myself reminded of Ayla in Jean Auel's "Earth Children" series. You remember Ayla, don't you? She invented fire, the wheel, mathematics, the sling as a hunting weapon, the domestication of animals, and nuclear fission - all before breakfast. This was the way Elizabeth Haydon painted Rhapsody. And, the sad thing is, I don't think it was intentional, but a labor of misguided love.
OK, so Elizabeth Haydon is not the only one who uses too many words - I'm almost done. This truly is a good series, all in all. The intrigue involved with Achmed setting himself up as king of the Firbolg and the machinations of a certain holy man who's name I won't reveal for the sake of those who haven't read the last two books yet were very well done. The histories the Ms. Haydon created of the old world and the new were works of creative genius. I'm glad I read these books and will recommend them to anyone (with caveats, of course.) I feel that they could have been even better and the same story told in 1/3 to 1/2 of the pages. I apologize to any romance readers I might have offended and invite them to point me to any other romantic fantasy that they feel I should try. But, unless Elizabeth Haydon focuses more on the fantasy than on the romance, her books will not be filling my shelves.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four stars for the entire series 13 Jan 2003
By R.M. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I must say that after wading my way through the 840 pages of conclusion, Destiny: Child of the Sky holds much less attraction for me than when I first started it. We meet up again with The Three: Achmed, Grunthor, and Rhapsody. At the beginning, Achmed and Rhapsody are in the midst of gathering up the demon-spawn which the F'dor's minion had systematically and forcibly implanted on nine women throughout the kingdoms. While this is an important task, the many, many pages devoted to it (and the failure of the author to elaborate on several interesting sub-plots) made for somewhat boring reading. Though there was a beautiful sub-plot involving a demonic gladiator and his subsequent (inevitable) redemption, the rest of the beginning warranted skipping. The conclusion of the race to kill the F'dor before it finished its war was foregone - from the start of time and the prophecies it warranted it was clear who was to win the fight. Nevertheless, when the F'dor was destroyed, I confessed to wondering why there were still 200 pages left - surely it couldn't take that long for Ashe and Rhapsody to be reunited. Ah yes, my mistake. Sure, the Cymrians unite during a climactic battle created by an unnecessary subplot, but in the end it's all to get the two lovebirds back in the sack.

By the end I was especially tired of Rhapsody's insistent love for Ashe. Though his powers were as great as hers, he was consistently at the brink of loosing them in murderous rage. In some cases, he did not think before he spoke, causing Rhapsody unnecessary emotional harm. In other cases, he let his dragon senses get the best of him and in the process managing to hurt her physically. And in the most extreme cases, he continually lost his head (unlike Rhapsody) and bowled into very important situations, needing even the most elementary of advice from Grunthor or Achmed to remember his duties. I am sorry, but how does this make him worthy of Rhapsody? I was entranced by his appearance in the second books, because it seemed he was both wise and forbearing, mysterious and powerful. Yet with the declarations of love for Rhapsody, the book descends into sentimentality and his power erodes with the wind. Rather than following his own path and finishing his fights himself, he consistently follows Rhapsody as she does his work for him. Rhapsody is the one who unites both the Lirin and the Cymrians, taking on his role as Summoner. Her power and poise outstrip his by leaps and bounds. Achmed is right when he tells Ashe to go and get a life - this puppy love has nothing to do with power or its control, and this dragon-cum-boy has no idea what to do with a beautiful, fiery and extremely powerful woman named Rhapsody.

In direct contrast, Achmed is a secret to which readers are consistently drawn. Like Ashe, he has incredible inborn powers, yet unlike the impetuous dragon-kin, he knows how to control himself. His skills as an assassin and as a king, as well as his obvious intelligence, show him to be Ashe's superior in every way. Every way, that is, except to be as beautiful as Rhapsody. Thus does he fail to win the woman - because he is scarred and ugly in form. Choosing the more beautiful man to fit the beautiful woman is merely bowing to traditional convention. Rhapsody deserves someone better than Ashe. We can only hope that in future books he will grow to deserve her.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent ending 29 Aug 2002
By Crystarra - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've read all three of the Rhapsody Trilogy, read many of the greatest criticisms and the strongest praises and when all is said and done, I do believe that this is an excellent series and I think that there is potential for future books.
I have a few critiques though. I never agreed that Rhapsody was "perfect." I stated in the original that what in fact could be perceived as perfections were also painted as imperfections. Her humility wasn't humility but a desire to not look at herself realistically. Actually she was lousy at intrapersonal examination which was an issue. Her altruism was a fanatic need to make up for past mistakes, real or perceived, and was actually very detrimental to her. She made strides in those areas. She certainly only sees what she wants to see. I think one of my favorite parts from the first book was when Achmed immediately realized that the prophecy referred to the three of them and more or less laughed at her for not realizing the obvious (for once a character that sees clues under his nose). She didn't want to see herself in that light and so was insistently and persistently blind to the obvious. However, Rhapsody was really irritating in this book. I think that the turmoil between rhapsody and ashe was drawn out too long. It should have been resolved before it was because it was just too irritating and forced. I would have actually given three stars except for the ending.
Many people criticized the series lack of development of Achmed and Grunthor. I think that the development that was made was enough. I see Achmed as an enigma, not as a two-dimensional character. In many ways, I think that his character would lose appeal if explained too much. In my opinion, the development of Achmed throughout the series was excellently, if subtley, done. It was truly the best aspect to the series as a whole. By the end of the series, I feel as if I don't completely understand, trust or like him, but I do respect and appreciate him nonetheless.
The same could not be said for Ashe though. Where Achmed's development was subtle and powerful, Ashe's develpment was obvious and weak, not to mention somewhat boring. He didn't develop too much and there was nothing surprising or enigmatic about him. Even Rhapsody was a deeper, less archetypal character. He was just sort of there to be Rhapsody's love and provide a few worrying moments for teh story. Don't get me wrong, he's not completely flat, he's just sort of obvious and unoriginal.
I liked Grunthor and I liked seeing him through Achmed's eyes. Another fascinating technique.
Finally, I noticed that people either loved or hated the ending; I loved it and it is why I bumped the rating back up to a four. The end was unexpected, it was creative, and it tied things together. Some found it unbelievable, to me it made sense when I finally realized what was going on. I have to admit I reread the ending, but that was because it was so surprising and was actually a testament, in my opinion, to the originality of the ending.
Over all, I like how the books in the series were written. I found them to be a fast read, bogged down here and there by overly cliched love scenes and a few irritating moments at some of the situations that should have been laid to rest. This is not a "I'm never going to end the series and make you buy all my books plus pay for a freaking prologue of a book not written because I'm a greedy egomaniac" series. I actually see this much like (although not as good as) Melanie Rawn's Dragon Star series. While the books aren't really great stand-alone novels, it doesn't stop as an arrow is shooting to the heart of the main character suspense ending either. I see the individual books in the series as having a main goal within teh book (such as finding the shing, getting the rakshakas children, getting Ashe's soul back) as well as the umbrella goal of getting rid of the f'dor, uniting the people, etc. There is actually some sense of the books being seperate books in a series instead of one giant book that was randomly spliced into three. Overall, excellent job!
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