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King of Morning, Queen of Day Mass Market Paperback – May 1991


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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Spectra (May 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553290495
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553290493
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 10.8 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,354,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ian McDonald was born in Manchester in 1960. His family moved to Northern Ireland in 1965. He now lives in Belfast and works in TV production. The author of many previous novels, including the groundbreaking Chaga books set in Africa, Ian McDonald has long been at the cutting edge of SF. RIVER OF GODS won the BSFA award in 2005.

Product Description

Synopsis

In the myth-ridden hills of Ireland, three generations of young women struggle to tame the ancient magical powers that course through their blood. They each face the darker side of mytho-consciousness - one will embrace it, one will destroy it, and one will be swallowed whole. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Semioticghost on 4 Jan. 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
King of Morning, Queen of Day is tracking the lives of three generations of women born to the ability to see and manipulate human mythoconsciousness. From the age of Yeats to a period not far past modern day, we travel with the women as they discover their powers and face the parallel world opened by their perceptions. Each has a unique take on what they are dealing with and each finds her own rite of passage, encountering those that help and those that hinder along the way. Characters are vividly described and the plotting becomes tighter and more accomplished as the novel progresses, with the last, science-fiction third standing out as most original and unusual.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A fairy tale of unforgettable power 3 Jun. 2005
By Kelly (Fantasy Literature) - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I knew, just by reading the back cover blurb, that this book was right up my alley. Women with mystical powers? Check. Faeries? Check. Ireland? Check. In fact, I think the only reason I didn't discover this book earlier is that it was published in 1991, and I only started reading fantasy sometime in the late nineties.

The story begins with Emily, a bratty but endearing girl of fifteen, poised on the edge of adulthood in the early 20th century. Emily knows she is special, set apart-and when she sees the faeries in the wood by her family's home, she knows she will never be satisfied with ordinary life. Emily makes a colossal mess of things, as bratty fifteen-year-olds will do, and sets in motion events that will affect generations to come.

What follows is a fairy tale, but not precisely a tale of faeries; it's more of an exploration of the nature of reality and of myth, as seen through the eyes of Emily and two other women: Jessica, a glib-tongued teenager of the 1930s whose tall tales have an uncanny way of coming true; and Enye, a woman of the late 1980s, torn between everyday life and a battle with supernatural forces from the world beyond.

This is a stunning story and one that I'll probably reread over and over again. It doesn't suffer one bit from the ailment that afflicts so many multigenerational novels-the tendency for one or more of the intertwined stories to lack luster. All three of the women, and their lives and times, are vivid and passionate. And I must say, there are few male authors who can write such nuanced and three-dimensional female characters. Get your hands on a used copy of this. I wish they'd reprint it...
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Original and unusual 4 Jan. 2006
By Semioticghost - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
= Original and unusual

Reviewer: cont1nuity from Ipswich, Suffolk United Kingdom

King of Morning, Queen of Day is tracking the lives of three generations of women born to the ability to see and manipulate human mythoconsciousness. From the age of Yeats to a period not far past modern day, we travel with the women as they discover their powers and face the parallel world opened by their perceptions. Each has a unique take on what they are dealing with and each finds her own rite of passage, encountering those that help and those that hinder along the way. Characters are vividly described and the plotting becomes tighter and more accomplished as the novel progresses, with the last, science-fiction third standing out as most original and unusual.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Cheesy Cover, Good Read 13 May 2007
By Viga Glum - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Don't be deceived by the silly romance cover. This is a good sf/fantasy novel. McDonald has fun parodying Victorian and cyberpunk fiction in this story tracing three generations of Irish women's interaction with the "mygmus" (mythoconsciousness).
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Just my imagination...once again 3 Aug. 2006
By Richard Novak - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Katherine Kurtz calls McDonald 'a poet masquerading as a novelist'. She's right. McDonald has essentially written 2 novellas and a novel. Each is very different in terms of sense of time, and even place, although Ireland is the locale of all three tales. Inteconnected, yes; still, each stands well on its own.

'Craigdarragh' is an Irish manor estate at the cusp of World War 1, specifically 1913. Chiefly through diary entries, we meet Emily Desmond and her parents, Edward and Caroline. Emily, at 13, is a very imaginative girl on the verge of sexual awareness. Edward is an eccentic astronomer, confounde by his daughter, who risks family name and fortune to communicate with what he believes to be alien visitors fom the stars. Caroline is a respected poet with more than a slight acquaintance with her daughter's interest in the Otherworld.

Emily's explorations of Bridestone Wood, and its repercussions, form one story line. Edward's obsessin with alien visitors marks the second. Along the way we are introduced to a blind musician and his female companion, a dancer. There is Dr. Hannibal Rooke, a paranormal investigator. Finally, the poet William Butler Yeats. The musician, the dancer and the doctor will visit in the other tales.

'The Mythlines'- Jessica Caldwell is one of three sisters in Ireland during the 1930s. An artist, she has big dreams at 17 and 3/4. She also has an attitude problem. Tiresias and Gonzaga, a pair of 'itinerant journeymen,' are trying to find her, for Jessica is beginning to see the mythlines, borders between our world and Faery. She is seeing Dr. Rooke, who has an interest in helping Jessica confront her past. Then, there's Damian, her new boyfriend. member of the I.R.A.

'Shekinah' introduces us to Enye MacColl, a twenty-something in advertisement by day. By night she battles the phaguses of the Otherland, using Japanese swordfighting techniques. Enye, too, sees the mythlines; as a child she invented a complete world in her grandmother's garden.

Along the way, we meet Jaypee, Saul, Elliot, Mr. Antrobus, and the Midnight Children. All play an important part in Enye MacColl's journey.

Three women of Ireland. Each forced to confront great tragedy. Ian McDonald does an excellent job at telling their stories.

'In its contemporary form, the pookah has been demythologised by the centuries into another member of the pantheon of fairies major and minor- a rural Puck figure, generally good-natured, if prone to ocassional acts of minor domestic mischief. In its ancient manifestations, the pookah has been terrible and dangerous, the spirit of the forest itself, with its roots in the racial memory of the woolly mammoth of the periglacial fringelands, hunting with tusk and claw and sinew the sights of the Mesolithic settlers.'
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Dark, disturbing, and mesmerizing--these are NOT your daughter's fairies 4 Nov. 2013
By FireflyJen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Based on the odd title and the fairy/fantasy book description, I normally wouldn't have given this book a chance. Fortunately for me, I was seduced by the Philip K. Dick Award and the promise of pernicious faerie threats, and I'm glad I was. The book opened up a whole new world to me, filled with fascinating ideas and delightfully terrifying monsters.

And I do mean monsters. These are not your happy, frolicking, friendly Disney Fairies. No, they are faeries, and they are dangerous. In fact, one scene involving an attack by a "pookah"--a nature spirit, the origin of "Puck" of A Midsummer Night's Dream fame--was one of the more shocking scenes I've read (and that's saying something because I am a huge horror fan).

The book is divided into three main stories. The first story takes place around 1913, and focuses on Emily, a spoiled and annoying girl living in a romantic house surrounded by an idyllic forest. When I say "annoying," I mean it in a good way--a Flannery O'Connor way--in other words, part of the fun is watching this character's teenage hubris set her up for her fate. This section of the book is narrated through letters, Emily's father's diary, and most importantly, Emily's diary, which alternates between teenage silliness and beautifully lyrical descriptions of nature and the supernatural. Emily accidentally causes the "otherworld" to intersect with the real world, with enormous consequences.

The second story annoyed me at first. I thought I had accidentally picked up my copy of Ulysses and was having flashbacks to my college days of slogging through James Joyce. I kept thinking I was imagining the Joycean style, until Jessica, the main character, is asked on a date and responds with an unmistakably Molly Bloom-esque "yes, I will, yes." Then there are Tiresias and Gonzaga, characters of that overused ethereal carnival type (think Something Wicked This Way Comes, before hundreds of authors jumped on the "aren't carnival people creepy?" bandwagon), whose adventures are often convoluted and confusing. But again, lucky for me, I stuck with it and everything eventually made sense. This part of the book focuses on young Dubliner Jessica, and the repercussions upon her life of the door to the otherworld that her mother Emily opened.

The third story is vastly different. Enye, granddaughter of Jessica, is a strong, independent, modern woman. An advertising writer (and eventually bike courier) by day, she is essentially an action hero by night, using her swords and martial arts to battle mythic beasts and send them back to their own world. She is the first one, after generations of "mythoconscious" female ancestors, who has the potential to finally close the door to the otherworld.

This book is beautifully written, and each of its three stories is stylistically different and uniquely engaging. It's the kind of book that will haunt you and stick in your mind, and maybe, if you stay up too late reading it, it will make you see menacing shadows lurching and stalking, just outside your field of vision.
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