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Song Quest Paperback – 1 Aug 2001

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Chicken House Ltd; New edition edition (1 Aug. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903434327
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903434321
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,224,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Katherine Roberts is a part English, part Welsh fantasy author with a unicorn for a muse! She studied mathematics and computing at the University of Bath, and then worked with racehorses while she wrote her first short stories for SF/Fantasy/Horror magazines.

Her debut novel "Song Quest" won the 2000 Branford Boase Award in the UK, launching her career as a children's author. Her published titles so far include fantasy and historical fantasy for middle grade/teen readers, and an epic historical novel about Alexander the Great's horse for all ages (also available as an ebook serial with bonus material).

Katherine's books have been published by HarperCollins, Chicken House/Scholastic US, Carlton, and Templar, and have been translated into 14 languages worldwide. Her backlist is now available in ebook format (or second-hand in paperback), and she is currently working on a parnormal romance for older readers.

Katherine's website with full details of her books can be found at www.katherineroberts.co.uk

Find her on Facebook www.facebook.com/katherine.roberts.900
or follow her on Twitter @AuthorKatherine

Her official blog is written by her unicorn at http://reclusivemuse.blogspot.com

Product Description

Amazon Review

SongQuest is an excellent adventure-quest, rich in powerful description and invention. Like Harry Potter, it is based in a school--a school for Singers, children who are learning to command songs which can control thought. The different kinds of songs are powerful tools for good in the right hands but can be deadly dangerous when misused: challa the dream song, soothing and healing as people sleep; kashe, for healing through laughter; shi, a song of pain, for healing through tears; aushan, a scary song that brings life to inner fears; and yehn, most frightening of all and very rarely to be used, which closes doors in the head leading to a kind of living death. In their final year of training, three children Rialle, Frenn and Kherron get caught up in the brutal battle between the forces of good from their home, the Isle of Echoes, and the evil wielded by the Kingdom of the Karch. Each must use their particular skills to save the half creatures, the merlee and the quetzal, who are being ruthlessly slaughtered by the Karch. Rialle has the true Singer's gift for both singing and listening but Frenn and Kherron each have a special part to play, too.

SongQuest is the first of what promises to be an absorbing fantasy sequence which satisfies on many levels. (Ages 10-12 years) --Julia Eccleshare --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Author

Song Quest has a future!
Song Quest is my first novel. It grew from two short stories published in two different fantasy magazines that between them demanded to be a longer story... One was about the half-human, half-fish MERLEE whose songs had power over the wind and waves; the other created the PENTANGLE and the ECHORIUM (although I didn't know what the bluestone building where Singers lived was going to be called back then!) I was lucky enough to find an editor called Barry Cunningham who also thought these stories should be a book, and Song Quest was the result. When we won the Branford Boase Award in June 2000 for Best First Children's Novel, it was wonderful to know that other people, too, thought the story deserved to live. But we didn't stop there!

Fans of Song Quest might be interested to know that I have already written CRYSTAL MASK, the second book in the sequence, and that there will be a third just as soon as I get back to my "real-work" computer. All the Echorium books will be published by Barry Cunningham's new company Chicken House, since Element are now sadly out of business. This means that those of you who have been looking for Song Quest on this site should soon be able to find it... watch this space! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Inside This Book

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First Sentence
The day everything changed, Singer Graia took Rialle's class down the Five Thousand Steps to the west beach. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Nov. 2001
Format: Paperback
I was enthralled reading this. What a delightful book. It is written in a similar vein to the Anne McCaffrey "Chronicles of Pern" although I found Song Quest lighter and it was much easier to follow the different characters. It was uplifting, while at the same time, made you angry with ignorant humans and how they harm the world around them, intentionally or not. I will be looking to read more of Katherine Roberts' writings.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 8 Dec. 2002
Format: Paperback
Song Quest is a well-written fantasy novel, which appeals to those who enjoy the Harry Potter series, but perhaps feel that they're growing out of it.
On the Isle of Echoes, three young novice Singers are learning new skills in the Echorium. There are five different songs that the Singers learn - one that makes you sleep, laugh, and one that even can cause death.
When Rialle, the best in the class, hears the cry of the merlee half-creatures, she's sent on an amazing quest to protect them. Accompanied by the Second Singer, and her friend Frenn who stows away, she risks danger along the way. Little does she know that Kherron, her enemy at the Echorium, is working for what she's fighting against. Will he end up being a friend or foe?
A very readable story - it takes a while to get into it, but after a slow start, the story really picks up. Amazon recommends this for 10-12 year olds, but I'm 14 and enjoyed it thoroughly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Miriam Ospovat-Stockton on 8 April 2003
Format: Paperback
The Echorium Sequence is the best Trilogy I have ever read. The first book, Song Quest, starts with Rialle sailing the Wavesong with Second Singer Toharo to try and stop the Mainlanders killing the Merlee for their eggs. One thing leads to another and they find themselves battling with Khizpriest Frahzin!
The second book, Crystal Mask, starts with Renn in the Echorium, and Shaiala on a boat to the Echorium for Song Treatment. Then the Echorium find out-Frahzin's back with an even stronger hatred for Singers than ever!
The last (unfortunately) book in the trilogy, Dark Quetzal, starts with (Oh, I can't remember her name...oops!) in the Echorium, and Night Plume in a forest (controlled by Frahzin). Then ___________ gets captured by Pirates, and yet again, Singers do battle with Frahzin!
What more can I say, except that this is the best book EVER!!!!!!! Read it, I want everyone to enjoy it's brilliance!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 7 Dec. 2003
Format: Paperback
Although this is in the childrens section this book captures the imagination for the young and old (I'm in the 'old' category!) and is well worth a try. I read all 3 books in this series in a week and I'll certainly read more from Katherine Roberts. Give it a go, and if you're an adult like me then don't be embaressed by picking a book from the kids section.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Jun. 2005
Format: Paperback
i read alot of books but the echorium sequence is my all-time favourite. I sing so i know how important singing is to people. i cried soo much in the books but for no reason at all. i will keep re-reading these books for a long, long time because i love them so much. I really like the way Katherine roberts has created such strong characters. Rialle is soo sweet and innocent, but becomes stronger and a more powerful character. Frenn is a loveable character, he lightens the mood in the book. You want to hate kherron but by the end you fall into loving him. i recomend these books to anyone and everyone.
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Format: Paperback
I feel like I should announce my bias towards this, as it's one I've loved since I first read it (probably about 14 years ago) and I've tried to read it with fresh eyes, but I know part of me is just loving revisiting that world that enchanted me so much as a child.

That said, I'm just going to gush and say I adored it all over again.

The fantasy world that Roberts introduces you to is well developed and just beautiful. Blue haired Singers who use magical songs? Check. Playful but abused fantasy creatures? Check. Creepy priests and warriors with bones in their hair? Check.

Apparently that's all I need for a good fantasy story.

Well, not all I need. I love the dual point of view, and how different they are. Rialle has always been my favourite, as the 'good girl' and just the fact that she was a young girl, like me (or not so much like me now!) but this time round I really appreciated Kherron's version of events. A bit of an anti-hero, he manages to fight for the right side in the end, but it doesn't feel like he changes too much as a character - not in a bad way, he just keeps his personality while adjusting his actions.

The relationship between Rialle and Frenn, and Rialle and Singer Toharo are some of my favourites, as are the interactions with the half-creatures. While there might be some romantic undercurrents, it's great to see a book that doesn't revolve around that kind of thing. I find friendships more interesting than romances.

There are so many wonderfully fleshed out characters, I can't go into them all here, but favourites for me include the Khizpriest, our villain who wants to destroy the Singers (and gives me the chills), and Lord Javelly, a young lordling who eats half creatures and thinks he can trick the Singers.
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Format: Paperback
This is one of those books I really wish I had read when I was younger. As an adult it's a book I really enjoyed but as a child I would have absolutely treasured it.

I love Rialle from the get go. She came across as really caring and sweet, vulnerable yet strong and I really enjoyed spending time with her. I also adored Frenn - he was really kind and obviously cared a great deal for Rialle. I wasn't sure how much I like Kherron in the beginning - but as the story progressed he really started to grow on me.

I liked the dual aspect of the book - getting the story from Rialle and Kherron's point of view. I do think I favoured Rialle as a narrator (possible because I liked her more) but the story definitely benefits from having the two points of view and gives it a appeal to both male and female readers.

The story itself is great - many twist and turns and plenty of action. I found myself holding my breath in parts - either anxious to know what was going to happen or shocked by the turn of events. I found it completely unpredictable and loved that!

I will admit this is a book that is slightly outside my comfort zone. Although I read many books that have fantasy elements in them I'm not usually very good at reading a `straight' fantasy. There is something about all the made up names and places that confuses me. I believe it is testament to Roberts' writing that this wasn't the case here. I found myself so completely immersed in the story that it wasn't a problem at all. I would definitely recommend it for readers who are looking for their first fantasy read.

Overall - Fantastic characters, a wonderful story and lovely writing. Brilliant!
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