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VINE VOICEon 30 June 2005
If you do not own any of the books then this is a great way to have all three. Each of the books is good in their own way but in my opinion must be read from the first to third in order to fully understand the plot and story as it tells the travels of three individuals and their unexpected friendship.
Rhapsody, the singer who can alter objects by song (yes reminiscent of the Spellsinger books but better in my opinion), Achmed, a talented assassin who has a very blunt approach to the world, and Grunthor, the Firbolg warrior (AKA an Ogre.
The series follows their journey through a number of trials to the eventual "will they save the world" climax.
Not an original plot I must admit however the characters were enjoyable, the world well described, the society interesting and
the adventure page turning.
If you like David Eddings, Juliet E. McKenna and Robin Hobbs you will enjoy these. They are best described as a feel good series that I thoroughly enjoyed.
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High fantasy is a hard genre to write convincingly -- too often books end up as bad clones of Tolkien or "Star Wars." Unfortunately, "The Symphony of Ages" is bad fantasy... with a flaky girl-power twist. While there's quite a few pretty descriptions and interesting new ideas, Elizabeth Haydon's series ends up flopping like a morbid fish.

"Rhapsody" introduces us to a potentially interesting heroine and world -- Rhapsody is an ex-prostitute bard who is also a Singer, able to change reality by her voice. After a run-in with a former "client's" henchmen, she ends up with a hired assassin and his ogre-ish sidekick -- and then goes through "The Root," in a life-changing trip through time.

"Prophecy: Child of Earth" continued the story as Rhapsody and Co. battle a demon, gain new powers, and battle the future Battle That Will Either Save Or End The World. Okay, whatever. In the finale of the trilogy, "Destiny: Child of the Sky," the group is battling the evil F'Dor, and Rhapsody learns the secrets of her past and what might destroy her love.

Here's a tip for all wannabe authors: No matter how much you want us to like your hero(ine), don't make him/her perfect. Apparently Elizabeth Haydon never got that tip. Her excruciating heroine makes the angels look positively selfish -- and it's enough to make you sick. Too bad Haydon didn't focus the series on creepy assassin Achmed or part-dragon Ashe -- either one would make a more interesting lead than Rhapsody.

Haydon does redeem her book somewhat with her writing, which makes good use of language and has quite a few prettily written passages. She also conjures up some truly intriguing ideas, such as Rhapsody's singing ability and the Root. But in other areas, her writing has the feeling of a kiddie fantasy cartoon -- a magic sword called "Daystar Clarion"? Come on.

Rhapsody is the biggest problem: ridiculously sweet, annoyingly clueless, and inspires all other characters to follow her like so many lovestruck sheep, or quiver after her. She even has her virginity magically restored, and doesn't realize that her goddesslike beauty practically causes men to wet themselves. Even dragons get the hots for her. Who can like a character like that? She reads like the private fantasy of an author who desperately needed to get this out of her system.

"The Symphony of Ages" had promise at the start, but a grotesquely saccharine heroine and her army of lust-addled followers kill that promise. As fantasy goes, Haydon's first three books are an exercise in irritation.
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on 1 October 2006
The first in this series was perhaps my introduction to SF and Fantasy genre, and i have to admit i have been hooked ever since!

It is written in such a way as to keep you guessing until the very end, and leaves you begging for more! Vivid descriptions and details bring this series to life, enabling your imagination to explore and almost believe it could be real in some aspects!

The balance of the characters is brilliant, with Rhapsody's irrepressable optimism, countered by Achmeds complete distrust of anybody (or thing!) and both set off perfectly against Grunthor's down to earth and humerous world view.

One of those books I find myself reading over and over again, I would recommend this to almost anyone, except perhaps those who are particularly squeamish!

Indulge and Enjoy.
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VINE VOICEon 8 June 2007
I bought the set and started off. The first book was quite reasonable with quite a few moments of action of action.

Book two was a let down, chapter after chapter of talking while on a journey. Interspersed with occasional brief action. I just could not finish it, I was bored to death. Never even started on the last book in the set.
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