Thomas the Rhymer by Ellen Kushner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
There's a lot to be said about a fantasy that is written WELL. In fact, one can argue that it is the only thing worth aiming for.
With tons of writers touching on this and that in the realm of the Fae, of wandering minstrels, of friendship, love, and loss, you'd think there would never be a way to STAND OUT from that crowd.
And then, this late in my career of hunting down all the best books on the Fae, I run across Thomas the Rhymer. There are no tricks in this telling.
It is, above all, a crisp, clear story about a minstrel who gets spirited away to the land of the Sidhe to live and love for the Queen, only to find the world changed when he returns.
I've read really great books about the fae, before, of course, but most of them are rich with side stories or buried within much bigger tellings. This book is ONLY about this one thing. And Kushner dives deep into these clear waters, only to bring back up one of the most beautiful, clear pearls of a story.
If I had to recommend just one perfect example of a man getting kidnapped by fairies, then this would have to be it. It's as shiny and beautiful as a crystal goblet. Or the plucking of a genius upon her harp. :)
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