This was a beautifully crafted fantasy that takes it's streangth from something difficult to find- an innate lyricism directly at odds with the popular methods of modern narrative. Given, Riddlemaster is a few decades old. The copy I read was yellowed and cramped. Still, I was completely carried away by the story even though it has no real beginning and the conclusion just adds more questions. I read the Bards of Bone Plain and wasn't too impressed. It's really nice to see what McKillip can do at the top of her game.