Patricia McKillip is one of my favorite fantasy authors. With all the hype lately over young adult fantasy & Song of Ice & Fire people have forgotten that there are many other wonderful fantasy authors. McKillip has made my list of favorites because she lyrical style that is uncommon to the fantasy genre. Her writing is so lyrical can never tell if I feel more like I am reading an epic poem or being sung a ballad. I suppose it's a good thing because music & bards are a common themes in her books. It is the main theme of The Bards of Bone Plain.
Centering around an ancient mystery that gets caught up in a modern competition for the position of Royal Bard. There are two plot lines that run parallel for the majority of the book but intersect beautifully as the story draws to a close.
McKillip's use of imagery is wonderful too. The world she describes in The Bards of Bone Plain was unique among the fantasy worlds I have read before. To me it felt like some strange combination of modern, steampunk, & standard fantasy world with medieval castles & city structures. Not to mention her imagery surrounding the standing stones! They were captivating & as a reader I was so excited that the plot centered around the stones because I wanted to know all about them.
In the Bards of Bone Plain McKillip uses, in my opinion, the perfect amount of mystery to keep her plot moving forward. I never felt frustrated that I wasn't getting enough pieces to the puzzle. Nor was the plot so convoluted that I got a headache from trying to follow it. There were just enough puzzles & plot twists to keep me engaged intellectually until the end! This is easily one of my favorite books by McKillip and I would definitely recommend it to any fantasy reader that enjoys different styles of writing.