The Harp of the Grey Rose

Author: Charles de Lint
Year: 1984?
Genre: Fantasy

I picked up this predictable, derivative Pringle of a book because the other two books I'm reading are too brainy for me to read without a break (and one of them is too heavy for the subway). Just in time for Valentine's day, it's a romantic fantasy, the story of one young hero's love for an otherworldly princess ... or perhaps it's really the story of Charles de Lint's love for the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Some of the more obvious recycled plot points include:

  • The hero is an orphan whose parents turn out to be magical.
  • He falls in love with a girl whom everyone mistakenly thinks is evil.
  • He kills a big baddy with a magical sword.
  • When he gets to the big city, the high court is under the influence of an evil power (i.e. Wormtongue).
  • Elves and dwarves.
  • The dwarf rediscovers the long-lost underground dwarven kingdom (i.e. Mines of Moria).
  • In the end it turns out the big baddy wasn't who the hero thought it was; it was someone else equally obvious.
The book held my interest enough for me to finish it -- after all, it's a formula I know and love -- but when I was finished I moved on to another piece of relative mind candy. Maybe it's just time for February school vacation.

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