Literature: The Echorium Sequence

A trilogy of young adult fantasy novels by Katherine Roberts, consisting of Song Quest (1999), Crystal Mask (2001) and Dark Quetzal (2003).

The Echorium, on the Isle of Echoes, is home to the Singers: people trained in the use of the five Songs of Power. The trilogy follows the adventures of three successive generations of young Singers and their friends.


This series provides examples of:

  • Amplifier Artifact: Bluestone and khiz-crystal both amplify the Songs, as well as allowing them to be transmitted over distances.
  • Anti-Magic: Among other things, khiz can be used to resist the Songs.
  • Empty Shell: At its most extreme, the death song Yehn induces a form of living death.
  • Ghost Memory: All quetzal have access to the "Memoryplace", the stored experiences of their kind. Yellow Flowers allow humans to access it too.
  • Magic Music: The Songs of Power.
  • Mind-Control Device: Khiz is used throughout the series to control people and manipulate memories.
  • No One Could Survive That: The phrase is used almost verbatim in relation to Frazhin. Turns out he did.
  • Our Centaurs Are Different: Intelligent, more or less neutral, and avoidant of humans.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: The merlee lean more towards the "obvious sea creature" than "pretty people with legs" end of the scale.
  • Raised By Centaurs: Shaiala.
  • Rite of Passage: To join a herd, young centaurs must travel to a certain canyon and obtain a herdstone. They break them out of the rock by kicking it: a bit of a problem for Shaiala, since she doesn't have hooves.
  • Snake People: The naga.
  • Winged Humanoid: Quetzal are half-bird, half-human. Not only do they have the Winged Humanoid arms-and-wings setup, they have beaks, and are covered in feathers.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Singers dye their hair blue, which apparently makes their songs work better.
    • Centaurs' coats are shades of blue and purple.