Literature: The Riddle Master Trilogy
aka: The Riddle Master Of Hed
The Riddle-Master Trilogy
is a High Fantasy
trilogy by Patricia A. McKillip
with a Morality Kitchen Sink
. The novels in the trilogy are:
- The Riddle-Master of Hed
- Heir of Sea and Fire
- Harpist in the Wind
The third novel, Harpist in the Wind
, was nominated for the Hugo Award
and the World Fantasy Award
, and the series remains one of McKillip's most popular works. Several Omnibus
editions have been produced under various names, including Riddle of Stars
, Quest of Riddlemasters
, and The Riddlemaster's Game
Morgon was a student before his parents died and he became the land-ruler of Hed. He was born with a birth mark of three stars on his forehead which are the subject of prophecy, although he tries to ignore that. When the High One's harpist, Deth, comes to visit during his travels, he informs Morgon that Raederle of An's hand in marriage was promised to whomever could defeat Peven of Aum in a riddle game
and that An has been in an uproar ever since Peven told the last person to challenge him that he was too late. Morgon admits that he won Peven's crown in a riddle game and resolves to go with Deth to visit Raederle and offer himself in marriage.
Before they can get very far, their ship is attacked by shape-changers
who are determined to kill The Starbearer
aka Morgon. For his very life, Morgon travels with Deth to the High One on Erlenstar Mountain in search of an answer to the riddle of three stars.
The second book follows Raederle of An, Lyra of Herun, and Morgon's sister Tristan as they search for Morgon, Deth, and the High One, who are all now considered missing ever since Morgon reached the High One and fell out of all contact. The third book deals with the growing war against the shape-changers
and the continuing search for the truth about the High One.
The main characters:
- Morgon of Hed: aka The Star-Bearer. He is the Prince of Hed and least important of land-rulers. He was born with three stars on his forehead which are the subject of some of the oldest unsolved riddles. Before his parents died Morgan attended Caithnard where he studied riddle mastery. Shortly before the first book he secretly bet his life in a riddle game that hundreds of men have died attempting. He keeps the crown he won under his bed and just wants to farm.
- Deth: The High One's harpist and Morgon's closest friend and mentor. He guides Morgon to Erlenstar Mountain.
- Raederle of An: the "second most beautiful woman in the three portions of An", and daughter of the land-ruler of An. She was promised by her father Mathom to the man who would defeat Peven and win his crown. She is the Rebellious Princess protagonist of the second book, Heir of Sea and Fire.