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Summary

The concluding audiobook of McKillip's Riddle Master trilogy opens peacefully but soon places the listener in the midst of conflict and unrest. The Prince of Hed solves the puzzle of his future when he learns to harp the wind, discovers who the shape changers are, and understands his own relationship to Deth, harpist of the wizard Ohm.

Listen to more in the Riddle-Master trilogy.
©1979 Patricia A. McKillip (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

Critic reviews

Locus Award, Best Fantasy Novel, 1980

What listeners say about Harpist in The Wind

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  • Scott A. Minar
  • 05-03-12

Stunningly good

Patricia McKillip's trilogy is one of the best fantasy novels/series I've ever read. But listening to it on audio is even better. It is a literary quality series on par with the Earthsea Trilogy by Leguin, Tolkein, or the works of Guy Gavriel Kay. If you like these writers, you'll love this book. Start with Riddlemaster of Hed, then Heir of Sea and Fire, and finish with Harpist in the Wind. It is an incredible writing achievement. Enjoy.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jennie
  • 28-04-11

Wonderful reading

Mr. Prebble finished this trilogy with his beautifully modulated reading and dramatic timing. Thank you Audiobooks for recording one of my favorite fantasy books. Highly recommended.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Daniel
  • 22-03-11

Best Series I've Ever Read!

Once again Patricia A. McKillip has delivered an excellent story! Thankfully, this time it was read by Simon Prebble, reader of The Riddle Master of Hed. Excellent book and excellent narrator!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Skipper
  • 27-10-15

Best of the trilogy

Satisfying conclusion to a classic fantasy series with a mystical bent, rather than endless butchery and swordplay. Many reviews stated that the series gained momentum here in book 3. I found that to be true, also. Furthermore, I felt the relationships were more fully explored in this book, whereas the first two books focused mainly on one character, with first Morgon (book 1) and then Raederle (2) coming into their own sense of purpose, power, destiny. I liked the rich interplay across various relationships in this book — in fact, I cried towards the end.

I was able to predict some of what happened, but McKillip didn't employ all the normal tropes (only some of them). The plot and world mythos is not simple, nor terribly complex, but as a listener I had to pay attention and replay several scenes.

Riddles (questions about history, decisions, and destiny) occur throughout the series, and those unanswered questions bedeviled me. But they were FINALLY and FULLY addressed here, as the story reached a resounding conclusion.

McKillip writes quite well, but WHY do authors feel the need to harbor and protect bloodthirsty, vicious, stone-cold psychos?? These guys killed thousands, including children. Why didn't the hero kill them???

The audio narration by Simon Prebble was not bad, but nor did it enhance the story. I could barely hear a difference between voices for Ohm, Danan, Har, and Deth, for example.

As with many fantasies, invented names for characters and places are hard to differentiate and remember via audio. In this case, I found it hard to hear the difference between similar-sounding words of one or two syllables: An, Aum, Ohm, El, Iff, Nun, Tel, Tol, Hed, Har, Hel, Herun, Hlurle, Heureu, Rood, Rork, Ymris, Yrth, etc. To better comprehend, I referred to a VERY helpful website: wizzley (dot) com (slash) riddle-master

1 person found this helpful

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  • Turner
  • 08-01-14

The Riddlemaster Trilogy is my all-time favorite!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would highly recommend this trilogy to anyone that is a fan of the fantasy genre. It tells a wonderful story of destiny, loss, mystery, and incredible power.

What did you like best about this story?

I love the world that the author created. It feels very middle age Irish/ Scottish/ English. The land is split up into multiple kingdoms governed by rulers who are thousands of years old and have a mystical binding with their land.

Which scene was your favorite?

The scene when the hero finally learns what his destiny is has to be one of my favorite moments in any book. Deeply satisfying.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, and I almost did.

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  • John
  • 19-06-12

Awesome story

What made the experience of listening to Harpist in The Wind the most enjoyable?

In the timeless storyline of mans struggle with change, this story ties the standard with Tolkien. I first read the series in '87, and marveled at the story line then. I discovered it as a audible and quickly bought the series.

What did you like best about this story?

Continous action

What about Simon Prebble’s performance did you like?

Well spoken, good pitch,

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

The same as the trilogy from Doubleday books..."the Stars of Hed"

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  • Bruce
  • 07-06-21

I am in the minority

As with the previous books, I wanted to like this one. Turns out not enough to want to listen again. Revenge quests focused on murder, betrayal, & unfathomable and ever-changing powers. Is every human and post-human some form of magical nobility? Is every reality some form of magical unreality? In the 1970s with works in this genre rare, maybe readers were desperate for as much mystic content on each page as possible. Sadly, like so much fantasy before and after, the story becomes one of massive conflagrations, which I find the more extensive the more boring; didn't like it in LOTR (especially movies); my least favorite part of H. Potter. Not even the portent of a love story rescues this book for me. Yet I find the prose very enchanting, so I will sample her other works.

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  • randy cathcart
  • 15-05-21

my favorite trilogy of all times

every time I read or listen to this book and the other two in the trilogy, I find something new to appreciate. Amazing!

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  • LVM
  • 11-12-20

Incredible story, beautifully told

I love McKillip and this was beautifully read. I've reread this series several times and this is the first time I've listened to someone read it. Very glad I got it.

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  • Allison Dempster
  • 18-06-20

Great book....

The harpist in the wind... is a powerful conclusion to the riddle master trilogy. The narration is amazing.