The Singer Of All Songs
Arthur A. Levine Books, 2002
Tremaris is a world where song (chantment) has the ability to control the elements and nature. Living within the safety of the ice walls of Antaris, a novice ice priestess named Calwyn is intrigued by the world beyond, though of it she knows little. One night, as the ice priestesses sing the chantments of ice in order to fortify their wall, she encounters a young man who is injured and unconscious. Feeling empathy toward the stranger named Darrow, she breaks the rules regarding outsiders and brings him to their village to be nursed back to health.
Enchanted by his stories of the lands outside the wall, Calwyn finds herself joining Darrow on his quest to purge the world of a great and dangerous evil, a man who seeks to become the singer of all songs and control Tremaris. On their journey through the various lands, they encounter people to help them on their quest, eventually pitting their skills and strength against their powerful enemy.
Even from the base level of the structure of The Singer of All Songs, Constable does something captivating: creates an original world with an original fantasy. So many of the books within this genre coming out over the past 20 years have been based off of already well-known mythologies, like vampires, magic, dragons and elves, and many of the other fantasy structures that have been replayed too many times. It’s refreshing to be brought into a world and mythology that opens and expands the creative possibilities and mixes well-known aspects of our own world into a parallel world with different rules about interacting with nature and song.
Ultimately, the story is simplistic with characters that struggle with one to two-dimensional issues at best, but that’s generally par for the course in this genre. The writing is decent, and although it’s probably not going to be considered great literature, it’s a fun, fast-paced read with a classic good vs. evil, the world as we know it is going to end plot. It won’t be a life changing read, or a book that will inspire or answer the depths of intrapersonal searches in philosophy, sociology, or religion. However, it is a great rainy day book that will provide escape and entertainment. I recommend this book and the trilogy as a whole for adults looking for a fun read, but it’s primary audience will be kids ages 8-13.
For the Classroom
Having been set in a different universe with a separate history, natural law, and social issues, this text doesn’t have a high benefit to the classroom setting as a standalone or accompanying text to any general or niche study subjects. Although resonance control and telepathy are a major part of the Chanters of Tremaris Trilogy and are being studied as offshoots of physics, the text doesn’t offer them as having any basis within the natural laws of our universe.
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