A favorite character trio—no, not the one from Harry Potter

S261604o the other day, Dana and I were gchatting about this month’s theme, and Elizabeth Haydon’s Rhapsody sprang to mind. I believe my exact words in describing it to her went something like this: “This fantasy novel that I love, even though it’s kind of ridiculous and romance-y. But it has one of my favorite character trios of all time.” (Actually, those were my exact words. The beauty of gchat.) Of course, then Dana asked if I was talking about Harry Potter and we had to spend a while debating whether Harry Potter can be described as ‘romance-y.’ (Consensus: Yes, but not in the sense I meant it.)

Anyway. Those remain the best words I can think of to describe this book. It is kind of ridiculous and romance-y. I mean, the whole thing hinges on an epic, centuries-spanning love story between two gorgeous, ageless people, one of whom has an elemental affinity with fire, the other with water. Yeah, like I said.

But put all that aside for a moment and you have three main characters: a rather irritatingly beautiful and righteous but still kick-ass lady, a giant ogre-esque drill sergeant who names his weapons and drops his ‘h’s, and a hideous, black-clad assassin with a vicious tongue and a surprising streak of decency. Thrown together by circumstance, they wander their complex fantastical world and navigate its many dangers as an odd but effective team.

And that is what makes this book worth your time—the interplay of these three hugely different personalities is hilarious, poignant, galvanizing, and beautifully done. Tearing through Rhapsody was some of the most fun I’ve ever had reading a book. And to be completely honest, the ridiculousness I mentioned earlier? All part of the charm.

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