Read The Prince of Morning Bells by Nancy Kress Free Online
Book Title: The Prince of Morning Bells|
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Reader ratings: 4.6
The author of the book: Nancy Kress
Edition: Foxacre Press
Date of issue: May 20th 2000
ISBN 13: 9780967178325
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 723 KB
Read full description of the books:
This was such a peculiar book!
The protagonist, Kirila, is a pampered young princess who decides to go on a quest, so she sets out to find The Heart of the World, without much idea of what it is or where she's going. She's almost at once befriended by Chessie, a prince cursed into the form of a purple dog, who has forgotten everything about his past life except for the sound of bells. Chessie believes that the Heart of the World can break his curse, so joins Kirila, and the rest of the novel is their quest, although it is really, truly not like any other quest novel I've ever read. Kirila begins the book as a child playing make-believe, dressing up to go quest, and this combines with a lightness of tone to give the impression of a young adult adventure novel. But as she and Chessie travel, the communities they encounter serve both as allegories for real-world institutions (academia, mystical religious sects, gurus, etc) and as milestones of Kirila's disillusionment, for both truth and the Heart of the World prove elusive. The ending is bittersweet; Kirila loses very, very much, but becomes a fully self-aware adult woman in the process.
This isn't a great review, because the book is just so strange; the pacing is purposefully very odd, (I know I'm always on about pacing, but it really makes a difference!), and the ideologies embedded in the text are very contradictory, although perhaps only on the surface. Many things which people value in the real world are discovered by Kirila to be hollow and even deadly in their falsity, but by the end of the book she comes to appreciate all the different ways in which people look for truth, valuing the journey more than the destination even when the journey kills the seekers, or exploits them horribly. There's a great bit towards the end where she argues with Chessie about art; there's no difference, she says, between a passion for jousting at tournaments, and a passion for painting the truths revealed by the inner eye. Chessie wants them to be different; he wants there to be High Culture (art) and Low Culture (sports), but Kirila insists that the dedication, passion and joy that the practicioners feel are identical both in experience and in meaning -- a very resonant message to find in an author who is setting out to write in a genre often condemned as Low Culture!
This might be a fascinating book to study in a classroom -- I think I've only barely scratched the surface of possible readings -- but I'm not sure I'll read it for pleasure again in the forseeable future.
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Read information about the authorNancy Kress is an American science fiction writer. She began writing in 1976 but has achieved her greatest notice since the publication of her Hugo and Nebula-winning 1991 novella Beggars in Spain which was later expanded into a novel with the same title. In addition to her novels, Kress has written numerous short stories and is a regular columnist for Writer's Digest. She is a regular at Clarion writing workshops and at The Writers Center in Bethesda, Maryland. During the Winter of 2008/09, Nancy Kress is the Picador Guest Professor for Literature at the University of Leipzig's Institute for American Studies in Leipzig, Germany.
Excerpted from Wikipedia.
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