The Sorceress and the Cygnet

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

In THE SORCERESS AND THE CYGNET, McKillip has created a world where passing time, real and imaginary, encircles itself, like the age rings of a tree. Mythic creatures and nursery rhyme characters conceived by the Wayfolk to describe constellations and explain the universe come to life for Corleu, and move like lightning through these rings of time to wreak havoc on him as he struggles to break the enchantment.

Because Corleu has a love of reading and is a gifted storyteller, his knowledge enables him to find his way out of the Delta into the parallel world inhabited by these characters of myth and rhyme. With the help of one of them, the sorceress Nyx Ro, Corleu begins his quest.

This is a tale spun with stunning and powerful imagery: “[Corleu] made the mistake of looking down. All the stars in the night sky hung beneath his feet, as if he had stepped through the Ring to stand outside of time. He closed his eyes again, felt his whole body cry out, though his voice was frozen and made no sound. He began to fall back into the black, shining waters of time. Stars flowed past him like the bubbles of his final breath.”

THE SORCERESS AND THE CYGNET will keep the reader enthralled, and not even Corleu will be able to break the spell McKillip casts.