Goodreads: The Innkeeper’s Song
Series: The Innkeeper’s World #1
Tikat has just seen his lover Lukassa drowned and resurrected, but before they can be reunited, Lukassa is swept off on a quest to save a wizard’s life. Tikat will do anything to be with Lukassa again, but the dead do not always remember.
The Innkeeper’s Song contains all the elements of a fantasy that should wound the heart. Separated lovers. A hardened warrior with a sorrowful past. A woman on the run. A wizard waiting for death. Their stories intertwine, showing the threads that connect us all. And yet, something is lacking.
Many of the stories contained in this book are full of heartache. I yearned for Lukassa to return Tikat’s love and I wished Lal and Nyanteneri could find happiness despite their pasts. But that was all. I did not empathize deeply with any of the characters and I did not care particularly what happened to them; my feelings, my wish for their well-being, was the surface feeling you would hope a decent person would have for another. But there was nothing personal. And the other characters affected me even less.
I found the wizard so lifeless that I could not feel the terror he faced as he accepted that his death would be no death but an endless nightmare. I held no strong feelings for Rosseth and I did not care for Karsh, despite an attempt on the part of the author to illustrate his hidden, finer feelings. Marinesha was likeable enough, but barely present in the story. My disinterest in the characters and the slow-moving narrative of which they were a part was so little that reading the book almost became a chore. I plugged along with the vain hope that I would see in this story the beauty that I hoped was there. I never did.
The language is beautiful enough, and that was the thing that kept me reading in the end. It’s not perfect, by any means. You can sometimes feel the strain as Beagle attempts to make it do something clever or something lyrical. But it is fair enough. It is different from what most novels do.
I think Beagle’s The Last Unicorn is a really breathtaking work, and I hoped another story of his would possess that same rare power. But The Innkeeper’s Song was a lifeless story for me. And I’m sorry I could not like it more.