Thomas the Rhymer (novel)

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Thomas the Rhymer
ThomastheRhymer firsted.jpg
Cover of the first edition of Thomas the Rhymer.
Author Ellen Kushner
Cover artist Thomas Canty
Language English
Genre Speculative fiction
Publisher William Morrow & Co
Publication date
January 1, 1990
Pages 247

Thomas the Rhymer is a fantasy novel written by Ellen Kushner. It is based on the ballad of Thomas the Rhymer, a piece of folklore in which Thomas Learmonth's love of the Queen of Elfland was rewarded with the gift of prophecy. The novel won the 1991 World Fantasy Award[1] and Mythopoeic Award.

Plot summary[edit]

Thomas, a harper from court, befriends a humble farmer and his wife. As he begins a relationship with Elspeth, their neighbor, he is whisked to Elfland, ensnared by the Fairy Queen. After seven years he returns to Gavin, Meg, and Elspeth with a parting gift from the Queen: He can only speak the truth.[citation needed]

Characters[edit]

Thomas[edit]

A minstrel who sang in the king's court. Before he is captured by the Fairy Queen, he is a carefree young man.

Elspeth[edit]

A young woman who falls in love with Thomas. In the seven years of his absence, her hard life makes her cynical.

Gavin[edit]

A rather simple crofter who takes Thomas in.

The Queen of Elfland[edit]

Although powerful and beautiful, the Fairy Queen can be unmerciful. While she does release Thomas after seven years as her lover, she never truly lets him go.

Meg[edit]

Gavin's wife who sees value in Thomas and believes him when others don't

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ World Fantasy Convention. "Award Winners and Nominees". Retrieved 4 Feb 2011. 

External links[edit]