Here are some excerpts of reviews of the Riddle-Master Trilogy and of Patricia McKillip's writing style.
Lela Olszewki says, "One of the major reasons that McKillip's trilogy is such a delight to read is her use of language to evoke images:
'The wind sped past like wild horses, pouring through empty rooms, thundering down the street to spiral the tower and moan through its secret chamber.' or 'He felt as if he were changing shape in front of her into something ancient as the world, around which riddles and legends and the colours of night and dawn clung like priceless, forgotten treasures.' or this description of a battle camp: 'Through the bare trees, he saw other fires, men rousing out of tents, stamping the blood awake in their bodies. Horses snorted the chill out of their lungs, pulling restively at their ropes. Tents, horse trappings, men's arms, and tunics all bore the battle colours of Anuin: blue and purple edged with the black of sorrow. The wraiths bore their own ancient colours when they bothered to clothe themselves with the memories of their bodies. They moved vividly and at will among the living, but the living, inured to many things at that point, took more interest in their breakfast than in the dead.'"
Content from SF Site Reviews
Kat Hooper says, "There are some fantasy epics that all literature professors, and most normal people, would consider essential reading for any well-educated person — J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Lewis Carroll, etc. So, yeah, I read those a long time ago. But beyond that, there’s not much fantasy literature that’s essential reading. So, for a long time, I didn’t read any. In my drive to be educated, I stuck to the classics (which are classic because they’re great literature, usually). But one day, maybe 15 years ago, Patricia McKillip’s Riddle-master fell into my hands. I can’t remember exactly when, and I can’t remember how. I can’t even remember enough to tell you exactly what the trilogy was about. It’s been that long ago.
"All I can remember is sitting for hours, slack-jawed and amazed. The imagery was so beautiful, the writing so elegant, the ideas so powerful. Some of the imagery has remained with me; I can still remember the awe I felt when Morgon learned how to change into a tree, how to harp the wind, and who Deth was. I don’t really remember the details of the story very well, but I still feel it.
"I was sad when I finished the Riddle-master trilogy, but excited to have found something I loved so much, so I went looking for more beautiful fantasy literature. It’s been my favorite source of entertainment since. And thus, 15 or so years later, here you are, reading about my own little quest which ultimately resulted in this website. So even though I can’t give you any plot details about Riddle-master, I hope I’ve convinced you that it’s worth your time."
Content from Fantasy Literature