[[ READ KINDLE ]] ⇻ The Bell at Sealey Head ⇝ PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB free

I started this book like ten years ago and didn t finish it then Patricia McKillip is one of my favorite fantasy authors she has lovely poetic writing but she can be a little hit and miss for me, and I thought this was one of the misses But Mark Monday convinced me to give this one another shot, and I m glad I did The Bell at Sealey Head is the tale of a seaside fishing village it seems to be set in the 1800s in England, but it never says and the people who live there, including the aged I started this book like ten years ago and didn t finish it then Patricia McKillip is one of my favorite fantasy authors she has lovely poetic writing but she can be a little hit and miss for me, and I thought this was one of the misses But Mark Monday convinced me to give this one another shot, and I m glad I did The Bell at Sealey Head is the tale of a seaside fishing village it seems to be set in the 1800s in England, but it never says and the people who live there, including the aged Lady Eglantyne of Aislinn House It s also the story of Princess Ysabo who lives in a fantasy land and in a locked castle that s a magical counterpart to Aislinn House There s something very wrong in Ysabo s world, bound up in cruelty and senseless rituals, but Ysabo is never allowed to ask why She thinks it a lot, though Ysabo s castle and Sealey Head are linked by magical doors in Aislinn House that only a few people can open, and by a mysterious unseen bell that rings at sunset each day But now certain people are trying to unlock the secrets of Aislinn House and certain other people are trying to stop them.A fantasy that contains both great beauty and cruelty Full review to come Thanks Mark D [[ READ KINDLE ]] ☔ The Bell at Sealey Head ⇮ Sealey Head is a small sleepy town on the edge of the ocean, where sunset marks the tolling of a bell no one can see On the outskirts is the great Aislinn House, where heir Miss Miranda Beryl and her entourage of friends and servants wait while aged Lady Eglantyne dies where maid Emma opens doors sometimes to a castle with Princess Ysabo and knights I have found my new favorite novel by Patricia McKillip Earlier pole position candidates have been Winter Rose or Alphabet of Thorns, but choosing the best between her books has always been a difficult proposition, both because they are all good and because it is like comparing apples and pears she changes the mood and the type of plot and the characters every time I start thinking I have her particular style pinned down The Bell at Sealey Head is as beautifully written and intriguing as the I have found my new favorite novel by Patricia McKillip Earlier pole position candidates have been Winter Rose or Alphabet of Thorns, but choosing the best between her books has always been a difficult proposition, both because they are all good and because it is like comparing apples and pears she changes the mood and the type of plot and the characters every time I start thinking I have her particular style pinned down The Bell at Sealey Head is as beautifully written and intriguing as the books I ve read before, but I believe it comes the closest in her catalogue to a romantic comedy with a Gothic nineteen century setting McKillip may have been chanelling some of the Bronte sisters writings when she created the small coastal town of Sealey Head, complete with an inn perched high on the cliffs above the sea, buffeted by strong winds, a haunted manor house and several young people who may sooner or later fall in love The secret ingredient of the recipe is though the other sort of romance, the love of books When we first meet Judd Cauley, the owner of the inn above town, we are introduced to his passion and the mystery at the core of the storyHe read anything that came his way histories, romances, speculations about the nature of things, journals of travels to far flung spaces, folklore, even the odd book about an elusive, unwieldy, nine legged, hundred eyes beast that sang like a swan and burned words like paper when it spoke Magic, it was called Sorcery Enchantment It was everywhere just beyond eyesight it was yours for the making of a wish So he read, not quite believing, not knowing enough to disbelieve Inevitably his thoughts would turn to the bell that tolled each day, exactly when the last burning shard of sunlight vanished beneath the waves The secret of the ghost bell has endured for centuries Many of the locals believe it to be the sound of a ship that perished in a storm a long time ago, yet nobody knows for certain Sometimes even strangers are drawn to Sealey Head to investigate the mystery, one of them being a dandy from the capital called Ridley Dow, another case of infection by the reading bugSorry, he said penitently It s a book I have no common sense around themFor Judd, the appeal of new reading material becomes irresistible and sensualThe odd things about people who had many books was how they always wantedJudd knew that about himself just the sight of Ridley Dow s books unpacked and stacked in corners, on the desk and dresser, made him discontent and greedy Here he was there they were Why were he and they not together somewhere private, they falling gently open under his fingers, he exploring their mysteries, they luring him, enthralling him, captivating him with every turn of phrase, every revealing page Judd is also attracted by the willful and sophisticated daughter of a rich merchant in town, Gwyneth Blair, for whom the passion of reading proved insufficient, so she started to write her own stories, many of them about the same mystery of the ghost bell They were childhood friends together, but now they feel separated by social conventions and the worries of earning a living in Judd s caseYes, I do remember You talked about writing when we were children You were so in love with reading that you imagined going that step further writing your own story must be the pinnacle of bliss Did I I suppose I did think of it that way, then And now Now, it s a hundred fits and starts, sputtering ink nibs, stray ends going nowhere like being a spider, most likely, on a windy day, tendrils always sailing off The colourful cast is completed by three younger siblings and a meddlesome aunt in the Blair household, a couple of young local aristocrats with their own romantical entaglements named Raven and Daria Sproule and Miss Miranda Beryl of Landringham who comes to visit Lady Eglantyne, her dying aunt and owner of Aislinn House.Speaking of Aislinn House, here is where the magical part of the novel soon concentrates, as the doors of the old and sprawling manor sometimes open to a parallel universe, a medieval realm with knights and princesses and a curse that has frozen every inhabitant into a meaningless Ritual, repeating every day the same tasks, the same gestures, the same conversationsIt s all secrets, between lines, allusions in letters, hints in diaries But for at least a couple of centuries, if not longer People writing about stories their children invented, ghosts their servants or some lord in his cups saw Doors open, they get a glimpse but nobody sees the whole of it Ever Princess Isabo seems to be the only one rebelling against the ancient curse of her hidden world I was thinking of Sleeping Beauty, but the inhabitants are not asleep, only enchanted Only a servant girl named Emma seems to be able to communicate with Isabo, but she is afraid to cross over the treshhold between worlds Emma s mother is another memorable character in the book, a wood witch who lives in a tree, prefers the company of the birds and the bees to the one of her fellow men and, of course, loves to read booksShe could be anywhere on that sunny, genial day The trees, maple, elm, birch, busy leafing out among the coastal pine after a weary winter, preened their leaves in the wind like birds flaunting their colors I hope I have said enough to tempt readers to give this modern fairytale a chance, without revealing too much about the actual plot and about the secret of the bell There will be masked balls and romance under the moonlight, laughter and beauty, but also danger and evil sorcerers andA beautiful woman named Hydria, with a long and mysterious past, took up most of the pages She sounded, Judd thought, like someone out of a very old ballad, the queen of a rich and magical realm accessible easily to anyone with a little imagination So, let your imagination soar, guided by the skillful pen of a master storyteller I felt such terrible sorrow, such loss, such fury, at that moment at the end of every day when the last light faded in the world The bell was the sound of my heart, crying out to the world Well, this was lovely There is something almost indescribably comforting about McKillip s books to me Reading them is like falling into the best sleep you ve ever had and dreaming a strange, sweet dream that is at once airy and rich, otherworldly and comfortingly human They are, essentially, perfect littI felt such terrible sorrow, such loss, such fury, at that moment at the end of every day when the last light faded in the world The bell was the sound of my heart, crying out to the world Well, this was lovely There is something almost indescribably comforting about McKillip s books to me Reading them is like falling into the best sleep you ve ever had and dreaming a strange, sweet dream that is at once airy and rich, otherworldly and comfortingly human They are, essentially, perfect little gems of ethereal beauty and The Bell at Sealey Head is no exception Featuring a hidden castle dimension cursed to live each day in an unending repetition of meaningless rituals, a visiting wizard who brings trouble with him and The Age Old Power of Books, it s a regency fairy tale that held me enthralled from beginning to end I ve been sitting on this quote for a while, spoken by Ridely Dow to Ysabo when she tells him that her mother calls her a goblin, and every time I read it I love it If goblin you are, with that great mass of curly hair, those eyes speckled like bird eggs, that smile that illumines your entire face, then goblins must be of such beauty that only the rarest of beings can recognize it Ordinary and wealthy families mingle and earn a living in a small lovely village overlooking the ocean Life moves slowly and smoothly in predictable rhythms at least, it does for most of the people living there A few of the inhabitants are aware that something is off in the small community A few have seen things which they cannot talk about Every night at sunset the sound of a mournful bell rings out no one knows why or where it comes from, but it has rung through generations of births a Ordinary and wealthy families mingle and earn a living in a small lovely village overlooking the ocean Life moves slowly and smoothly in predictable rhythms at least, it does for most of the people living there A few of the inhabitants are aware that something is off in the small community A few have seen things which they cannot talk about Every night at sunset the sound of a mournful bell rings out no one knows why or where it comes from, but it has rung through generations of births and deaths People rarely even notice or question any about where or what it is, although some think it comes from a drowned ship, sunk beneath the waters.The Cauleys run the Inn at Sealey Head, with servants occasionally helping with the cleaning and cooking, although lately they have not had very many guests coming The Blair family are merchants who own a fleet of ships and warehouses where they keep their goods to be sold The Sproules are local farming aristocrats who live in Sproule Manor At the Aislinn House, Lady Eglantyne resides She has the oldest pedigree.Then, a colorful stranger, a gentleman, arrives at the Inn His name is Ridley Dow, a traveling scholar, who has come to find the bell Judd Cauley, who has taken over the running of the Inn since his elderly father has lost his sight, couldn t becurious about this bell search He is also very interested in the satchel of books Dow carries Judd is afflicted with a love of reading and he has read every book his family owns Until Dow arrived, only his friend Gwyneth Blair shared his love of reading Judd is in love with her as well But she is beyond his reach in class and wealth Fortunately, Dow is friendly and willing to share his books with Judd, and soon they find much in common.Gwyneth s family is eager to marry her to Raven Sproule, to her dismay Fortunately, she is able to find excuses to avoid most of the opportunities both families try to set up for the two to meet and converse What she prefers to do with her time is write stories Her younger siblings love her stories about the bell most of all.Emma works at Aislinn house as a housemaid, but things are not well Lady Eglantyne is dying It is necessary to send for her heir, Miranda Beryl, a granddaughter of Lord Aislinn s brother Miranda has lived in Landringham, a nearby city, all of her life Dr Grantham asks Emma if her mother Hesper could possibly help him give Lady Eglantyne some ease Hesper had left Aislinn House to go to live in a tree She knows a great deal about woodland medicine and the doctor asks for Hesper s help often Emma agrees to find her mother, known locally as a wood witch , but she is also thinking about Ysabo, a mysterious princess, and wonders what will happen to Ysabo when Miss Beryl becomes the Lady of Aislinn House view spoiler No one except Emma and Hesper knows about the magical world of Princess Ysabo, as far as they know Sometimes, when they are going about their duties around the House, Emma will open a door to a closet, a bedroom, a pantry, but instead of walking into the expected room will find themselves looking across a mysterious threshold into a different world It is where the Princess Ysabo lives Ysabo is also startled to see Emma Neither can explain what is happening or why, and neither dares to cross over into the other s world Princess Ysabo s universe appears to be older than the late middle ages time of Emma s world There are knights and castles where Ysabo lives But there is something very wrong in Ysabo s reality She must perform rituals every day which appear to have no value, and if she refuses, she is punished Worse, she has been engaged to a knight she does not know, and he will not permit her to speak or ask questions After her betrothal, she realizes she does not even know her intended husband s name Her mother and grandmother do not know the name of her fiance, either however, her mother and grandmother will not allow her to deviate in any ritual or refuse her marriage Any change in any routine will mean a terrible disaster for their world Nobody knows why Then, one day, Dow pushes past Emma when she has opened a door into Ysabo s world He crosses the threshold For the first time in anyone s memory, the bell rings in the morning.oh oh hide spoiler This is a charming story written in good, but simple, prose, but it a bit too sweet for my taste.It has a tone which reminded me somewhat of a light and short Jane Austen novel But this is not Great Literature, or in my opinion, even an adult read as it is advertised While a few of the characters undergo some violence, and there is a touch of romance, this book is like an innocent teen fairy tale which reminded me of early Disney films like Snow White and Sleeping Beauty I would not recommend this to anyone who prefers thrillers, horror or mysteries I think it is a very nice dreamy fantasy I will never want to read again Reviewed for The Bibliophibian.Sealey Head is a small town, perched above a harbour, where people mostly go about their everyday lives managing an inn, running a business, selling their wares with the main magic being in the stories written by Gwyneth and the books read by Judd, childhood friends who have become somewhat estranged as they grew up and hadresponsibilities The strange thing, though it s now so normal that inhabitants of the town think of it entirely normal, is that every Reviewed for The Bibliophibian.Sealey Head is a small town, perched above a harbour, where people mostly go about their everyday lives managing an inn, running a business, selling their wares with the main magic being in the stories written by Gwyneth and the books read by Judd, childhood friends who have become somewhat estranged as they grew up and hadresponsibilities The strange thing, though it s now so normal that inhabitants of the town think of it entirely normal, is that every day a mysterious bell sounds They have no idea where the sound comes from or when it began, though there are a cluster of stories and assumptions around it.In the big house owned by a local aristocrat, a servant called Emma knows magic does exist, because every so often, she opens a door in the house and sees another world, and a woman she s never met in this world Princess Isabo lives a life strictly confined by ritual light this candle, move this sword, fill the goblets of certain men but not others and don t ask questions.Into that world comes a scholar, Ridley Drow, to shake everything up and make people confront the magic in their midst It feels like such a typical story for McKillip it has all her hallmarks in the handling, in the love of books, in the way the magic is handled, in the prose, in the way people relate to each other So if you enjoy McKillip s work, you ll probably enjoy this as well I certainly did, from the shy reconnection between Gwyneth and Judd to the chattering good heartedness of Daria Sproule to the daring of Princess Isabo, finally asking questions and breaking the ritual routine.It all builds up very nicely, but the denouement stumbled a little, for me After all the build up, knowing there s danger and that their friends are in trouble, Gwyneth and Judd rush to Aislinn House to help only to be thwarted by the fact that no one can open a way into Isabo s world Instead of doing anything, they settle down to wait and the climax of the story happens entirely without them It feels like all the characters build towards that, but only Ridley and Isabo actually get to see it It feels odd that they re left out of the main plot, even though Gwyneth and Judd s stories are completed in other personal ways.Also, there are some things I just missed somehow in the climax of the book some things seemed to come out of nowhere for me I didn t have a clue about the significance of the boat, for instance or rather, I did realise it was significant, but the reason for its significance just didn t seem to have been telegraphed at all, to the point where it felt like a deus ex machina This isn t a first for me with McKillip s writing, and sometimes it s possible she s just being too subtle for me.Overall, despite those quibbles, I enjoyed the book a lot, and McKillip s writing is gorgeous It s a great read all the same A sweet little slip of a book about a house in a tiny seaside town, and pantry doors that open to the house in another world under a spell, and an innkeeper who loves books, and country romances, and a bell ringing every day at sunset that only the people who listen can hear.Pretty This book is partly about rituals lighting candles, getting married to the proper person, a bell that rings at the same time every day and how important it is to be aware of the rules you re following I read mos A sweet little slip of a book about a house in a tiny seaside town, and pantry doors that open to the house in another world under a spell, and an innkeeper who loves books, and country romances, and a bell ringing every day at sunset that only the people who listen can hear.Pretty This book is partly about rituals lighting candles, getting married to the proper person, a bell that rings at the same time every day and how important it is to be aware of the rules you re following I read most of this book on a quiet Sunday, alone, doing laundry The book would step into one of its recitations of quotidian magic, light that lantern Close the door, and lock it Leave the key Turn one page of the book at the top of the tower I would think, sort the whites Pour detergent Normal, easy care, delicates McKillip always has a different take on magic, and this one is domestic, busy handed, frightening if followed blindly but very powerful if done mindfully It was a good day This is the best book I ve yet read from Patricia A McKillip, and I ve loved all of her work that I ve read Somehow this enchanted me even better than any of the others A lovely, magical atmosphere that permeates all of the book and the reader s consciousness A fascinating story about a small and seemingly dull seaside village where a mysterious bell tolls every evening at sunset and where doors in the great manor open into other worlds at random There are wonderful characters with personal This is the best book I ve yet read from Patricia A McKillip, and I ve loved all of her work that I ve read Somehow this enchanted me even better than any of the others A lovely, magical atmosphere that permeates all of the book and the reader s consciousness A fascinating story about a small and seemingly dull seaside village where a mysterious bell tolls every evening at sunset and where doors in the great manor open into other worlds at random There are wonderful characters with personality And there is writing that is as poetic, beautiful and lush as ever in McKillip s books but somehowreadable than ever before In earlier books I ve loved her writing but sometimes found it a little difficult to absorb in places, however, now it flowed from the page into my head with perfect ease without sacrificing in any of the beauty, lushness or poetry A thoroughly recommended read for anyone who might possibly be appealed by this kind of book At heart this is a fairy tale about stories Like Robin McKinley s work, this book is fantasy on the small and private level McKillip tells the story of a group of people think Cranford and the magic that is part of their lives All the characters are well drawn and none of the characters is a cliche In addition to the actual novel, one of the characters tells a story to her younger siblings In fact, when this is first down, the reader feels the disappointment of that story breaking off Mc At heart this is a fairy tale about stories Like Robin McKinley s work, this book is fantasy on the small and private level McKillip tells the story of a group of people think Cranford and the magic that is part of their lives All the characters are well drawn and none of the characters is a cliche In addition to the actual novel, one of the characters tells a story to her younger siblings In fact, when this is first down, the reader feels the disappointment of that story breaking off McKillip transports the reader to the room where the story is being read She does this each time the character returns to the story This is one of my favorite McKillip novels, second only to Tower at Stony Brook.Imagine a small coastal town where inhabitants have always heard a bell toll the end of the day a bell no one has seen Although many have stopped noticing it and there are as many stories as to where the sound originates, there are a few who are determined to get to the bottom of this mystery a stranger, new to town a wood witch and the merchant s daughter, who s imagination and stories keep returning to the bel This is one of my favorite McKillip novels, second only to Tower at Stony Brook.Imagine a small coastal town where inhabitants have always heard a bell toll the end of the day a bell no one has seen Although many have stopped noticing it and there are as many stories as to where the sound originates, there are a few who are determined to get to the bottom of this mystery a stranger, new to town a wood witch and the merchant s daughter, who s imagination and stories keep returning to the bell And they discover that the one large manor house is a portal to a magical realm, one where an evil magician holds swaya magician who is the ancestor of the stranger.The story has many twists and turns that will keep you guessing, and has an interesting story within a story the inner story being one of the merchant s daughters But McKillip, with her usual flair for the enchanting yet multi layered plot, keeps you entranced from word one I would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves a good fairy tale or fantasy novel