Reading a Patricia A. McKillip book is like sinking into a dream deeply enough that even when you know you should wake up, you don’t. At least not until your head aches from absorbing the images and rich world densely folded into the pages.
The Bell at Sealy Head is one of the lighter books, in that I only feel that there is water about two feet over my head instead of two hundred. All of her writing is lyrical and gorgeous. This particular book is a song lilting out of the hills on a foggy morning followed with a faint sound of bells ringing deeply. An original fairy tale in structure and character, the book is best with an overcast morning, a slice of sweet bread, and an herbal infusion.
This is not a dark book. Wonderment and entertainment are the purposes for these pages. As in any of Patricia A. McKillips work, there are themes relating to literature, human life, and the twists of people’s personal perceptions. In the range of her work however, this is less epic and more light-hearted. If you like lush language, a sense of wonder, and high fantasy, try The Bell at Sealy Head.