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did I just watch The Last Unicorn too many times?
September 20, 2011 10:13 AM   Subscribe

Fantasy ID filter: book read in the late 80s, early 90s. Child in fishing village, purchased as a slave or servant by a traveling magician. Beautiful city in decline, animal (fish?) shaped necklace with a seed in its mouth?

Working from the twenty year old memory of a fourth grader:

- Orphan or near-orphan boy in a fishing village, who is possibly purchased as a slave or servant by a traveling magician.
- Magician and kid travel to a fantabulous, decaying old city.
- Other characters include a snotty, aristocratic or royal child who thinks he (she?) is the heir in the prophecy, in part because he (or she) was born in a certain room in the palace that had a -- golden ceiling? A mural on the ceiling?
- Surprise, the Fisher Boy is the one in the prophecy!
- In the climactic scene, I think the sea comes into the palace and destroys it.
- Something about a fish-shaped necklace with a secret seed in its mouth that is the key to the prophecy.
- I think the last scene had the boy returning to the sea and the little village, rather than ruling the city?
- Possibly YA, but it could also have been literary fiction in fairy tale format -- I remember thinking that the story was really grim and that nobody was acting like they were in the Disney versions of stories.

This was possibly titled something like "The Fisher King" or "The Fisherman King"? The version that I saw was a hardback, probably paperback size or smaller, with a burgandy cover. There may have been a dust jacket that had been removed by the time I got my mitts on it.
posted by joyceanmachine to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Sounds like a story based on the legend of the city of Ys. Do any of the "Ys in popular culture" on the Wikipedia page sound right?
posted by fimbulvetr at 11:39 AM on September 20, 2011


Perhaps "The Green Pearl" by Jack Vance from the Lyonesse Trilogy.
posted by fimbulvetr at 11:43 AM on September 20, 2011


Opps. Try this link instead.
posted by fimbulvetr at 11:44 AM on September 20, 2011


My guess: The Innocent Mage (Kingmaker, Kingbreaker).
posted by wam at 7:05 PM on September 20, 2011


Actually, nevermind. Looks like that was published in 2005. I forgot how common many of these tropes are...
posted by wam at 7:24 PM on September 20, 2011


Alas, I don't think any of those are it, but thanks for the suggestions of new reading material!
posted by joyceanmachine at 7:13 AM on September 26, 2011


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