Kidnapped at an early age, Ansset has been raised in isolation at a mystical retreat called the Songhouse. His life is filled with music, and having only songs for companions, he develops a voice that is unlike any other. But Ansset's voice is both a blessing and a curse-for it reflects all the hopes and fears of his audience, and, by magnifying their emotions, can be used either to heal or to destroy. When it is discovered that his is the voice that the Emperor has waited decades for, Ansset is summoned to the Imperial Palace on Old Earth. Many fates rest in Ansset's hands, and his songs will soon be put to the test: either to salve the troubled conscience of a conqueror or drive him, and the universe, into mad chaos.
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by Orson Scott Card
by Orson Scott Card, Emily Janice Card
"From the author of ENDER'S GAME comes another novel of a boy presented with difficult circumstances. Ansset is a singer in a world in which a properly trained singer can affect the mood of an audience (or a single person) to the point of manipulation. He is a boy talented enough to be the emperor's own songbird, but not until he completes his training. Stefan Rudnicki narrates this novel with the power that the prose demands. The characters sing, but the songs are mostly described rather than performed. Rudnicki, when called upon to do so, sings lines with an understated grace that effectively suggests the great abilities of the characters doing the singing. S.D.D. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award (c) AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine"
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