Grande Prairie Daily Herald Tribune Review - The Piper of Shadonia

Reviewed by: Diana Rinne

Smith's work honoured in memoriam with book release

The Linda Smith Story Room at the Grande Prairie Public Library will be the place to be Saturday afternoon as the library hosts a party to launch a new novel, The Piper of Shadonia, as part of Alberta Culture Days.

The novel, published by Coteau Books, is the last young adult fantasy novel written by Grande Prairie author Linda Smith before her death in 2007.

"I can actually remember reading about two chapters of this book in our writing group," said Hythe author Karen Bass, who served as the author-in-residence for the Peace Library System this past summer and recently published her third novel, Drummer Girl.

"And then she didn't want to share any more of it until she had it edited more. I think she was just finishing up her second round of edits when she passed away."

The manuscript was passed along to Smith's publisher, Coteau Books, by her sister Barbara Brydges and tells the story of Tobin, a young man who lives in two worlds. The son of a mayor, he must be loyal to the dominant Forenzian Empire, but he cares more about the ancient and suppressed world of Shadonia.

When his grandmother dies, she leaves him a wooden flute with powers Tobin barely understands. As he learns more about the power the flute wields he must come to grips with finding a way to help free his country peacefully and without bloodshed.

The Piper of Shadonia is the fifth of Smith's young adult fantasy novels - The Minstrel's Daughter, Talisa's Song, The Weathermage and The Broken Thread. 

The children's librarian at the Grande Prairie Public Library from 1984 to 2001, she also published several children's picture books, and poetry and short fiction in literary periodicals.

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