My father and I just finished The Cygnet and the Firebird by Patricia A. McKillip, the final book of her Cygnet Duology.
I am in awe. Again. Again yet more so. Again. If the first book was of stars and time, this one was of Dragons. Far from Ro Holding there lies the Luxour Desert where Dragons shift themselves out of time and legend, literally. A landscape so vast, wondrous, and timeless that it defies description save that it pulses with the ancient, beautiful, primal wonder and majestic power of the Dragon.
In this distant place Mequet and Nyx found riddles and puzzles writ not in stone but in the human heart for, more than any other book, this story is driven by the question of whom to trust amid a crime that cries as a Firebird and hunts the Cygnet as a Dragon. Most books are driven by events that in turn shape the characters' personalities; yet under the Cygnet it is the opposite, the personalities that drive all which in turn results in the most brilliant conversations I have EVER read. Brilliant, unpredictable, and so filled with human heart.
May the stars guide your paths Meguet Vervaine (& and the Gatekeeper), Nyx Ro & Brand Saphier, and Rad Ilex.