This is a story I read as a teenager, if I remember correctly, more than 40 years ago and I only remember vague glimpses that I find hard to put into words, so I do realise it may be a very tall order. As far as I remember, it was a novel, but not a long one. It may have been part of a series, but as far as I remember, it was readable as a stand-alone novel. I didn't entirely understand the story back then, and but I remember enjoying it and now I'd like to find it again.

The main thing I do remember was that the main character was a young woman, who loses her memory for a longish time because something like a bird(?) comes flying and inserts a silver(?) needle into her head, but she regains her memories when it is removed. The setting of the story is on the moon(?), which has been terraformed, and I seem to remember that it was slightly 'medieval' in some ways, with kings(?) and a kind of magic or similar.

  • This feels to me like something that Patricia McKillip might have written. Identity and memory being frequently visited themes...
    – DavidW
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 14:33
  • @DavidW I'll have to study her works - what I see on Wikipedia certainly looks worth it, but I'm not convinced, not yet. Thx for the reference, though.
    – j4nd3r53n
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 14:40

1 Answer 1


This sounds like the Darkangel series by Meredith Ann Pierce.

It's set on the moon, a long time after it's been abandoned, terraformed and populated by mythic creatures who go on medieval-style quests. Inhabitants included creatures like the Sphynx, because the moon at some point had been almost like an amusement park for humanity-that-was.

At one point in one of the sequels (A Gathering of Gargoyles and The Pearl of the Soul of the World), the main character, Ariel, has her heart pierced by a shard of ice and wakes up... different. There's no needle in her head that I remember, but the other points are so unique to this trilogy that I think even if you're mixing it up with something else, Darkangel is part of it.

Perhaps the bird-like creature was the Darkangel himself? Does this cover look familiar? Book cover with a black-winged vampire carrying an unconscious woman

There's magic in the story - for example there's a cloak of invisibility.

  • I don't recall the cover - when I read it, it was in Danish translation and probably as a library loan bound in something unspeakable - but the author's name rings a bell. I think you may be right. I'll read up on it.
    – j4nd3r53n
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 15:33
  • 2
    It was "The Pearl of the Soul of the World"! From the wikipedia article: "A pin in her skull, placed there by an agent of the Witch, forces her to avoid thinking...". Thanks a lot!
    – j4nd3r53n
    Commented Nov 11, 2019 at 15:50

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