Conrad J. Benedicto, musician and author of Musalya's Gift visits the library for a reading and Kulintang performance. Musalaya's Gift is Benedicto's debut fantasy novel, combining Phillipine folklore with anti-colonial resistance in a world of mythic beasts and battles that will appeal to a wide range of ages.
The story centers on a young man named Alad, who "would rather be climbing a tree or sailing. Better yet—playing the kulintang! He does not need to know the history of how the Perdite from the land of Ariel civilized his people, the Lukat. Alad already knows this because his teacher—the pink face mage Bruscoro—belittles him and treats his people as inferiors. To escape from this punitive school environment, Alad dreams of being a legendary kulintang musician, for whom no rhythmic beat is beyond reach! To be legendary, however, is simply not about fame or skill. To be legendary is to be like Musalaya, whose musical prowess defied space and time. But the question is: Does Alad have Musalaya's gift?
Musalaya's Gift is a fantasy novel of epic proportions, beginning with a school confrontation and quickly moves to a world-changing battle at the border of earth and sky. To stop territorial conquest, the younger Lukat generation and their elders, engage in the fight of their lives. Could Alad's music win a battle and stop a war?"