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Beyond World's End (Bedlam Bard, Book 4) Hardcover – January 1, 2001

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Baen; First Edition edition (January 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671319558
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671319557
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,012,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Beyond World's End continues Eric Banyon's tale in the Bedlam's Bard series. Sieur Eric, Knight and Bard to the court of the Queen of Elfhame Misthold, moves back to the Big Apple to take care of unfinished business. Most notably, he wants to finish his interrupted education at Julliard and settle down to a normal life.

As Eric says goodbye to his friends Kory and Beth, he settles into a new apartment and a rigorous schedule at Julliard. However, a normal life doesn't seem to be in his immediate future as he quickly discovers his apartment has unique features, including a living gargoyle named Greystone and four Guardians who have sworn to protect New York from evil. But the evil the Guardians are facing this time is something they haven't seen before.

Unscrupulous researchers have created a drug that briefly unlocks magical powers in a small percentage of the humans it's given to. Unfortunately, it also has a 100 percent mortality rate. But something evil from Underhill has other plans and seeks to use the temporary human powers to threaten the World Above. As Eric gets drawn into the fray, his past catches up with him and good grades become the least of his problems.

Beyond World's End, which takes place in the same universe as Lackey's SERRAted Edge series, combines human evil and magical evil in a compelling way that brings the characters into today's world. Eric is all grown up now and he's a wonderful hero. However, Beyond World's End feels like it's missing the last few chapters. So much time is spent on back-story and the physical setup of the novel that many characters and their stories are introduced only to be dropped with no explanation or resolution. What could have been a great book ends up being ultimately disappointing coming from these two excellent authors. --Kathie Huddleston

From Publishers Weekly

A human bard returns to the mortal world to find himself battling both elven and human demons in this entertaining entry in Lackey's Urban Faerie series. In this sequel to Bedlam's Bard, Eric Banyon moves to New York to finish his Julliard studies as a flautist, only to find that his apartment building is a safe house for the city's magical Guardians. Together with his Guardian neighbors, his friends Beth and Kory from the previous book, and his erstwhile flame, Ria Llewellyn, Banyon uncovers both a plot to open a nexus to the elven world, Underhill, in the middle of Manhattan and a group of scientists' scheme to use psychotropic drugs to uncover magical powers in normal people. Both the scientists and Aerune, the dark prince, hope to harness the drug-induced abilities of New York's street people to build their own powerAuntil Banyon and his friends intervene. Continual references to contemporary New York life help contextualize and anchor a story that might otherwise wobble on its fantastical underpinnings. While the main characters verge on predictability, quick, vivid portraits of side characters are much more interesting. Readers will want to have read Bedlam's Bard for the back story of Lackey and Edghill's faerie world's complex geography and social structure. Even on its own merits, however, this novel's accessible blend of the urban and the whimsical will appeal to those who wonder whether the phantasmagoric walk city streets.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

I had started to wonder if the authors had ever heard of the writing advice "show don't tell".
Wren Dreolin
There were too many secondary characters whose stories went nowhere and who might have been interesting if properly developed but never were.
E. M. Bristol
It's almost like the authors got tired of the book about three-quarters through and just decided to finish it.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Wren Dreolin on January 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
For me, this book had many problems. To start with the authors spent way too much time setting up the story, filling in events that happened between the last book and this one, and on setting up Eric's apartment. I understand the need for this, but I feel it was handled poorly. For example, does the reader really need to read four pages of description of Eric's apartment and its (non-storyline related) contents? There are also two-and-a-half pages about Eric building his CD collection! Almost the entire first chapter is retrospective description. I had started to wonder if the authors had ever heard of the writing advice "show don't tell". Also, there are footnotes! If I remember correctly at least one of the other books in this series also contained footnotes, and I thought it was a bad idea then, and that book was much better than this one. On my part, I feel footnotes do not belong in novels with the possible exception of highly technical novels such as some hard science-fiction novels. The footnotes in this book are used to explain things that could have been explained in the text, or really did not need an explanation at all. Another problem I had was with the contradictions throughout the book. For example on page 13 it states "... Eric was not going to have to worry about where his money was coming from for a very long time, if ever." Then on the very next page it states: "And when the Krugerrands ran out, and the account that covered his rent and utilities expired, he'd have to have a job to pay for all this." This gives the impression that it is an immediate problem. Which is it? A problem or not a problem? There are other instances of this type throughout the book. Some more sever because they tie-in to the storyline.Read more ›
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Khek on February 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First of all, I love the urban fantasies of Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill. They caught me right from the beginning with their other (individual) titles capturing a gritty and magical world where elves and CEOs exist side-by-side. But, I have to say I was disappointed by this book.
"Beyond World's End" feels like a collaboration that the two authors wrote without really consulting each other. For example, near the beginning, Eric says something about being Underhill for long enough that the US government would never recognize or find him; that according to his birth certificate, he should be someone in his late 40s rather than the 25-year-old student he is. Then, in the same chapter, he enrolls back into Juliard--yet he hasn't changed his name, and both professors and students clearly know him and his history at the school. Nobody remarks on his apparent or actual age. A little difficult to reconcile both these viewpoints! This age thing continues throughout the novel, so it's not one missed comment. Another example--when Eric's moving into his apartment, he mentions that he's stopped drinking anything with caffeine because it is so destructive to his elven friends...yet, just a chapter or two later, he's offering guests cappuchino from his own machine. Little faults, but it shows that the authors weren't consistant, and that irritates me when I'm spending $2.. on a book.
Other reviews here have mentioned the detailed beginning and the rushed ending, and I agree. It's almost like the authors got tired of the book about three-quarters through and just decided to finish it. Or, alternately, they might have rushed the ending and left those dangling questions and characters in order to leave some threads to pick up in a sequel.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Sue V. on January 30, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I'd hate to think of someone coming upon this book and thinking it typical of the writing of Ms. Lackey. This was a sore disappointment. I found the book to be not so much badly written, as poorly executed and miserably edited. There are too many loose ends and too many niggling small mistakes for it to be enjoyable. Two examples spring immediately to mind--and they are small, but NOT what I've been accustomed to seeing in previous works by one of my favorite authors. When we meet Jeremy he's plays an oboe; yet in the concert he's a bassoonist. Eric shows up on the concert stage in "school uniform" ('white shirt, black pants, dress shoes, and tie') but several pages on we find that Eric is congratuling himself for not being pressured into wearing said tie. There are other distracting errors--mostly the usual grammatical and spelling mistakes that are increasingly common--but in concert with the general looseness in story line, this book is definitely not one of Ms. Lackey's better offerings.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By N. Dodson on January 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Having read and enjoyed all of Lackey's Bedlam Bards series, I was understandably excited to see a new Eric Banyon adventure. This book begins a couple decades after Summoned To Tourney, with Eric taking up residence--alone--in The Big Apple. Yes, there are quite a few changes afoot in the bard's lifestyle. Having spent years hiding Underhill from mortal authorities while learning to control his Bardic magic, he is ready to go back to school to see if he can make it without Beth and Kory. A nice tie-in to the Diana Tregarde series has him moving in to an apartment building run by Guardians.
Although Eric is determined to keep a low profile and focus on his non-magical musical abilities, he finds himself caught up (again) in an evil elf's plans for world domination. The reappearance of Ria Llewellyn, combined with the stress of midterms, has Eric off-balance.
The only real quibble I have with this book is its length. It seemed a bit short; the action wound up pretty quickly at the end after a long buildup. Also, while the Juilliard subplot was hyped as very important, it just sort of stopped two-thirds of the way through the book, leaving several loose ends unresolved. There are hints in the text, however, that this could be the beginning of a new series which would address those and some other issues. I am withholding final judgment until I know for sure. If this does turn out to be continued, then I agree with the authors that this "could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship."
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