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Beyond World's End (Bedlam Bard, Book 4) Hardcover – January 1, 2001
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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.
Top customer reviews
"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. I hope that there is a sequel, because I want to see what happens with Kory and Beth, the Guardians, and Aerune's plans. I think I may wait until the paperback comes out though, just in case...
If you don't pay close attention to details, you will probably enjoy this book. If you DO pay close attention to details--re-read "Bedlam's Bard".
In the previous volume, Kayla is living with Liane and Billy in a suite of an abandoned building within Los Angeles. They get their food and other needs by shoplifting. Kayla has a headache again and they are looking for some aspirins.
Billy and Liane stay up front while Kayla searches for the pills in the back. She slips a bottle in her pocket and heads for the front. Then she hears gunshots and Liane screams.
Kayla runs to the front and finds a man wearing a long leather coat standing with a rifle in his hands. Two people are lying in the blood near the counter. Billy is holding Liane and both are frozen near the magazine rack.
The man with the rifle raises it toward Kayla and she rushes him. She grabs the rifle and tries to pull it from this hands. He pushes her away and she lands on the floor.
Then Billy tackles the gunman. They both fall on the floor and the rifle goes off. Both Billy and the gunman are shot.
Kayla goes to Billy and holds him. Then blue light comes from her hands and heals Billy. The gunman begs for healing and Kayla can't refuse.
In this novel, Eric Banyon is a human Bard trained Underhill in Elfhame Misthold. He has spent years working the Renaissance Fair circuit. Now he is returning to Julliard.
Beth Kentraine is a human and a witch. She is a friend of Eric and the mate of Kory. She is now pregnant by Kory and is impatiently waiting for the arrival of their child.
Korendil is an Elven Knight of Elfhame Sun-Descending. Kory is a friend of Eric and the mate of Beth,
Ria Llewellyn is a crossbreed of human and Elf. Her father used her to undercut the ruler of Elfhame Sun-Descending and she turned against him. She was severely injured in the battle and was slow to heal. Now she is the sole owner of her father's company.
Dharinel is an Elven Magus Major and one of the strongest mages in any Elfhame. He was Eric's teacher of Bardic magic, but has taught him everything that he needs to know to become a powerful Bard.
Toni Hernandez is a human Guardian and the building manager of Guardian House. Guardians protect humanity against aliens from outer space and other dimensions.
Greystone is a gargoyle. He hangs out near a window in Eric's new apartment. He is part of the safeguards on the building.
In this story, Dharinel had told Eric that he had unfinished business in the mortal world. He then returned from Underhill and spent some time at the Sterling Forest Faire. Meanwhile, he auditioned at Julliard and was readmitted for the forthcoming session.
Beth and Kory had helped him to get an apartment and to furnish it. The only problem was the lack of air conditioning. Since he has magical powers, Eric played a tune that cooled the air coming in through a window.
Then Eric realized that he is lonesome without his friends. He plays another tune that invites anyone compatible to come to meet him. Greystone answered the invitation.
Greystone tells Eric that Guardian House chose him as a tenant. Some tenants also have magical talents, but most are people without magic. All are humans with talents that contribute to the well being of mankind.
Toni, the super, a police detective and s computer nerd -- the four Guardians -- come to a party on Saturday. As Toni explains, they have special capabilities and unusual talents. She warns him not to help them without an invitation.
Eric is also doing well at Julliard. One of his professors is a bully, but Eric can handle such as he after playing at RenFaires for so long. His RenFaire experience also makes him much sought after for performance groups; he is picked to play in the main orchestra, a chamber group and a trio.
This tale brings a Dark Lord and his minions to New York City. They infiltrate a covert operation by an unit of a drug company trying to give psionic powers to humans The parent company is owned by Ria and she takes action against the corrupted humans and the Dark Lord.
Eric makes new friends in New York City. The next installment in this sequence is Spirits White as Lightning.
Highly recommended for Lackey & Edghill fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of Bardic powers, musical compositions, and a touch of romance. Read and enjoy!
-Arthur W. Jordin