- Series: Bedlam's Bard
- Mass Market Paperback: 345 pages
- Publisher: Baen (June 1, 1990)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0671698850
- ISBN-13: 978-0671698850
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,345,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Knight of Ghosts & Shadows (Bedlam's Bard, Bk. 1) Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1990
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I also liked the writing changed from person to person's point of view and felt like it was easy to read, but being a lit major in college, maybe I have an easier time of it. Some readers don't like italics, but I seem to do well with it for thought dialog.
The polyamory aspect of it intrigued me and was a nice edition and that was partially why I picked this book as well.
While Anne Rice seems to write well about being an immortal, but I seriously doubt anyone could get it correct since no one knows. But the immortals in this book seem plenty devious and cunning and ring true even after the story ended. I also loved the feeling that music can heal and in my heart, that seemed to be the overall intended tone or path of this story. (Pun intended.) *smile*
There are so many mediocre modern fairy tales that it was a pleasure to read this one. The only other one that comes close was "War of the Oaks" by Emma Bull.
Mercedes Lackey does several modern fantasy works, but I feel this is the best of them all. Interestingly enough they are all tied together loosly, with occasional comments scattered throughout them to give a richer environment then just a single series would do.
Lackey's strengths in characters and their motivations really comes to the fore in this book, as well as her excllent story telling ability and imagery. I heartily recommend this book.
To start off with, it seemed to me like the plot with the elves in California was extremely perfunctory and unlikely, even within the realms of fantasy. We've heard it all before...the dying elves forced to rely on one human for salvation. The elves were so incredibly stereotypical--gorgeous, slender, cat-eyed, etc. A personality would be nice. All the city dwellers, according to this book, lead dissipated lives. The main character Eric, for whom we were supposed to feel compassion, was an apathetic wretch who preferred to solve his problems by drinking and drugs and still managed by his Extraordinary Powers to Save Everyone with a minimal effort. While the effort to make the villainess likable was apparent, it noticeably failed. On top of that, all the characters were just oozing with gooey emotions. The system of magic used was intriguing-- combining magic and music-- but was never developed at all.
On the other hand, it was readable and went by fairly quickly. If you need to feed an urban fantasy fix, this might do it. I would, however, recommend the much more intelligent Son of Darkness by Josepha Sherman, or The Sword of Maiden's Tears by Rosemary Edghill. Both were immeasurably more enjoyable.
Other than that, the book itself is interesting, not the least because it broke Lackey's invariable pattern of doing trilogies. Knight of Ghosts and Shadows is actually the second book in a "trilogy", if you want to call it that, book one being bowery Boyz I beleiv, about a healer witch in a modern day city slum who does not return until the second half of book three, summoned to tourney....and of course Lackety then continued on with a second "trilogy" on bard eric's life alone after she managed to get rid of the other two main characters in Knight of Ghosts and Shadows. Rather funny, it was...first, a tripod was the strongest thing in nature, and then POOF, the beginning of the first book in the second "trilogy" disposes thoroughly of the idea.
It could be read as an object lesson in ignoring conditions you yourself set up in writing, I suppose, as well as a historical reference.
The book itself is decent, as is its antecendent and sequel, I'd just advice not to read these three and the second three after Lackey breaks up her threesome. Pick one or the other, instead.