You are a musician standing on a quiet hillside near Los Angles and begin to play your flute. As you play, the music becomes wild and something strange happens. Later you discover an elf in your apartment. This is how _Bedlam’s Bard_ by Mercedes Lackey and Ellen Guon begins. It is a Contemporary Fantasy about elves and magic in our urban world. Readers will find the book entertaining because of its plot, characters and setting.
The plot keeps the readers’s attention with its fast-paced action. The first part is called “A Knight of Ghosts and Shadows.” A musician discovers that elves exist in Los Angeles. He is drawn into a battle between a renegade elf and the o ther elves. The renegade wants to destroy the magic nexus and his people. One of the elven knights befriends the musician, asking him for help because he is a Bard. Along with a woman friend, the Bard helps the elves in their struggle. In part two, “Summoned to Tourney,” the trio must stop a shadow creature from destroying the Bay area.
Realistic, likable characters add to the entertainment level of the book. Eric starts out as a hard drinking, drug taking talented musician with problems. He grows throughout the story as he learns to use his magic and finds love. Beth is a strong, clever woman that helps Eric through his growth. The third member is the elf knight Korendil. All the characters are sympathetic and add a strong touch of likability to the book.
Lastly, the settings of Los Angeles and San Francisco give a strong element to the book. The elves settled in these areas with their magic groves. Later, humans built the cities around them. Elven magic contributes to the creativity of the entertainment industry according to the book’s premise. With the backgrounds of familiar places, Renaissance Fairs and urban living, the added touch of magic gives our world a mysterious nuance of imagination.
Mercedes Lackey’s collaboration with Ellen Guon, _Bedlam’s Bard_, about elves and magic in California is an entertaining Fantasy book. The authors provided a good plot, likable characters and familiar setting to make a very enjoyable book. Readers will discover a fun book with a lot of action, love and adventure.