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'Mad Maudlin'    Send a link to a friend

[NOV. 19, 2003]  "Mad Maudlin," by Mercedes Lackey, edited by Rosemary Edghill, Simon & Schuster, 439 pages, genre: science fiction, fantasy

Review by Bobbi Reddix

"Mad Maudlin" is the sixth book in the "Bedlam's Bard" series by Mercedes Lackey, and I must say it is also one of the best. Although it is one in a series, it can also be read as a single book. By reading book six, you get a sense of the purpose and history behind Eric the Bard and the group of gifted people called the Guardians to which he belongs.

Eric Banyon is a young man living in post-9/11 New York. He grew up in a home with parents who valued him only for his musical ability and who eventually drove him to a destructive behavior described in the first story in the series, "Knights of Ghosts and Shadows."

Eric's talent with the flute gains the attention of the "elves" of California, and he learns of its magic and the magic within himself. When the elves of "Underworld" take Eric under their wing, the adventures begin. Eric embarks upon an epic adventure involving the world of myths and magic and one that also involves the discovery of himself.

In "Mad Maudlin," Eric and his band of guardians hear tales of a "ghost" haunting the homeless children of the streets, a ghost who goes by the name of Bloody Mary. As urban legend dictates, anyone who sees or is seen by her is marked by death. The Guardians first dismiss this tale as the resurrection of an old myth until people begin to turn up deadů

 

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Mad MaudlinTo further complicate matters for the young Bard, he discovers he has a brother who has mysteriously disappeared from the same home Eric abandoned 17 years earlier and is rumored to be living among the homeless of Manhattan. Eric uses a bit of Bardic magic to search for his long-lost brother and is surprised to learn there is a bit of magic gone awry, keeping him from completing his task.

The "Bedlam's Bard" series is a must-read for the lover of urban fantasy. Although it's not necessary to read them in order, you might discover that after reading one, you're hooked. Other books in the series are "Bedlam's Bard," 1992; "The Chrome Borne," 1999; "The Otherworld," 2000; "Beyond World's End," 2001; and "Spirits White as Lightning," 2001.

[Bobbi Reddix,
 Lincoln Public Library District]

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