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KNIGHTS OF GHOSTS & SHADOWS [Mass Market Paperback]

MERCEDES LACKEY
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 1 1990 Bedlam's Bard
Half a millennium after being driven from Europe and settling in southern California, a band of elves places their hopes on a single human being, who must rescue them from a dark oppressor. Reissue.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Life History Feb. 1 2004
By G amer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Anyone who performed or vended at either "Big Faire", which is what Californians call the two nine week long every summer Rennaisance Faires, one Northern, one Southern, will recognize this book as a fantasy utilizing what happened when Southern Faire's site for years was bulldozed and the Faire had to move. Not surprising as Lackey herself has connections to the Faire folk.
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It could be read as an object lesson in ignoring conditions you yourself set up in writing, I suppose, as well as a historical reference.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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the SERRAted Edge series Jan. 27 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'm a fan of Mercedes Lackey from a long time back so when I saw this book at the bookstore, I immediately snatched it up. It's the story of a melancholy street-busker, Eric Banyon, and how his talents with the flute earn him the love of the warrior elf Korendil and the witch/rockstar Beth, and also the eternal gratitude of the elves in California for creating a new home for them after their's is bulldozed. That's it. It's a pretty good story but it's definitely got some flaws.
First of all, Korendil is an extremely flat character. He just stands there in his armor and smiles. Throughout the book, Mercedes lackey flips from person to person to tell the story from several points of view but Kory hardly speaks at all.
As for the flipping view points, I did like that we got to hear the opinions of the main bad girl, Ria, but all that flipping around got confusing. I found myself flipping around more than once trying to find out what was happening.
One final caveat: there is a very small, miniscule amount of homosexuality in this book. In fact, compared to Ms. Lackey's Magic's Price, Promise, Pawn series this is nothing. But, if this kind of thing offends you, don't read the book.
The thing I loved most was the magical music, literally. Anyone with a passion for music should read this book. Hearing the sounds she matched the music to made me want to go downstairs and play the piano.
If you love the idea of magic and music together, buy this book. Those parts made my heart soar!
If you liked this book, the SERRAted Edge series is ten times better. It is very similar to this book but the characters are more interesting, in my opinion. It is also by Mercedes Lackey and she recently re-released the four books of the series into two volumes.
Mercedes Lackey rocks!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Insubstantial and unappealing Feb. 4 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Merdeces Lackey's work is often fun to read, despite the general lack of logic and realism apparent throughout. However, I found A Knight of Ghosts and Shadows to be irritatingly implausible beyond the norm. Urban fantasy is not my favorite genre, but I've seen it done much better.
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent modern day faeire July 30 1997
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Mercedes Lackey really pulls it together in this one. Elves, music, and mortal in a modern setting so very believable. The characters work well, and the good guys are not always right and perfect.

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.
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