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[ Read eBook ] Bardic Voices: Book I: The Lark and the WrenAuthor Mercedes Lackey –

If Rune Could Get The Proper Training, She Could Become One Of The Finest Bards Her World Has Ever Seen But Her Advantages Are Few, So When She Decides To Play Her Fiddle For The Ghost Of Skull Hill, He Agrees To A Bargain An Arrangement That Could Mean Silver For Her Future Quest Or Her Death At The Hands Of The Ghost

10 thoughts on “Bardic Voices: Book I: The Lark and the Wren

  1. says:

    Spunky gal Rune is teased in her generic medieval European village Oh noes, but at least she has her music In fact, she s so good that she wins a fiddling contest against an ancient and malevolent ghost Buoyed by her success, she enters the Bardic Trials to become a licensed bard BUT She s a girl And girls can t be bards OPRESHUN She wins the competition, but when she reveals her gender they beat her and cast her out Luckily, she impressed Talyeson and the Free Bards They take her on, and she spends the rest of the book travelling the roads, making her living through music The first half of the story is a lot of fun Rune is hard working and good hearted, and her love of music is clear There s a great bit during the Bardic Trials when she retools a song WHILE SINGING IT to ensure the judges don t think her too proud or female The tension between the Bardic Guild and the Free Bards is great, and I liked the sequence of Rune discovering the hardships of the road Unfortunately, all too soon the tension and quick thinking devolve into a saccharine romance, with an easy victory thrown in As a middle schooler, I really enjoyed the Bardic Voices series If I read it nowadays I probably wouldn t manage two pages.

  2. says:

    I read this on a plane while on my way to visit a prospective college I recall this because it marked the point at which I became too old for Mercedes Lackey.

  3. says:

    I d half remembered being really into one Mercedes Lackey book as a kid and finally decided to track it down I do think it was this one, but I won t mark it as a re read since it was basically new to me.It s kind of an odd story The first half is a coming of age story, really Then it switches into a not very well built love story though I think I liked it a lot as a kid and then into a political story, almost So it s basically like 3 different stories that don t really fit that well together.But 4 stars for nostalgia and I really DID like the first half a lot And the love story is kind of my thing I like age differences and master student stuff, when done right , it s just that it was mostly telling, not showing.

  4. says:

    What is bard s magic and how does one become a bard What is a difference between a bard and a minstrel Read and find out as you follow a young girl Rune on a quest to become a bard It is a Mercedes Lackey book, which means there is nothing wrong with it from a technical point of view My problem with it it is actually 3 books in one with Rune traveling from one location to another As soon as she leaves, the people and events of previous location are completely discarded and almost never mentioned again Another problem somewhere in the middle of the book it becomes a romance novel and stays this way for quite a while people becoming really stupid, acting out of character, etc Still, it is a fairly entertaining book if overly too long.

  5. says:

    The Lark and the Wren is the first in the Bardic Voices series, but it reads like a standalone, in that it basically completes the main character s story In fact, it s like two books in one The first half deals with Rune leaving her village where she is unappreciated and unwanted to find a music teacher who can prepare her for the Bardic Guild trials it covers both her adaptation to life in a small city and her musical and nonmusical education The second half deals with what happens after the trials, and her life romantic, musical, and magical within the Free Bards a group in opposition to the stodgy, hidebound Bardic Guild Don t be fooled by the synopsis blurb the enounter with the ghost is only the first of Rune s many adventures Lackey s strengths really shine in this novel The worldbuilding is excellent, she has created an interesting and relatable main character, and her ability to weave a story carries you along even when the action is relatively mundane and definitely when it isn t As a musician, I can easily identify with Rune, though she s far skilled and driven than I will ever be Lackey has a gift for writing strong, smart, independent female characters, though their personalities, their flaws, and the ways in which they are strong vary from character to character In Rune s case, she s practical, logical, passionate about her music, ambitious in the musical sense, and aware of her vulnerability as a girl on her own Fortunately, she s tall and slender enough to pass as a boy, and smart enough to do so when it offers safety when traveling or busking on the streets, for instance.Lackey knows music, being something of a folk musician and lyicist herself, so the tunes she describes, and her depictions of Rune s playing and her lessons, are all pitch perfect If you re familiar with Irish and Scottish fiddle music and English folksongs, you can practically hear the music in the book The details of the fantasy world are equally well written you can see, hear, smell, and touch it.There is magic in this book, though with the exception of the Skull Hill Ghost not very much until the second half The magic system here isn t as well defined as in the Valdemar, Five Hundred Kingdoms, or Elemental Magic series, but that s not really a drawback What we do learn of magic is intriguing, particularly in the way Rune and her teacher partner Talaysen begin to explore it through music The subsequent books flesh the magic system out a little , but the way it s handled in this book works because the main character is so new to her magic.One thing that bothers me is the largely negative portrayal of the Church a church clearly modeled on the pre Reformation Catholic Church Lackey s portrait here, while admittedly of a fictional rather than a historical institution, lacks nuance she offers only a very few good individuals within a corrupt and power hungry institution, while the rest are small minded or indifferent to the common folk at best, and exploitative and bigoted at worst I know enough of both history and Church history to know that in the real world, while widespread corruption, greed, and abuse of power certainly existed, there were also ways in which society and individuals benefited from the existence and benevolent actions of the Church As someone with an interest in medieval and Renaissance history, I wish Lackey had been a little evenhanded in her portrayal And yes, I know it s a fantasy world but it s one based very strongly on Europe at the dawn of the Renaissance, which means it evokes and invites historical comparisons Despite this flaw, The Lark and the Wren remains one of my favorites among Lackey s books Its strengths Rune and some of the other characters, notably Talaysen a world familiar enough to be comfortable but different enough to be appealing and interesting the music that weaves through the entire tale and above all the storytelling and attention to detail which make that tale come alive all of these far outweigh any flaws It s a story I happily return to every few years Review originally published at The Bookwyrm s Hoard

  6. says:

    Synopsis This book is set in a fantasy world that is very much like Europe sometime in the past.Rune has spent her entire young life working at a small inn When work slows down and customers request it, she can do what she loves play her fiddle After the inn s owner s kind wife dies, however, Rune gets fewer opportunities to play, and townsfolk start treating her worse When her mother begins jockeying to become the inn s owner s next wife, Rune wonders what will become of her.A dare prompts her to go and play for the Skull Hill Ghost, who view spoiler rewards her for her music with silver than she s ever seen in her life Since her life at the inn appears to be little than a dead end, Rune decides to take her silver and make a new life for herself Her goal is to become a Guild Bard, but first she ll need to find teachers who can help her fill in the gaps in her musical training.What Rune thinks she wants to do with her life may not actually be what s best for her, however Eventually, she learns about the Free Bards and even finds love among them As one of the Free Bards, she meets a young man with a gift for music The young man could make an excellent Free Bard, but he won t survive long enough to do anything if Rune and her companions can t figure out how to protect him from the assassins that are after him hide spoiler

  7. says:

    I had fun reading this book It s a light and fluffy fantasy story, but I enjoyed the writing, the story, and the characters The main character, a girl named Rune, is a teenager living at an inn where her mother and she both work From a young age she showed a gift for music and taught herself to play the fiddle, with the help of various traveling musicians who stopped by their inn and were remarkably generous in teaching her how to play different songs She often played these songs for the inn patrons during normal nights when there wasn t a musician staying there She had a strained relationship with her self centered mother, and she was looked down upon by most people in the village Her dream was to win an apprenticeship with the Bardic Guild where she imagined she d lead a life spent learning about music and playing music, all in the company of like minded musicians who support and help each other.Rune was a sympathetic character She was smart and practical, and that made her easier to sympathize with as compared to the type of character found in many books who cause most of their own problems Rune used common sense and she listened to advice The other major characters in the story were likable also My main complaint with Rune was that she had an awful lot of mental monologues about the corruptness of government agencies, the church, and rich people The author did introduce a few decent people from these groups, so my problem wasn t that it was a completely one sided point of view My problem was just the repetitiveness of it I don t want to listen to a character complain at length about an organization, certainly not than once If the organization is corrupt, I want to see them engage in corrupt activities We did in fact see that, so I didn t need the monologues to convince me they were corrupt Fortunately, while this occurred often enough to annoy me, it really wasn t all that frequent.I had read an anthology by this author last June called Fiddler Fair As it turned out, one of the short stories in that anthology was pretty much taken straight from a chapter in the middle of this book The story made several references to earlier events in Rune s life, so I found that I knew a lot of the major plot points from the first half of the book Normally this would make a book less enjoyable for me because I liked to be surprised by where things go, but the story was much enjoyable in a full length novel where all the details were fleshed out so I enjoyed it anyway Everything that happened after the first half was of a surprise and it was nice to finally learn how things turned out after the events in the short story The book did get really romance heavy in the second half and it happened awfully fast in terms of page count Weeks and occasionally months of time often passed between sections of the book, so the romance did develop over a reasonable period of time, but I as a reader didn t get to see the slow development so I only felt mildly invested For a little while it became very angsty in a repetitive sort of way and I started to get thoroughly tired of it The nice thing was that it wasn t dragged out too long I was afraid it would be dragged out until the end of the book, but it was resolved well before the end and then the story moved back to interesting territory.Although this is the first book in a series, the author told a complete story and this book could stand well on its own I m a little skeptical about whether the author will be able to sustain my interest in this setting for five books, but I plan to continue on to the second book and see where she goes with it For some reason I kept passing over this series in favor of other books that looked interesting to me, but I m glad I finally got around to trying it.

  8. says:

    The blurb for this book was just an excerpt from one of the most important scenes in this tale It described the main character, Rune, playing her fiddle for the Ghost of Skull Hill This is also the image on the cover I was hooked Mercedes Lackey is a master writer with over 140 published novels, and the quality of her stories are reliable This novel tells the story of a fourteen year old girl named Rune who is the illegitimate daughter of a tavern wench Rune struggles to learn the fiddle with the help of passing mineral who stay at the tavern on their way through town The iconic scene in which she plays for the ghost because of a dare happens early in the book and is the turning point in which Rune runs away to try to become a Bard She doesn t know that women are not allowed in the Bard guild and has many adventures before she finds her path in life The story is fascinating and interesting all the way through My only gripe and why I can t give this book five stars on or Goodreads is the arbitrary inconsistency of Rune s morals I don t expect non Christian books to have Christian morals, so I don t judge this book according to that The problem is that at the beginning of the book, one of Rune s motivations in running away is to not be like her mother and to protect herself from the boys in the village who want to rape her Then it is mentioned in passing that she is deflowered by a passing character we hear of twice who actually has a crush on another character The two of them are friends and come together with no expectations and leave as friends Why Just because When Rune meets her main love interest, she then only has the desire to sleep with him I am convinced that he is in love with her than she with him They sleep together just to marry later This creates an emotionally dissatisfying love story, and I am left wondering if she will end up just sleeping with someone else after they are married.The love story is not the main part of this novel, so this gripe is not enough to diminish the fun of the adventures There isn t one plot to this novel It is entirely a character based story that goes from one adventure to another The only strangeness is how Mercedes Lackey has focused exclusively on Rune s point of view for most of the book and then starts seeing the world through her love interests point of view periodically from halfway through the book on It takes away from this being Rune s story.Overall, the story was exciting and enjoyable The world was full, and the magic was just enough to keep you guessing The sex is stated or implied without a full description There is minimal cussing There is little violence or fighting I would recommend this book to older teens and adults who are not too sensitive to secular morals.

  9. says:

    I read most of Mercedes Lackey s Valdemar series when I was younger When I saw this book on a shelf at the used bookstore I thought I d give it a chance I can definitely feel a lot of the same style not surprising that is in Valdemar, and the worlds are set in similar king magic feudal fantasy land Unfortunately, this book is optimistic than I can really find believable, even for a fantasy novel Nothing particularly bad ever happens, and the obstacles that are put in the way of the main characters are very quickly resolved Everyone who is good is really extra good and smart Everyone who is bad is pretty darn evil and enough less smart than the good guys that it s not even really a question of whether or not the good guys will triumph.I guess I like it when things are grey If the characters don t have a single tough choice to make, I simply cannot find them interesting enough to sustain me through the book I got particularly fatigued when they pick up a boy trying the steal from them in a marketplace and he can already play harp and was apprenticed to a Guild Bard and eventually turns out to be EVEN MORE important than they could have guessed.On the other hand, it s a quick candy coated romp through fantasy lands that at least as well written sentences despite a too upbeat plot.

  10. says:

    This was a reread of a book I loved when I was a young teen I lost the book and didn t remember who wrote it But I thought of it fondly and was excited to find it again I guess the saying is right you can never go back It is simplistic Not much plot Everything works out a little too perfectly for Rune Not enough tragedy in her life to be the Cinderella tale it tries to be She also comes across as a littleyoung now A little bratty and arrogant My favorite part of the book used to be the romance But now it seems flat There s no real connection to the characters except for the music they both love The pro government and anti religion themes are out of place I did like the love the bards have for music and their instruments But in all I should ve left it to memory.