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The Eagle & the Nightingales by Mercedes…

The Eagle & the Nightingales (1995)

by Mercedes Lackey

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Bardic Voices (3)

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819211,095 (3.73)10



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This book, the third in the Bardic Voices series, is probably my favorite of the three I’ve read so far. I’m still partial to Rune from the first book, but I liked the characters in this book a lot and I also enjoyed the story. The story is a bit generic, but it’s told well and it held my attention. It was also a really quick read.

Throughout this series we’ve seen that conditions in the land are deteriorating. This is because the High King, who used to be a very good king, seems to have lost interest in doing his job. He’s become petulant and he refuses to take responsibility for the things he should be doing. Our main female character, Nightingale, reluctantly goes to the city where the king lives to try to learn what’s happening. While there, she unexpectedly meets up with an old friend and they work together to achieve their common goal.

One thing I really enjoyed about this book was that we were able to learn a lot more about the non-human characters. This book also had a bit more of a mystery to it, which helped hold my interest. The previous two books had simple, straight-forward stories. There wasn’t anything complicated about this story either, but it did at least give me more to think about as I speculated about who was responsible for some of the things that happened in the book.

Mercedes Lackey’s writing tends to be pretty black-and-white from what I’ve seen so far. People are either good or evil with very little ambiguity or middle ground. However, there’s one big shade of gray in this series and that’s the bardic magic. The characters who can use it talk now and then about what constitutes unethical use of their magic, and they talk as if they’re determined not to cross that line. Yet I often feel uncomfortable with the way they use it, and they do cross the line that I would have drawn. I’m not sure if this is Lackey’s attempt to add shades of gray into her writing, or if we’re supposed to see all of their choices as ethical because our wonderful main characters are good people who are working toward good causes.

I’m enjoying the series, and I plan to start reading the fourth and final book before the end of the night, but I am glad the series is almost at an end. I’m getting ready for a change of pace. ( )
1 vote YouKneeK | Feb 20, 2016 |
I originally reviewed this book on my blog - The Cosy Dragon. For more recent reviews by me, please hop over there.

Nightingale has travelled on her own for a long time. Now she has been set by three people to do a seemingly impossible task - work out what is wrong with the High King of the Twenty Kingdoms. Settling herself in at Freehold with the non-humans, she discovers a plot that runs deeper than they ever imagined.

I have no idea why the title of this book is 'the Nightingales'. There is only one Nightingale, although she does go by a number of other names. I love Nightingale, and have almost as much empathy for T'fyrr. Nightingale has things that she is a afraid of, but for love, she is willingto work around them.

The reason that I love this book so much is that it combines a kingdom under threat with music and beautiful costumes. A strong female heroine doesn't hurt either. I love the idea that music can be magic, and I only wish I had as much talent.

This book is decidedly plot driven, but that's not a bad thing. Just as you feel like things are being settled in, they change! The ending is thrilling really - the first time I read it I was too hooked to let go. Even on this millionth rereading, I still couldn't put it down.

This is a book in the Free Bards world, and there are a number of other books that you could read in this series about the Free Bards. I don't feel that you need to read them in order, although it may be more interesting to do so. It references other books, but doesn't give too much away.

You will find this book very hard to purchase! I personally got my rather battered copy from ebay - it was listed as being in good condition, but certainly wasn't, which was disappointing. I am yet to find a nice copy, but I have hopes that this series will be republished.

I'd recommend this book for adults and teenagers. Although there are some adult themes, it is all very subtle and enjoyable. The hints about rape and sex are not explicit, and although torture is never nice to talk about, it's not badly done in this book. ( )
1 vote Rosemarie.Herbert | Feb 26, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mercedes Lackeyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sweet,Darrell K.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedicated to Gail Gallano, Mother of all Tulsa wildlife rehabbers!
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