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The Robin and the Kestrel (Bardic Voices…
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The Robin and the Kestrel (Bardic Voices Book 2) (original 1993; edition 2012)

by Mercedes Lackey (Author)

Series: Bardic Voices (2)

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1,050614,867 (3.64)18
While traveling the open road together, Robin, a gypsy bard, and Kestrel, heir to a throne he does not want, try to tame a killer ghost and also foil a plot to drive all music from the land.
Member:pandaofhugs
Title:The Robin and the Kestrel (Bardic Voices Book 2)
Authors:Mercedes Lackey (Author)
Info:Baen Books (2012), Edition: 1, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Robin and the Kestrel by Mercedes Lackey (1993)

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
I enjoyed this book, but not quite as much as the first book. I didn’t like the main characters as much as I had liked Rune in the previous book. Rune had the better personality, and a common-sense attitude that made me root for her success. Robin, the main female character in this book, got on my nerves sometimes. She was less ethical and more inclined to take foolish or selfish actions without thinking things through. I liked her husband Kestrel better, but he wasn’t really a stand-out character for me.

The first 5% was a recap of Kestrel’s story from the previous book. I’d just finished that book the night before so this was not exactly riveting reading, and the recap wasn’t at all clever or subtle. The author might as well have labeled the first chapter “Recap”. Kestrel is standing in the pouring rain, cold and muddy, trying to get their wagon unstuck from a muddy pothole. Naturally he has nothing very pressing on his mind so he takes a moment to think about his entire life’s history…

The story did get more interesting after the recap and it became increasingly more interesting as the story progressed. The main premise is that there is growing prejudice against Free Bards, gypsies, and non-humans. This directly impacts our main characters because they are both members of the Free Bards and Robin is a gypsy. They also have friends who aren’t human. Robin and Kestrel therefore decide to try to find the source of these attitudes and determine how serious things are.

I downloaded this e-book years ago from the Baen Free Library. Hopefully it’s just this version, but there were a lot of OCR errors and it became quite distracting. For example, at one point our characters moved “aujay” from something. My finger had just starting to twitch in anticipation of being asked to look this strange word up in the dictionary when I realized our characters were actually moving “away”.

The book is written in a similar tone as the first book. It’s relatively light and fluffy and it’s a fast, easy read. Even though it tackles issues like prejudice, there wasn’t really anything unique or insightful about the way it was handled. It’s just a device to help tell a good story. There were some things brought up in this book that I’m hopeful we’ll learn more about in the next book. We met some interesting non-human characters but didn’t get to learn a lot about them. There were also a lot of references to a Cataclysm and the implication that the world was at a higher level of technology before that event, so I’m curious about that.

According to the Goodreads series page, there's another book set between this second book and the third book called A Cast of Corbies and numbered as “2.5” in the series. I was going to read it, but I couldn’t find the e-book for sale anywhere and my library network doesn’t have the physical book in any of its branches. I decided I didn’t care enough about it to buy a physical book, even if there are very cheap used copies out there. So, I’m moving on to the official third book. ( )
1 vote YouKneeK | Feb 16, 2016 |
Maybe it was because of my own reading schedule, but this book seemed to drag more than the Lark and the Wren.
  liveshipvivacia | Apr 26, 2014 |
Maybe it was because of my own reading schedule, but this book seemed to drag more than the Lark and the Wren.
  liveshipvivacia | Apr 26, 2014 |
Jonny Brede “Kestrel” and Gwyna “Robin” have separated from Rune and the rest of the Free Bard group to go on their separate ways together. They’re married, and since Robin is a gypsy, so is Kestrel. The plan is to go out, and happily play music for everybody.

But that plan gets crushed in an instant. The Church is controlling a number of things, and one of those is that it’s illegal to play music unless you are in the Bard Guild, which to the members of the Free Bard, they are worthless and lazy. And know what Robin and Kestrel love to do, is punishable by death.

Now they are on a mission to change these absurd laws and to take down the Church. The problem is, they are two people versus a great power, but maybe they can get help from something. Maybe the Ghost of Skull Hill, the same one the Rune went to and earned a sack of silver…

While in the first book I’ll have to say it was the most exciting the first 2/3 of the book, and then got boring the last third, this one was boring the first 2/3 of the book and most exciting the last third. It’s a pretty common thing to have books criticizing the workings of the Church, heck I do, and I’m in it. But those are for good reasons, which makes the book both cliché, but also very exciting. I was satisfied with the ending, and it makes me want to read the third.

Rating: Four Stars **** ( )
  DragonFreak | Jun 28, 2011 |
I read this one over a year ago and figured that while it was a nice book, I had no desire to read any further into the the world of the "Bardic Voices". It was interesting but I found it just as formulaic and predicatble as most of Lackey's other books. ( )
  cat8864 | Mar 5, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lackey, Mercedesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sweet,Darrell K.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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While traveling the open road together, Robin, a gypsy bard, and Kestrel, heir to a throne he does not want, try to tame a killer ghost and also foil a plot to drive all music from the land.

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