Friday, May 27, 2022

Coming back around

 Finished my reread of Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edgehill's Mad Maudlin, in which Bedlam's Bard, Eric Banyon finds out about his younger brother. 

Of the series, this is probably the one I remember the best, mainly because one of the plot threads overlapped with some digging I was doing when I read it. 

So, as we open, Eric has been seeing a psychologist who treats folks with magical ability, and dealing with trauma related to having parents who thought of him as a commodity more than a child. As such, he resolves to go see his parents in Boston. Which has the side effect of him learning of his younger brother Magnus, who evidently also has a degree of Bardic Gift. Magnus ran away from home for much the same reason Eric left Julliard at 18 to get the heck away. 

Magnus, in the meantime, is living on the streets of NYC with two close friends: Ace, aka Heavenly Grace, who is on the run from her father who was using her Talent to get more cash; and Jaycie, who's on the run from something else entirely.

Hosea, the banjo Bard/Guardian has his hands full with the Secret Stories going around the children in the homeless shelter he volunteers in (Bloody Mary, who lead the demons to heaven and took over) and his romantic interest, who's managed to get sucked into a cult based around Master Fafnir, who wants to supplant the Guardians with himself. 

As the book progresses, all the plots converge, as Ace's father's helper (an unseeleigh Magus Major) manages to target Eric with a spell, Fafnir manages to summon up Bloody Mary, and Jaycie and Bloody Mary's true identities are revealed

A few things struck me both last time and this time. The Bloody Mary thing being the first. There was a whole thing very similar to this that I found out about after reading involving children in Miami, if I recall correctly. One can't ignore the power of folklore among the youth. The other was the whol False Guardians plot with Master Fafnir, which seems to be echoing back on real life crap that happened long before I read any of her work. (There was a whole thing that you can google and decide for yourself on involving people making a myth cycle out of her Diana Tregard Investigations. Search for The Straw that Broke the Camel's Back.)

By far, this is probably the best of the series that these two collaborated on.

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