Mercedes Lackey: The Lark and The Wren

The Lark and the Wren: Bardic Voices #1
by Mercedes Lackey

This book is a comfort book for me, though it’s rare that I read the whole thing in order from start to finish. I usually flip through, and read a bit here, a bit there and only read the parts that I truly enjoy. As such, reading it straight through again made me look at it in a different way than I have been.

The story itself follows Rune, a young girl who wants to be a musician. Her biggest problem is that she’s the daughter of a tavern wench, and is getting to the age where rape or an unwanted marriage have become all too likely. So, to follow up on a bet, she goes to play her fiddle for a murderous ghost – and since that all happens in the beginning of the book, I think it’s safe to tell you that she survives.

It is a cute premise, if not a hugely original one (kid wants to prove him/herself, runs away from home, finds a kindly mentor, and succeeds in the face of opposition). And I like the way music factors so large in the story. I love music, and Lackey’s knowledge of it shows.

But on a re-read, I find that the novel-as-a-whole isn’t as interesting to me as it once was. It was disappointingly easy to put down to go to sleep at night. Now, to be fair, this is quite likely because I have read the story so many times (in pieces) that I know what’s happening with no doubt whatsoever. But a part of it is that the writing itself doesn’t seem to be as well polished as some other novels I have read lately, and so I get jolted out of the narrative too often.

I will, of course, be keeping the book. I will also be re-reading it again, I’m sure. But I think that I will be returning to my random reading style for this one, when I do go back to it.


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