Review: Mercedes Lackey – The Eagle and the Nightingales

The Eagle and the Nightingales
Mercedes Lackey
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.

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