source for free and affordable eBooks


Powered by FreeFind

Site search
Web search

    Review of MAD MAUDLIN by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill


    Baen, 2003

    The children tell a story about Bloody Mary--seeing her means death. And homeless children in post-9/11 New York have been seeing a lot of death lately. Some of that death has magic at its core. Bard Eric Banyon is shocked to find that he has a brother--one raised in the same horrible environment that he barely escaped from, but that the brother has run away and is living homeless in New York. With the brother, an elf child--that rarest of treasures, and a talented girl struggle to survive--or to die. Eric knows helping his brother will be complicated, but he doesn't know that he'll have to face the frightful magic of Bloody Mary, a top-secret government organization dedicated to exterminating the magical among us, and a power-hungry maniac who thinks he can murder his way into the guardians.

    Authors Mercedes Lackey (see more reviews of novels by Lackey) and Rosemary Edghill offer an exciting urban fantasy adventure story. Targeted at young adults, MAD MAUDLIN reminds us that there can be things worse than homelessness. All three of the homeless children would rather die than return to their parents--and make frequent poor decisions as a result. Fortunately, Eric has powerful friends of his own--both among the elves and among humans. The guardians--magic-wielding humans exist to help those who need help, and Eric needs help a lot.

    Lackey and Edghill rely on the fairly standard magic of urban fantasy--seelie and unseelie courts (seleighe and unseleighe in their book), super-beautiful elves, and generally evil adult humans.

    MAD MAUDLIN left some loose ends--possibly to be resolved in the sequel. But I do wonder that none of our heroic party ever asked who sent the hell-hounds after the three children. Surely that is a question that needed to be answered. Also, I would have liked to have more evidence of Eric's parents' evil behavior. For the young-adult audience, this may not be an issue--parents are generally assumed to be self-absorbed and useless. For parents, pushing children to get out of bed and do something may be seen as less evil. Fans of Mercedes Lackey come in all ages and I can't imagine I was the only one disturbed by the lack of evidence for Eric's parents' perfidy.

    I'd be interested in reader feedback on Lackey and Edghill's focus on 9/11. I'm not a New Yorker, and I know this book was written much closer to that date, but does this 9/11 theme still resonate? For me, doesn't. Let me know what you think.

    Quibbles aside, MAD MAUDLIN is an exciting and well written story.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 9/10/03

    Want to buy it? Click the button:

    Want to learn more?
    Click this link and see more reviews, similar books, and other Amazon information on MAD MAUDLIN from

    Rather buy it from Barnes and Noble?
    Click this link for MAD MAUDLIN from Barnes and