This Week’s Book Review – The Waters and The Wild

I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) After my review appears on Sunday, I post the previous week’s review here on Sunday.

Book Review

New cast of characters revives an old series

By MARK LARDAS

Nov 2, 2019

“The Waters and The Wild” by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edgehill, Baen Books, 2019, 240 pages, $25

In the early 1990s, Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edgehill (along with Ellen Guon) started an urban fantasy series around Eric Banyon, a musician who was an elvish bard.

The elves of Shakespearian England existed, with Oberon and Titania as king and queen of the elves. The series went on for 11 entertaining books before concluding.

“The Waters and The Wild” by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edgehill revives the series with its first book since 2005.

Like the rest of the series, this book takes place in California and New York, although Eric Banyon is absent. Rather a new cast of characters appear. Notably Olivia Poole, a California girl who has just finished her senior year in high school and whose parents are divorcing.

Olivia isn’t one of the cool girls in her high school. She’s introverted and insecure. Yet, her boyfriend Blake Weber is a school jock and a swimming star with Olympic potential. Her best friend insists Blake is using Olivia, but Olivia thinks it’s just jealousy.

Blake’s family vacations summers in upstate New York, in a cabin at Lake Endor. When Blake invites her to come along, Olivia agrees. Since Blake’s parents will chaperon, Olivia’s parents agree to let her go.

Once at Lake Endor, Olivia discovers her friend was right. Blake ignores her for a girl he has had an annual summer romance with. Blake’s younger brothers are brats. Blake’s parents treat Olivia shabbily.

Olivia’s phone cannot get a signal at the lake, and her only comfort is the library in town — a several mile walk. She begins wondering why Blake brought her.

The why ends up entangled in the world of faerie: the dark side of faerie. All isn’t as it seems at Lake Endor. Animals disappear. A sinister fate awaits Olivia, unless the bright side of faerie helps her.

“The Waters and The Wild” can’t be taken simply as a young adult teen romance. It’s more than that. An enormously entertaining tale, it can be read and appreciated by all ages, offering a new perspective in an established series.

Mark Lardas, an engineer, freelance writer, amateur historian, and model-maker, lives in League City. His website is marklardas.com.

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5 thoughts on “This Week’s Book Review – The Waters and The Wild”

  1. “Come away, O human child/To the waters and the wild/With a fairy, hand in hand,/ For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.”  (Yeats)

    This looks great!  I be gettin it!

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  2. Hypatia:
    “Come away, O human child/To the waters and the wild/With a fairy, hand in hand,/ For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.”  (Yeats)

    This looks great!  I be gettin it!

    I think you will really like it.

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  3. I spent (wasted) an entire course on Scottish and Irish folklore in college, primarily in the form of ballads. It’s a wonder faeries have become so Disneyfied in the past century. Dr Norrel and Professor Strange gives the best modern account on classic faeries I’ve seen. Mischievous, aloof, and sometimes downright evil.

    I haven’t read a Mercedes Lackey novel since I was a teenager reading the griffon series. Would you recommend reading the other Lackey and Edgehill books before this one?

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  4. Aaron Miller:
    I haven’t read a Mercedes Lackey novel since I was a teenager reading the griffon series. Would you recommend reading the other Lackey and Edgehill books before this one?

    This is a good stand-alone novel, albeit one aimed more at girls 12-17. Also, it is a delightful read for those mature enough to be unembarrassed by reading a book aimed at young teen girls.

    You don’t need to read the first books in this series (collected in Bedlam’s Bard) to understand this one, because there is no overlap of characters. (There are a few Easter eggs for those that did read the series, but those are Easter eggs.)

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  5. Aaron Miller:
    I spent (wasted) an entire course on Scottish and Irish folklore in college, primarily in the form of ballads. It’s a wonder faeries have become so Disneyfied in the past century. Dr Norrel and Professor Strange gives the best modern account on classic faeries I’ve seen. Mischievous, aloof, and sometimes downright evil.

    oooh I’m so glad you mentioned this book!  Will she ever write another?
    For more in that vein: Sylvia Townsend Warner.

    I haven’t read a Mercedes Lackey novel since I was a teenager reading the griffon series. Would you recommend reading the other Lackey and Edgehill books before this one?

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