Tethtoril's Bookshelf

The Harpers Series - Book 8

TSR Code:

8541 \ 21661 8541.jpg (31332 bytes)
Product Type: Novel
ISBN Number: 1-56076-679-4 (Jan 1994)
0-7869-1661-3 (Apr 2000)
Author: Elaine Cunningham
Cover Artist: John and Laura Lakey
Release Date: January 1994 \ April 2000
Format: Paperback book (310 pages)
The text below is taken from a description by TSR on the reverse of the actual product:

'A mysterious spell had fallen over the bards of Waterdeep, rewriting the past in their memories and adding dangerous new tales to their repertoires.  Khelben Arunsun, the archmage of Waterdeep, fears that this spell is part of a larger plot.  He calls upon Danilo Thann, a Harper mage and would-be bard, to confront the green dragon who holds the key to the mystery.  To do so, Danilo joins forces with an old enemy, the rogue elf Elaith Craulnober.  Along with his new companions, a gold elf minstrel with strange abilities and a dwarf maid with a deadly wit, Danilo is drawn into a web of riddles and magic.  Bardcraft is more demanding than Danilo imagined, and he must find within himself the strength to wield a new and unexpected power'.

Other titles in The Harpers Series:

April 2000 also sees the rerelease of 'Elfsong' with new cover art and sub-titled as Book 2 of the Songs and Swords series. Click here for details

By: John Smith Date: 14-September-2003
Rating: GoodGoodGoodGoodGood

A great book! This is the second of the Songs and Shadows Series, and is probably the best book the five along with Elfshadow. Elaine Cunningham is a talented writer whose most distinct quality is her extremely sly wit. She also creates three great characters. Danillo Than is instantly likeable but is much deeper than meets the eye, with an interesting past and a future that as it unwinds adds a great deal of intrigue. Arilyn Moonblade is a well-developed character, one of the few (unfortunately) respectable female characters in FR novels. Unlike other FR authors I won't name here, Cunningham develops her female hero into a unique, interesting and self-respecting personality that doesn't need to shed her clothes constantly and is not meant to shamelessly elicit lewd fantasies in lonely male readers. Another great character in the novel is Elaith Craulnober, one of my favourite "villains" of any FR novel.

Elfsong starts off a bit slow but quickly picks up the pace. The action and intrigue pick up quickly and remain throughout the book. Like Elfshadow, Elfsong takes an interesting look at the Waterdhavian noble culture and their shady social dynamic. The book is filled with mystery, suspense and of course, humour. Readers are even treated to an interesting look at the archmage of Waterdeep, Khelben Arunsun, and while Cunningham still skilfully maintains his aura of power and respect, she also (humourously) takes a few cracks at his gruff personality as well.

This book is some of Elaine Cunningham's best work and I would highly recommend it to any FR reader.

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