230998Elfsong, second in the song and swords quarter was a little bit disappointing because it splits up the duo we were introduced to in Elfshadow.

Arilyn Moonblade and Danilo Thann made for qite the adventuring team in the previous story, but aside from Arilyn making a brief appearance in the beginning this is strictly a Danilo Thann story.  But I can’t complain too much because it is simply fascinating.

Danilo embarks on a quest to discover more about the ancient art of Elfsong.  Elfsong is an ancient magic of the elves where they would essentially sing their spells, much like a human bard.  Only held in much higher esteem of course, and much more complex.

The story here is a former harper and half elf who has grown bitter with the loss of the bardic arts in the Realms.  She seeks to ‘set things right’ by using her Elfsong to wave deceptive and destructive magics.  Apparently she’s trying to show the world that politicians shouldn’t ignore their bards as they hold a lot of power over the people who in turn can make or break their politicians.

I think her scheme is brilliant.  Convoluted, but brilliant.  She leaves clues to what she’s doing and where she’s going next at each site she’s hit, and the clue is in the form of a riddle in the form of a song in the form of a rhyme.  She doesn’t think anyone can figure it out, but along comes a mage, aided by an elf, a dwarven bard and a linguist, and he’s able to figure them all out.  Maybe not in time, but E for effort anyways.  Despite the difficulties, Danilo and company are able to untangle her web and stop her plan from coming to fruition.

Fascinating and intriguing, and also pretty cool at the end where we’re made aware of Elaith’s daughter -and heir to his moonblade- for the first time.  So a little bit disappointing to begin with, but the ending made up for it.

Next we’re going to finish of the Hurog trilogy with Dragon Blood coming up.

123408Riding into a war that’s heating up on the border, Ward, the new lord of Hurog, is sure he’s on the fast track to glory. But soon his mission takes a deadly turn. For he has seen a pile of magical dragon bones hidden deep beneath Hurog Keep. The bones could prove to be dangerous in the wrong hands, and Ward is certain his enemies will stop at nothing to possess them.