An anthology of fourteen short stories and one essay at the end revolving around the theme of urban elves and fae that are part of the ELVES ON THE ROAD UNIVERSE.
There are claims that this is part of the Bedlam’s Bard series by the same authors — Lackey and Edghill. NO. They do revolve around urban elves and fae and that is the closest similarity.
Mercedes Lackey‘s “Devil Went Down to Georgia” is a cute story that took place around the time of the Civil War and focuses on the Carpenter family who live in a holler. They thought they’d be safe from those damnyankees, being off the beaten path. Seems they have something else to worry over.
India Edghill‘s “Unleaving” follows the progress of moviemaking by a fae brother and sister and how they influenced Dinendal into joining the army to fight against Hitler.
Sweet and so sad. I’m crying again just thinking about it..!
Michael Longcor‘s “Old Order” is the desire of youth to rebel against his parents as Eli spreads his wings, but gets in with the wrong crowd.
A sweet and slightly frightening moral tale involving rumpschpringen and crack.
Diana L. Paxson‘s “Well Met by Moonlight” finds Kate Stevingen manning her booth at the Renaissance Faire painting portraits and hoping to hide her and her son from her abusive ex.
Sweet with a fascinating look behind-the-scenes at the Renaissance Faire, but the ending was just too easy.
Rosemary Edghill‘s “The World’s More Full of Weeping” is a little too close for comfort at the mall where a sidhe fae tracks a predator who kidnaps children.
Makes ya wish the fae really did exist!
Mercedes Lackey‘s “The Waters and the Wild” just made me cry with its semi-sweet ending. It’s a brief peek at Nigel Peters who retired after thirty years on the Bomb Squad and has just arrived to help defuse mines left from the wars. It’s just a conversation between two volunteers and we learn why Nigel chose his work.
Ashley McConnell‘s “Remover of Difficulties” certainly made me wish the Remover of Difficulties existed…you’ll be wishin’ the same when you read it. I’m sure Angel Twentyhorses was pleased enough with the results after enduring that bitch at the office for so long!
Barb Caffrey with Michael B. Caffrey‘s “Bright as Diamonds” was a disappointment and so poorly written. Oh, the story was cute enough with the human+ Catriona and her fae lover, Aelbrigr, getting away from it all only to run into trouble when someone steals an artifact for which Catriona is responsible.
Roberta Gelli‘ “Bottle of Djinn” came with a twist and a sense of humor when the fae request Dov’s help in recovering some “mislaid” artifacts stolen from a museum in Iraq.
Dave Freer and Eric Flint‘s “Red Fiddler” was a cute and very clever adventure with its own twists: a rescue, a kidnapping, hostages, escape. All involving Rúadan, a “Faer Dhaerg”, the guardian of a door closed to the Chaos Lands that someone wants to open.
Sarah A. Hoyt‘s “Unnatural History” has a cute start and involves a sudden change of life plans when Dissy finds a man trapped inside a standing stone at the Denver Natural History Museum. It seems that Dissy is a lot more than she seems. Or knew.
Jean Saint-John‘s “All That Jazz” finds Culéoin and Zeke’s two-day reunion at Mardi Gras almost ruined when Culéoin must spend the time tracking down a stolen artifact before a deadline that could see New Orleans destroyed.
Ellen Guon‘s “Six-Shooter” is a strange yet well-written combination of depressing and sort of righteous when Guon explains what really happens to people who commit suicide.
Mercedes Lackey’s essay on “Mall Elves and How They Grew” is a nice bit of insight on how Lackey was inspired about putting elves into a mall.
The Cover and Title
The cover is vibrant with color. A tiny elf with wicked pointed ears and a hairstyle à la the Bride of Frankenstein is dressed in blue jeans, a blue T-shirt, and a rainbow of a jacket wielding a dagger as he stands knee-deep in a dinosaur skull in the middle of a forest. Do check out the sign for “Dinosaur Hall”.
The title was a tease for me. I thought it would relate to their series, Bedlam Bard. Sigh…it wasn’t, although it was on the underlying theme of urban fae. It is definitely teetering on Bedlam’s Edge.