Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Book Review: Chasing the Bard

Chasing the Bard

By:  Philippa Ballantine

Publisher:  Dragon Moon

Publish Date:  April 2005

Format:  Paperback, 5 1/2" x 8 1/2"

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  Stand-alone, 1st in The Chronicles of Art series.

Recommendation:  Oh Yes!  Do you love Shakespearean with a twist?  This is a wonderful adventure through Will's life with the touches of Fey.

Born into the human world with a gift; a gift that brings him to the attention of powers both dark and light from the World of the Fey, it is his burden to defend all the world.

Sive, the goddess of battle, hopes that he may be able to change the fate of her people.  The Fey are dying, killed by something beyond the boundaries of worlds, and Sive will do anything to save them.  So she enlists the help of her trickster cousin Puck to guard the child, and watch him grow into his gift.  But a dark power imprisoned by human and Fey, plots to destroy both worlds, and unmake all that they have created.

Can one boy stop the destruction, even if he is William Shakespeare?

First Sentence:
It was of course a guilty pleasure.

My Thoughts and Summary:
Sive is to marry the fey man she once had feelings for, but now knows he is not the same man who left to find a cure for the plague haunting the fey and killing them slowly.  He has changed, but yet doesn't know what that change is.  She just knows she doesn't want to marry him and her brother, the king, is requiring it believing Mordant knows of a cure from his travels around the distant realms.  Sive learns from her Aunt a human child is born in the mortal world possessing the great power of the Bard and this child could be the salvation of all fey.  Sive sends he cousin, Puck, to guard this child from any dangers.  Sive decides later, when the child is older, that she wants to know what her evil husband is up to.  She takes books from his library to Will so he can teach her to read.  In this time together Sive learns of a new side of herself.  Which could put her and Will in more danger, along with their loved ones and worlds.

I purchased this book after reading Geist by Philippa Ballantine.  I enjoyed the story and her writing in Geist so, that I wanted more.  Searching her site I came across this book and was taken with the description.  This book is very different from Geist, but I have to say I loved the writing and the tale she wove.  By page nine I was hooked on the writing style.  The words flowed smoothly for me and sounded poetic in their form.  This is one talented author, and one to keep an eye on, I can see many great and different pieces of work coming from her in the future.

I'm going to start right off and say I loved this book.  If William Shakespeare was could read of this fey filled, adventurous, heroic side of his life, he would be flattered and love it too.

This book takes place in both the Fey realm and Human realm, along with the in between of the veil.  This book isn't really about William Shakespeare as it is a tale spun with the fey and how they touched his life and he theirs.  The story here is one of an evil presence trying to eliminate all the realms connected, for itself.  There is love and lose here also.

I loved the way the fey where portrayed and the growth of their kind and the characters.  In the beginning they are the fun loving fey who are created to make music and dance.  They are naive and ignorant to the mortal ways, feelings, and such.  Then I was moved by them through their happenings, more through Sive and Puck. And later in the book by Aberon, Sive's king brother, in how he shows the contrast of the way Sive once was and how much she changed along with himself. Then I realized along the way, they where stronger than thought and I loved them, not wanting to see them fight a war to the death for their home and the destruction of another realm.  One that the Queen now loves with all her heart, thanks to her lover.

In the end, I had an idea where the story would go at the close of a life.  But it still brought me to tears.

I enjoyed this book very much for many reasons.  I would definitely suggest this read to anyone who enjoys the fey and a little Shakespearean twisted in.  But, don't go in looking for a Midsummer Night's Dream tale as that's not what lies between these covers.

If you would like to learn more about the book, you can at Philippa Ballantine's site and blog.  Philippa has recently released the information that this book is available in a numerous ebook formats.  I do hope you check it out.

I purchased this book of my on accord.
This book qualifies for the Speculative Fiction Challenge, hosted by Floor to Ceiling Books.


  1. I'm usually not into books like this but after reading your review I must admit I am rather interested in it. After all the stresses I've had with health recently, I've found myself more and more attracted to reading guilty pleasures. Sometimes we all need to escape... and your praise makes this one seem like a worthy adventure for me to partake in.

  2. Melissa, Beautiful review! I love all things Fey, hence the name The Book Faery.

    Your review of Chasing the Bard instantly piqued my interest in the author and in this book. You really did it justice and now I must read it =O]

    Thanks for the insightful review and I know the author would be delighted to know how much you enjoyed it along with how it inspired your friends and fellow bloggers to want to read it!

    Krist The Book Faery (LOL)

  3. Hi Sarah - I really do hope you are feeling better. I know you where going through a rough patch there. Oh, I read this book while I was down with the head cold, and this was one I wanted (the guilty pleasure it true here). I had to treat myself. And I was so happy I did. Maybe it was the mood I was in with being sick, but I just loved the writing and the life story here. I hope you like it if you check it out. :) Thank you!

    Kristi The Book Faery - Hey hon. :) Oh, thank you. :) You are really to kind. I'm so glad you like stopping by and enjoyed the review. Oh, I do hope you check out the book and like what you see. :) But, the author is one I have really started to enjoy. This is only the second book of hers I've read, but I really enjoyed it.


Sorry, got 106 spam comments in less than 24hrs. Had to turn on again.

I love comments! Please share your thoughts. I will respond here in the comments back to you.

I'll try again without word verification, but if Spammers get out of hand again I'll turn it back on.

Thank you for visiting!