3 out of 5
I received this book as a free e-book from a disk in Lackey’s book Invasion. It is the first in the Bardic Voices series. Wren is a young woman with musical talent born at the wrong time in the wrong place. Everyone in her small village knows she is a bastard and treats her as such. Her mother doesn’t want her except as cheap labor and the young men of the village are starting to realize she is growing up and fair game for rape. Since no one else will help her, Wren takes her future into her own hands and uses her music to escape. The novel follows her adventures as she makes her way in the world, trying to become good enough to become a Guild Bard. Wren is a strong female character who is easily mistaken for a boy. She uses this to her advantage. In her world the church and the guilds control most people’s lives and both have good and bad about them. The majority of characters are well rounded with no one being purely good or purely evil. My main problem with the book is the last part of the novel. The conclusion is rushed with more telling rather than showing. Other than that it is a fun read.