Updated Monday, 06 January, 2014
I discovered Mark Shepherd by reading books he had written either with Mercedes Lackey, or in a Mercedes Lackey universe. I have enjoyed all the books he has written or contributed to.
In Lammas Night a young weaver of spells is persuaded to bide a while in a small village, to make their village spells and keep the Dark at bay. As part of their persuasion, the villagers have given her the house of her predecessor. Not knowing that his spirit lingers there, she unwittingly breaks the spell that laid him. Now, a half-seen phantom courts her. He is either her lover for all time, the only one she will ever
Will she call him to her or banish him forever? Now is the time of choosing, the Witching on Lammas Night. Magic Dark and Light are in perfect balance. She begins the casting of her
When young Kevin became a bard's apprentice, he thought that his new life would be filled with excitement and adventure; so when his new Master's first task for him is a perfectly ordinary manuscript copying errand to the castle of Count Volmar his disappointment knew no bounds. Why the Count was not even involved in Court politics!
But when the Count's niece is kidnapped by elves and the Count asks for his help in recovering her, Kevin is convinced that the adventure he craves is at last at hand. What he cannot know is that the distressed damsel is not really Count Volmar's niece, that the abductors are not really
ALWAYS A NECROMANCER
At least that's what all the other elves are telling the young human Gawaine about his master, the Dark Elf Naitachal. Of course Gawaine doesn't believe them; Naitachal has always treated him well and honorably, explaining that though he once was a necromancing Dark Elf, and still has the ebon skin of the breed, he long ago forsook all things black in order to become the first Elven Bard.
But though Naitachal means every word he says, and though Gawaine has known all along that things might get a little uncomfortable for a human with a Dark Elf master, neither has guessed what temptations the future might hold: for Gawaine to forsake his master, and for Naitachal to go back to his old necromancing ways. (book description)
The hero of the first Bard's Tale novel, Castle of Deception, is now a very old man, but his mentor, the Dark Elf Naitachal, is still going strong and training new apprentices. His latest: the King's own son, Alaire.
Alair is an apt pupil, but before he has had a chance to master the secrets of Bardic power, he and Naitachal are sent by the King on a dangerous diplomatic mission. The kingdom on King Reynard's northern border, Suinomen, has banned magic for years, and now is making preparations for war. Their job: find out why their previously peaceful neighbor is making war noises, discover what's behind it, and stop it.
They cannot use their innate Bardic magic. Unlicensed use of magic in Suinomen earns the wielder a sentence in the Prison of Souls, a punishment which not only takes the magic user off the streets, but which eats away at a magic user's very life
The Dark Elf Naitachal, once a Necromancer who gained power by depriving others of their life forces, is now happy in the more peaceful role of Bard. But shadows from his past linger. Naitachal's Dark Elf clan sees him as the worst of traitors for daring to turn towards the Light. They mean to take revenge.
They create a trap, the Chaos Gate, a sorcerous portal that is meant to draw him into their hands and into their power.
Only Kevin, once Naitachal's apprentice, now a full Bard and Count in his own castle, stands between the Dark Elf and certain doom. But can even the powers of Bardic Magic be enough to vanquish the Darkness? (book description)
Once again, instead of writing music, working spells, or training his apprentice, Bard Alaire is asked to turn his hand to diplomacy. Because he's the only man the king, his brother, can trust to investigate the death of the previous Ambassador, Alaire has been made Ambassador to the troubled kingdom of Suinomen. Once before Alaire was in
Bedlam's Bard (Reprint of Knight of Ghosts and Shadows and Summoned to Tourney) (by Mercedes Lackey and Ellen Guon)(Velgarth (Valdemar) is included because Mark wrote one of the short stories in Sword of Ice And Other Tales of Valdemar)
- Knight of Ghosts and Shadows (by Mercedes Lackey and Ellen Guon)
Eric Banyon, musician, is out playing the blues on his flute one day, but he couldn't have known that the desperate sadness of his music would free a young elven noble from the magical prison he has been languishing in for centuries--nor does he believe it!
- Summoned to Tourney (by Mercedes Lackey and Ellen Guon) (out of print)
Elves in L.A.? When things get too hot there, they move north to San Francisco. But in their futuristic world, San Francisco is doomed to drop into the ocean The only hope lies with the humanlord--who must summon the soul-devouring Nightflyers.
Diana Tregarde Investigations
- Children of The Night (by Mercedes Lackey)
Diana Tregarde finds unexpected danger in New York--a rock band of psi-vampires that feed on strong negative emotions--and soon this practicing witch allies herself with Andre LeBrel, a true vampire who intends to destroy this musical menace.
- Jinx High (by Mercedes Lackey) (publisher out of stock)
- Burning Water (by Mercedes Lackey)
Something is stalking Dallas. First it attacked cattle, leaving bloody corpses. Now it is going after people. Detective Mark Valdez feels the evil surrounding the city and calls in a specialist, Diana Tregarde, a romance novelist and practicing witch. But will Diana be an avenging angel or a willing sacrifice?
The SERRAted Edge
- The Chrome Borne (Reprint of Born to Run and Chrome Circle) (by Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon)
- Born to Run (by Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon)
Hot cars, fast elves, and rock-n-roll. Good elves are intrigued by stock car racing, and bad elves run kiddie-porn and drug rings. Trapped in between are three runaways who are in serious trouble and about to get into more--unwitting pawns in a deadly game between good and evil.
- Chrome Circle (by Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon)
There are mages out there . . . and some of them are kind of cute--like Tannim, a young human mage with a taste for hot Celtic rock, fast cars and dangerous women. Now he thinks he's found Ms. Right, but there are some small problems: Her father is a dragon; she's not human, though she's definitely a fox; and she wants to kill him!
- The OtherWorld (by Mercedes Lackey, Mark Shepherd and Holly Lisle) (a reprint of Wheels of Fire and When the Bough Breaks)
- Wheels of Fire (by Mercedes Lackey and Mark Shepherd)
When a boy is kidnapped from his mother by her ex-husband, he becomes the prisoner of a radical cult. His mother gives up her job and home to search for him, but the only way she'll find him is with the help of a fun-loving, hard-driving elf.
- When the Bough Breaks (by Mercedes Lackey and Holly Lisle)
Equipped with more inherent psi power than any mortal or elf, an abused little girl threatens to destroy Earth and the Faerie world, unless the elves can stop her. (from an Amazon.com review
King Aedham of Avalon
- Elvendude (by Mark Shepherd) (I haven't read this one yet)
Sent to live in another world with altered memories so as to protect him from the evil forces that prey upon his father's kingdom, Prince Adam finds his life turned upside down when his true heritage catches up with him. (from an Amazon.com review)
(Mass Market Paperback)or (Paperback edition) (by Mark Shepherd)
- Spiritride (by Mark Shepherd)
Randolf "Thorn" Wilson died a long time ago. But that doesn't stop him from riding his ghost Harley through the sky, trying to help other bikers. Now he's caught in a battle between an elven King and his skateboard-riding champion and a mad Prince of the Dark Elves and his demon drug-pusher. Also caught in the middle are two mortal bikers: Wolf, an ex-vet who's a mage-in-training, and Lucas Tatum, a criminal in training. It's up to Thorn to save the two without getting the tattered remnant of his spirit blasted to the four winds.... (from the back of the book)
(Paperback edition)(by Mark Shepherd)
Dobie's ambitions didn't extend much past working fast
food—until the Lazerwarz arena came to town. There he discovered the world of laser tag, and with it a warrior's persona he never knew he possessed. Then a goddess in disguise picks him up in a shiny red Corvette, and the fireworks really get started. (book description)
Alberich had spent most of his youth in the Karsite military schools training to be an officer. At thirteen he had been chosen from among the male children of Karse by the most powerful priests, the Voices of Vkandis Sunlord. Strong of body, quick of mind, but also
Alberich had risen in the ranks with almost unnatural speed. He had developed expertise in many weapons with an ease that was the envy of his classmates, and picked up his lessons in academic subjects with what seemed to be little or no effort. But in fact, the reclusive Alberich studied long and hard, pushing himself ruthlessly. This lean, tall, hawk-faced young man got up before dawn for extra exercise, spent all his spare time practicing against older boys, and studied by the light of Vkandis’ lamps in the Temple until the priests came in for midnight prayers.
In battle, Alberich had an uncanny way of knowing what the enemy’s next move would be, and when and from where the attack would come. He had always had a sort of "sixth sense" about things which were about to happen. Instinctively, he hid this ability with the utmost care, for the Sunpriests kept careful watch for anyone exhibiting the "demon powers" which were the hallmark of Karse’s greatest
Both Alberich’s skill and secret served him well in the army of Karse, and when his cavalry captain was killed during a skirmish with bandits at the border, Alberich was honored by a Voice, becoming one of the youngest captains in the army of Karse. And with this commission came a
But these problems were merely distractions, for the Voices had laid a trap which even Alberich’s strange foresight could not
Once a heroic Captain in the army of Karse, a kingdom at war with Valdemar, Alberich becomes one of Valdemar’s Heralds. Despite prejudice against him, he becomes the personal protector of young Queen Selenay. But can he protect her from the dangers of her own heart? (book description)
Skif was an orphan. For as long as he could remember he had slept on a pile of rags under the stairs at the Hollybush Tavern, his Uncle Londer's dreary inn in the slums of Haven. Any sunny memories of the time before his parents’ death had been eclipsed by the dark reality of the life he now led. Awakened before dawn, Skif began every day trying to get the Hollybush kitchen fire restarted. Skif would labor with flint to light the partially-burned ends of logs his skinflint uncle bought from the rag-and-bone men. Sometimes he even had to sacrifice the precious bit of straw stuffed into his boots for warmth to get the blaze going. Once he had the fire started, he had to unload the day’s supplies from the wagon outside. His uncle only purchased the cheapest of goods: the foul leavings of other taverns and inns. Skif never understood why more of the tavern’s patrons didn’t die from food poisoning. He never ate at the tavern! Thanks to Queen Selenay, he didn’t have to. For the queen of Valdemar had proclaimed that all children in the kingdom had to be schooled until they could read, write, and cipher. Furthermore, the queen believed that no child could learn on an empty stomach, so every child who arrived at school on time was provided with a healthy breakfast. And because of Valdemar law, there was nothing Uncle Londer could do to keep Skiff from attending school.
But it was after school that Skif got his real education and nourishment. For as he wandered through the back streets of Haven he discovered that he could slip into the laundry rooms of wealthier homes and dress himself as a page. In the proper livery a young boy would be essentially invisible to the older members of a large household staff, and Skiff could easily pocket a certain percentage of the food he was serving. And so Skiff
Deek was a pickpocket, the oldest member of a group of young boys who, with the guidance of their teacher and leader, a crippled man named Bazie, survived by their wits and their nimble fingers. But Bazie was more than just the head of a band of young thieves, he was unlike anyone Skif knew. Bazie cared about the boys. He cared that they were safe, he cared that they were fed, he cared that they were warm. Uncle Londer barely cared whether Skif was alive or dead. It was an easy decision for Skif to abandon the Hollybush and throw in his lot with Bazie’s boys.
By the time Skif was twelve, he was an accomplished cat burglar and one of the leaders of Bazie’s gang. Housed in Bazie’s warm, secret lair, well fed, comfortable with his chosen "family," and a master of his chosen profession, life had definitely taken a turn for the better for Skif. Light on his feet, silent as a ghost, small enough to slip through protective window bars, his "take" had evolved from silk hankies slipped from laundries and pockets to gold and silver jewelry stolen from "hidden" cupboards in affluent houses.
But it wasn’t until Skif decided to steal a finely tacked-out white horse, which was standing unattended in the street, that this young thief discovered that the tables could turn on
Personal note: Once again, Lackey has introduced a new character, immersed me in his life, and really made me feel connected to the kid. I hope that she will continue Skif’s adventure and further develop his character.