“The Waters and The Wild” by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edgehill, Baen Books, 2019, 240 pages, $25

In the early 1990s, Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edgehill (along with Ellen Guon) started an urban fantasy series around Eric Banyon, a musician who was an elvish bard.

The elves of Shakespearian England existed, with Oberon and Titania as king and queen of the elves. The series went on for 11 entertaining books before concluding.

“The Waters and The Wild” by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edgehill revives the series with its first book since 2005.

Like the rest of the series, this book takes place in California and New York, although Eric Banyon is absent. Rather a new cast of characters appear. Notably Olivia Poole, a California girl who has just finished her senior year in high school and whose parents are divorcing.

Olivia isn’t one of the cool girls in her high school. She’s introverted and insecure. Yet, her boyfriend Blake Weber is a school jock and a swimming star with Olympic potential. Her best friend insists Blake is using Olivia, but Olivia thinks it’s just jealousy.

Blake’s family vacations summers in upstate New York, in a cabin at Lake Endor. When Blake invites her to come along, Olivia agrees. Since Blake’s parents will chaperon, Olivia’s parents agree to let her go.

Once at Lake Endor, Olivia discovers her friend was right. Blake ignores her for a girl he has had an annual summer romance with. Blake’s younger brothers are brats. Blake’s parents treat Olivia shabbily.

Olivia’s phone cannot get a signal at the lake, and her only comfort is the library in town — a several mile walk. She begins wondering why Blake brought her.

The why ends up entangled in the world of faerie: the dark side of faerie. All isn’t as it seems at Lake Endor. Animals disappear. A sinister fate awaits Olivia, unless the bright side of faerie helps her.

“The Waters and The Wild” can’t be taken simply as a young adult teen romance. It’s more than that. An enormously entertaining tale, it can be read and appreciated by all ages, offering a new perspective in an established series.

Mark Lardas, an engineer, freelance writer, amateur historian, and model-maker, lives in League City. His website is marklardas.com.

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