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Chasing the Bard (Fey #1)

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  500 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
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 the
Paperback, 324 pages
Published April 1st 2005 by Dragon Moon Press
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,090)
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I hate giving this two stars, I really do. Got this as a Kindle freebie and apparently it was Ms. Ballantine's first book. (BTW- I liked the books she did with Tee Morris, going to get the second one in that series).

I'll start off with what I didn't like and end with what I did.

Didn't like:

Most of the characters were sterotypes; this is very true of the villan.

It should have been shorter.

The pacing is off.

The whole Fey thing didn't quite work. It seemed too blah. Un-magic like.

The romance subplo
Rosalind M
Jun 12, 2010 Rosalind M rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
It started out as a good read, but then two things began to interfere with my absorption in the storyline:

1. The editing could be improved. Granted, this doesn't bother everyone, but there were a number of times my brain stopped and forced me to reread a sentence because the punctuation didn't match the rhythm and meaning that the moment seemed to call for.
2. The story seemed endless. I petered out before everything was resolved.

If you have more patience than I and can read without your knowledg
Dec 06, 2008 Philippa added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: books-i-wrote
Ummmm I wrote it- so slightly biased.
Melissa Hayden
Mar 16, 2011 Melissa Hayden rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, fey
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 ...more
Apr 30, 2013 Rose rated it did not like it
At first I thought this book was readable for long subway rides and bored moments (easily picked up and put down with no loss), and I got about 50% through it before finally giving up. While the quality of the actual sentences is not that bad, it reads very much like a fanfiction, waxing dramatic at strange moments, unrealistic, flashy but not touching at all. Other reviewers say that the "pacing" is off, and if that means that there is no driving plot, and nothing that compels me to read furthe ...more
Sep 01, 2010 Marc rated it liked it
I'm not a big Shakespeare fan but as of late I've been reading a lot of things involving him. The main reason I bought Chasing the Bard was because I "know" Pip. If it wasn't for that, I honestly wouldn't have bought it.

There are a few problems I have with Chasing the Bard. One is a technical reason. I bought it for the Kindle and it was very hard to read on it. For some strange reason, the formatting was messed up. I'd read it and suddenly there'd be shifts of point of views with no paragraph c
Sep 24, 2014 Ungelic_is_us rated it did not like it
This book is available for free online, and it reminded me that sometimes you get what you pay for. It was really poorly written and downright silly. I love Shakespeare and can occasionally be induced to read Shakespeare-related fiction, but I'm afraid that I found this book to be bloated and over-written.
Nicole Lowe
Jul 13, 2014 Nicole Lowe rated it really liked it
Chasing the Bard is a wonderful historical fantasy novel. Two worlds, the mortal and the fey, are facing the unmaker and total destruction. Heroes from both worlds will have to set aside their differences to survive. Happily ever after is not always the best choice for a book and isn't how the real world plays out either. Her description of the fey people and world reaches a nice balance of painting a vivid picture and allowing the reader to fill in the blanks. The magic of the world is not too ...more
Aug 26, 2008 Simetra rated it it was amazing
Loving listening to the podcast version. The full cast really brings the story to life.
Blodeuedd Finland
Feb 02, 2016 Blodeuedd Finland marked it as dnf
Carl Alves
Apr 02, 2013 Carl Alves rated it really liked it
The world of the Fey is in a bit of trouble as a demonic power known as The Unmaker threatens to destroy both the world of the Fey and the human world. Sive, the goddess of battle, must stop The Unmaker, who takes the form of her new husband. She puts her people's hopes in none other than William Shakespeare, who doesn't realize he is part Fey. Sive's cousin, Puck, is sent to look over Shakespeare as he grows up to protect him from harm.

Chasing the Bard has a great premise. I never thought of Wi
Sep 06, 2012 ☺~Tina~☺ rated it it was ok
Shelves: free-kindle-book, fey
I guess I'm missing something on this book; it has high ratings so I curled up prepared for a good read. I was bored out of my mind and really had to force myself to finish this book. I put this book down so many times but kept saying it will get better. The main reason was I wanted to see how things ended with Sive, William and Mordant. The book didn't start picking up for me till around 60% way to late to rate any higher. It seemed to drone on and on and the minute something gets my attention ...more
Nov 05, 2015 Nannika rated it it was amazing
Read as an audiobook discovered on, this is my favourite audiobook of all time and I will never forget this author. The story was crisp and clean. No excessive crap, just...nice. This books was an enjoyable experience, never mind the end...was hoping for more. But I love this author too bad.
Jul 15, 2015 Katriona rated it it was ok
Interesting concept but not executed well. The Fey go from being a superior race of fairy type immortals to little better than children, then back again. The worlds also lacked magic, but I can see some development may work in that area. Really liked the character of Puck, and going by the end of thebook, the author had fallen for him too and given him a better character and personality than the heroine Sive - whose personality went on a strange journey and never coalesced.

My favourite bit had
This was just too pedestrian to keep my interest. Mining a batch of names from old UK myth, Arthurian work and Shakespeare, then thrown in some neo-pagan concepts is sure easy on the imagination for an author. It would appeal, possibly, to a tween reader.
Jan 12, 2016 Cmoore rated it really liked it
A fantasy using Will Shakespeare as the protagonist and the fey [where else would he get some of his ideas?] This was quite fun...
Jul 09, 2012 Ashley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Wish there was a 1 1/2 star option, because this is definitely not even a 2 star book.
My main problems were her poor characterization of Puck, the absolute inability to ever include the "r" in any instance of the word brought (which happens to occur on just about every other page,) and the general lack of editing. The story itself wasn't bad, and I even found myself wanting to know what was going to happen with Will, but in the end, I was just completely underwhelmed.
Chris Branch
Jul 09, 2012 Chris Branch rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
A clever idea to intertwine the reality of Shakespeare's life with faerie fantasy, and although I'm not a huge fan of either, the combination works. I did find the antagonist to be one of those "pure force of evil" bad guys and thus not so interesting as a character, but the complexities of the various protagonists made up for it. Also as others have said, there were numerous minor typos and formatting problems in the Kindle edition... but it was a free download after all.
David Ketelsen
Jul 30, 2013 David Ketelsen rated it really liked it
I'm surprised at how many negative reviews there are on this book. I found Ballantine's novel a spirited explanation for Shakespeare's source of inspiration for A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Chasing the Bard is inspiring and tragic and will stay with you for quite a while. Ballantine's prose matches her material and is quite a departure from her Steampunk books. I had trouble putting this book down.
Nov 03, 2011 Alex rated it really liked it
Chasing The Bard is an interesting idea, and Philippa's writing is chock-full of evocative and imaginative descriptions. The book covers a wide timeframe and I found that I liked some parts more than others, primarily because of the different dynamics of the key relationships at the different stages. Overall I enjoyed this, even thought I never really warmed to the character of Sive.
Chris Hvidsten
Sep 20, 2012 Chris Hvidsten rated it really liked it
Shelves: podiobooks
I actually listened to the podcast version of this novel, and I must say it put a very interesting spin on the life of William Shakespeare.

A relative stranger to the land of the Fey, I felt I was able to absorb myself in the story without trying to point out any canonical conflicts with established myths and legends. This made it that much more enjoyable.
Koren Lester
Feb 26, 2011 Koren Lester rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OMG I totally loved this book!!! I listened to the download from on iTunes. Philipa Ballantine truly captured the Fae in this amazing story. If you are a fan of faerie tales, this is a great book. This however is not your 7yr olds tale of faerie godmothers and tooth fairies. This is definitely a grown ups faerie tale.
Jul 08, 2012 Lise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: podiobook
It's a little bit odd, listening to this podiobook after the sequel. I'm a little bit unclear on when Sive got pregnant, and how Brigit came to regain her body, or even how and why the Unmaker managed to be a threat again. I'm also not totally convinced that magic is consistent between the two works.
Sep 12, 2010 Jean rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, podiobook
A brilliant imagining of the world of the fey. Rich characters and a richer world, with an interesting story dragged down by a slow beginning and a hurried, meh ending. I enjoyed it, and I liked the style - I look forward to reading more from this author - but this particular story didn't 'stick' with me.
Scott wachter
Aug 21, 2013 Scott wachter rated it did not like it
it's very rare, but i gave up on this one. I signed up for the adventures of Bill Shakespeare: Wizard and not fairies spend a very great deal of time thinking about the environment around them and spend a great deal of time in abstract explanations of magic and other such faffing about.
Aug 15, 2008 Marciealana rated it really liked it
What if Shakespeare's words really did contain power? What if his very birth attracted the notice of the Fey? The truth is lost to time, but what if? It's an awful lot of fun and it reads well. It's possible that the prose is a bit purple for some people, but wouldn't you expect that?
I had such high hopes for Chasing the bard, but at nearly half way through I just cannot keep reading. As its on my eReader I may pick it up some time in the future. The actual idea behind the story is good, but the author has dragged the tale to breaking point for me. Shame.
Mar 09, 2013 Renee rated it it was ok
The e-book version of this was free but riddled with typos to the point of distraction. However, the story itself is fairly good if a little aggravating. I'm not sure I'm content with the ending. But if its a free book, you might want to check it out and read it on the side.
Jul 08, 2010 Katrina rated it really liked it
I loved the history involved, the factual Shakespearean knowledge portrayed as well as the fantasy. Overall a great "read" (I actually listened to it...)
I'm looking forward to my new jobs commute to work so that I'll have time to move on to another work of Ms Ballantine's.
Brenda ╰☆╮
I have always like stories about the Fey. This book added a little real world reality with Shakespeare woven in, as the key to saving them (Fey). The magic is subtle, which in this case, makes it a little more believable. As if it is there, but we don't notice it.
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Born and raised in Wellington, New Zealand, Philippa is a writer and podcaster of fantasy fiction.
Immersed in books from an early age, she moved onto to become a librarian. She'd been dreaming of being a writer since a teenager, but in the last ten years she's devoted herself to it.
She's the author of the Books of the Order series from Ace Books. Geist, Spectyr, Wrayth (2012) and Harbinger (2013)
More about Philippa Ballantine...

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