Four & Twenty Blackbirds (Bardic Voices, #4)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Four & Twenty Blackbirds (Bardic Voices #4)

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  2,390 ratings  ·  30 reviews
A magical maniac is loose in Alanda. The victims are always women, always lowerclass, and the weapon is always a three-sided stiletto, most often found among Church regalia. But the killers are never churchmen, and they always commit suicide immediately after the bloody deed.Tal Rufen is just a simple constable. But he really cares about his job, and when one of these murd...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published February 1st 2004 by Baen Books (first published 1997)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeThe Raven by Edgar Allan PoeHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. RowlingMockingjay by Suzanne CollinsOne Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
Books with birds in the title
112th out of 518 books — 117 voters
Magic's Pawn by Mercedes LackeyMagic's Price by Mercedes LackeyArrows of the Queen by Mercedes LackeyThe Fairy Godmother by Mercedes LackeyMagic's Promise by Mercedes Lackey
Favorite Mercedes Lackey
50th out of 88 books — 45 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Matthew Coiner
Fantasy is my favorite fiction genre. I picked up the bardic voices books because of the music theme. I enjoyed all of them, but this book stood out to me. It successfully mixed fantasy and detective genres together into a fantastic novel. I have read the book on a number of occasions and it's one of my go to books when I'm in between new novels and need some time away from my research reading. While the other books in the series focus more on action, this book is much more thoughtful. It engage...more
Jim
From Kirkus Reviews

First hardcover appearance for Lackey's Bardic Voices series (The Eagle and the Nightingales, etc.). In the city of Haldene, constable Tal Rufen ponders a string of brutal murders. The victims are all poor street-musician girls, but Tal's clues are confusing: The perpetrators are also all dead (they always commit suicide right after carrying out a murder); in every case, the weapon is a knife with a characteristic blade, but somehow it invariably vanishes from the crime scen

...more
Jamie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
A re-read. One of my Internet hangouts was having a discussion about spec fic ... somebody claimed that it was all fluff, but that Mercedes Lackey was deeper than most other authors. (I know, I know. Me too.) My recollection was that ML was concerned with matters of ethics in her fiction, but that she handled them in a fairly naive way. So I thought I'd re-read some of the books by her that I remembered liking to see if that was correct.

In general, I'd say that it is. But I also read the wrong b...more
Bess and Morgan The Bookends
This is an old one- the copyright page says 1997. (Does anyone else find it crazy that that’s a decade and a half ago?) It’s the fourth book in Mercedes Lackey’s Bardic Voices series, which I’ve loved ever since I discovered them in middle school. Back then Baen had this ingenious thing going on where they’d put most of a series up online for free then make you buy the last one. It was fiendish, I tell you. Especially for a kid whose only access to these books was through her school-issue laptop...more
Graylark
A crime thriller where the protagonists bumble about ineffectually while the killers run circles around them. Eventually the killers get caught, not by any cleverness or deduction, but by pure serendipity. And it's not even the protagonists--upholders of justice that they are--who do the catching.

Ann aka Iftcan
This last book in the Bardic Voices series actually has very little to do with the Free Bards, and everything to do with several of the minor characters from previous books. This is actually more of a mystery than the fantasy/romance of the first 3 books, altho the mystery isn't very deep, since I think I figured out the murderer in like 3 or 4 pages--if it took that long. But Lackey gives her usual touch to this one, and it was still enjoyable, even if it wasn't quite what I was expecting from...more
Suzanne
Magical murder mystery. The ending suited the the characters.
♥Xeni♥
The last of the Bardic Voices, I loved the whole meld of priesthood and music and government and law and order that ML wrote into this work.

The characters are deep, once more, not surprising at all since it's ML, to a point that they even question their own characters! It was truly amazing to read about the personal problems that they all went through. And all throughout that a wonderful plot that just kept everything tied together.
Mars
This was not my favorite book of hers. There were a lot of lengthy passages of main characters asking themselves questions, and I'm learning I really do not like that style (kind of like Kathy Reichs' books). The overall story was interesting, and I liked the characters well enough - probably just wouldn't read it again.
Ingrid
A combination of a good fantasy story (with likeable, interesting characters, good vs. evil, and a fun world setting), with a good crime story (including murders, and the hunt for the killer). An enjoyable read with a rather surprising ending.
Danny
A significant improvement over the previous books, but of course it is more of an independent story set in the same world. A fun detective story set in a magical world. This one was what the series should have been about from the start.
Mandy
Not my favourite of this series, it was still an interesting read.
I think it was the theme of a murder that put me off. I see Mercedes Lackey more as a writer of fantasy than a writer of fantasy-thrillers.
Michele bookloverforever
bardic voices...love mercedes lackey and the worlds she concocts. this story continues a prior story in this series...involves a hunt for a serial killer and a committed constable.
Michelle
I read the bard series because it revolved around music and singing...stuff I love to do. Unfortunately, the Bard series just didn't resonate with me much. It was a descent read, though.
Kathy Davie
Lackey does enjoy her nursery rhymes...I'm curious as to how much she enjoyed those and fairy tales as a child...
Sharon
A police procedural set in a fantasy world - what a geat concept. Lackey's execution is entertaining, as usual.
Gwendolyn M
A bit slow in parts, but otherwise an enjoyable mix of two of my favorite genres - mystery and fantasy.
Sabrina
It is very good, a fun read but I didn't enjoy it as much as the other three books in the series.
Ann
Nov 09, 2012 Ann added it
It's Mercedes Lackey. I read the entire Bardic Voices Series and truly enjoyed them.
Kathy Sebesta
Darkest of the Bardic series, it also manages to wrap all the pieces together.
Scraps_ina-bag
Sep 23, 2008 Scraps_ina-bag rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
I like this one as much as all the rest of them, wish there were a lot more!!
Kalyn
Wheee fantasy mystery! There aren't enough of those. These. You get the idea.
Mandy
Fantasy detective fiction. Not bad.
Nancy Laney
Bardic Voices, Book 4
Tristan
Read prior to 2010
Holly
I love her books.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • In Celebration of Lammas Night
  • Elvenborn (Halfblood Chronicles, #3)
  • If I Pay Thee Not in Gold
  • Tiger Burning Bright
  • Bedlam Boyz (Bedlam's Bard, #3)
  • An Exchange of Gifts
  • A Mankind Witch  (Heirs of Alexandria, #1.5)
  • Sing the Four Quarters (Quarters #1)
  • The War God's Own (War God, #2)
8685
Mercedes entered this world on June 24, 1950, in Chicago, had a normal childhood and graduated from Purdue University in 1972. During the late 70's she worked as an artist's model and then went into the computer programming field, ending up with American Airlines in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In addition to her fantasy writing, she has written lyrics for and recorded nearly fifty songs for Firebird Arts &...more
More about Mercedes Lackey...
Arrows of the Queen (Heralds of Valdemar, #1) Magic's Pawn (Valdemar: Last Herald-Mage #1) By the Sword (Valdemar: Kerowyn's Tale, #1) Magic's Price (Valdemar: Last Herald-Mage #3) Magic's Promise (Valdemar: Last Herald-Mage #2)

Share This Book

“Certainly no one has ever died of an unrequited passion—it's usually the ones that are requited that get people in trouble.” 22 likes
More quotes…