The Bard's Tale Compendium
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The Bard's Tale Novels

A series of paperback novels based on The Bard's Tale were published by Baen Books during the 1990s.

This is a critically-acclaimed series of books features work by some big names in the mediaeval fantasy genre, including Mercedes Lackey, Josepha Sherman, Aaron Allston, Holly Lisle, Ru Emerson and Mark Shepherd
(...and lets not forget Michael A. Stackpole, the author who wrote the story for The Bard's Tale III: Thief of Fate).
The covers were painted by renowned artist Larry Elmore, famous for his work on the AD&D Dragonlance novels.

They are listed here in the order they were published—but note that some books in the series "go together" more than others, such as 1 & 3, 4 & 7 and 5 & 6.

To help in your search for these occasionally hard-to-find books, I am providing links below to search
I don't think these books will be in print forever, though—be sure to order them now if you are at all interested.

Castle of Deception

The Bard's Tale: Castle of Deception

by Mercedes Lackey, Josepha Sherman
Baen Books, July 1992 — 320 pages — ISBN 0671721259

Believing his new life as a bard's apprentice will be filled with excitement and adventure, young Kevin is disappointed by his first task to deliver a manuscript to the castle of Count Volmar. Disappointed, that is, until the Count's niece is kidnapped by elves. Kevin agrees to locate the young woman, unaware that she is not actually the Count's niece and that the elves are not actually elves.

The Bard's Tale: Fortress of Frost and Fire

by Mercedes Lackey, Ru Emerson
Baen Books, April 1993 — ISBN 0671721623

Return to the world of The Bard's Tale in this stand-alone sequel to the smash hit Castle of Deception. Naitachal, who abandoned the sinister powers of necromancy to become the first elven Bard, showed his true heroic nature in Castle. He is now a Master Bard with a mystical apprentice, Gawaine, a young human. On an adventure to a distant, icy land, the pair rescue three strangers who make for strange companions indeed.
Fortress of Frost and Fire

The Chaos Gate

The Bard's Tale: The Chaos Gate

"Sequel to Castle of Deception"
by Josepha Sherman
Baen Books, April 1994 — ISBN 0671875973

Once a Necromancer like all his kind, the reformed Dark Elf Naitachal is now a peaceful Bard. But shadows from his past linger. His erstwhile clan sees him as the worst of traitors -- and they mean to take revenge using the Chaos Gate. Only Kevin, once Naitachal's apprentice but now a Count in his own castle, can save the Dark Elf from doom.

The Bard's Tale: Prison of Souls

by Mercedes Lackey, Mark Shepherd
Baen Books, November 1994 — 368 pages — ISBN 0671721933

The Dark Elf Naitachal, the hero of Fortress of Frost and Fire, is still going strong and training new apprentices. But his latest, the King's own son, Alaire, isn't ready for their new mission. Prince Alaire is sent on a diplomatic mission to discover why a once-peaceful neighboring kingdom, whose ruler has banned the use of magic, is preparing to go to war.
Prison of Souls

Thunder of the Captains

A Bard's Tale: Thunder of the Captains

by Holly Lisle, Aaron Allston
Baen Books, July 1996 — 288 pages — ISBN 0671877313

When a peace treaty leads to shipwreck and disaster, the survivors, including the leaders of two mighty nations, advisors, ambassadors, sailors, and scribes, are forced to overcome the limits of state in order to survive. King and queen alike are stranded in a land where danger lies everywhere, and hope is an ocean away.

A Bard's Tale: Wrath of the Princes

"Sequel to Thunder of the Captains"
by Holly Lisle, Aaron Allston
Baen Books, March 1997 — 352 pages — ISBN 0671877712

Kin Underbridge and Halleyne dar Dero have returned home to the continent on Feyndala, but not to safety. For the powers that shipwrecked them are now in control of Feyndala's kingdoms. Halleyne and Kin must arrange the rescue of those they left behind, even though the forces of four nations are arrayed against them.
Wrath of the Princess

Escape from Roksamur

A Bard's Tale: Escape from Roksamur

"Sequel to Prison of Souls"
by Mark Shepherd
Baen Books, August 1997 — 288 pages — ISBN 0671877976

Because he's the only man the king, his brother, can trust to investigate the death of the previous ambassador, Bard Alaire has been made ambassador to the troubled kingdom of Suinomen. Once before Alaire was in Suinomen--and barely made it out alive from its Prison of Souls. Now he will face high seas, low magic, and kidnapping by giant spiders--and that's before he even gets there.

The Bard's Tale: Curse of the Black Heron

by Holly Lisle
Baen Books, March 1998 — 240 pages — ISBN 0671878689

Izzy has happy memories from when she was very young, and her father had been one of the greatest Bards in the land. But that had been before she had been given over to a foster mother to live a life of poverty, hard work and misery. As Izzy looks forward 19 days to her freedom, a new ruler seizes the throne of her country. Now Izzy and her friend Giraud, the only surviving heir of an out-of-favor lord, are running for their lives.
Curse of the Black Heron

If you're interested to see what other works are available from the most prolific Bard's Tale authors, see below:

Mercedes Lackey Michael A. Stackpole Aaron Allston Josepha Sherman

You might also still be able to find the PC Bard's Tale games collection, or the Nintendo Bard's Tale cartridge,
and you can also search for all currently listed Bard's Tale products — you never know what's available used.


Bard's Tale fan communities: Yahoo GroupGoogle+ Communityofficial communities: ForumsFacebookTwitter

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The Bard's Tale Compendium website was designed by Poverello Media for fun and educational purposes in 2000. Credits.