“This book has just about every virtue one can reasonably expect in a contemporary fantasy tale, including a vivid portrait of the contemporary folk scene and a chilling emotional impact that makes many horror novels look pedestrian. Highly recommended.”
“Contemporary” in the above review means the world as it was in 1992 when the book was written. The rapid changes in recording and communications technology make it seem like a period piece now, which is entirely appropriate for the subject matter. This is a fantasy series about a bunch of folk musicians, good pickers and flawed but likable human beings, trying to reclaim songs destroyed by the evil forces (or devils, including but by no means limited to the Expediency Devil, the Stupidity and Ignorance Devil, and the Debauchery Devil) that want humanity to lose its humanity. Hauntings abound, as they do in the folk songs. It’s a good yarn to read at Halloween, whether or not this is the music that moves you. And sometimes it’s really funny. There’s a lot of cussing though. Well, the characters are frustrated and scared a lot, and they beg your pardon for their language but you might do the same if faced with similar catastrophies, disasters, travails, frustrations, and circumstances.