Let the king be king!
Why is the High King of the Human kingdoms not doing his job - and thereby allowing the Church to fill the power vacuum in the human lands of Alanda? This is a matter of some concern to Nightingale and her friends: the Church is becoming ever more overtly hostile to non-human sentients (of which there are several species in Alanda) as well as to anything that that it does not at least indirectly control, such as gypsies and Free Bards.
To discover just what is going on, she will join forces with T'fyrr, a birdman with the vistage of a raptor and the voice of an angelic choir. And before the King - and through him the gypsies, Free Bards and non-humans of the twenty kingdoms - is saved they, the Eagle and the Nightingale, will have become if not quite lovers then far more than friends.
Mercedes Ritchie Lackey (born 1950) is an American writer of fantasy novels. Many of her novels and trilogies are interlinked and set in the world of Velgarth, mostly in and around the country of Valdemar. Her Valdemar novels form a complex tapestry of interaction between human and non-human protagonists with many different cultures and social mores.
Her other main world is one much like our own, but it includes clandestine populations of elves, mages, vampires, and other mythical beings. The Bedlam's Bard books describe a young man with the power to work magic through music; the SERRAted Edge books are about racecar driving elves; and the Diana Tregarde thrillers center on a Wiccan who combats evil.
She has also