Born to Run by Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon

Published: 1992

Genre: urban fantasy

Length: 336 pages

Setting: A large Southern city (I can’t remember which one), 1990s

Interest: I was looking for a light book to read on my Kindle while I was on my biking trip. I enjoy Lackey’s writing, so this one was worth trying out.

Summary: Tannim is a human mage working with some Seleighe elves led by Keighvin Silverhair. The elves are developing a new venture to make money, and give the elves something to do – stock car racing. The trick is, they need cars not made out of metal, now that their cars are being inspected and Elvensteeds won’t pass inspection. They need to bring in a front man to sell their new technology as possible, even though they’re actually using magic to make it. They choose Sam, a retired engineer who had an encounter with Keighvin as a child in Ireland. He quickly adapts to the idea of the Fey and magic being real. Unfortunately, Keighvin has some big-time Unseleighe enemies who are also working in the same town. They’re making their money by filming pornography and snuff films. To get Keighvin and Tannim, they decide to use some street kids Tannim has taken under his wing as stars in the next set of movies. A big battle between the two groups quickly ensues.

Final thoughts: This gave me exactly what I was looking for – some fun, light reading. I mean, come on, what’s not to love with racing elves, magic and technology mixed together (I loved how the Seleighe elves were able to calculate how iron affects their magic and use the effects to their advantage in the battles), and very obvious bad guys (snuff films and kiddie porn? Don’t need to be conflicted about hating them). I also loved the Elvensteeds who were like instant prototype for any variation they could think up for a car.

I did find the first chapter a bit odd, though. Most of the book is about racing cars and saving runaways from prostitution, but it all starts out with Tannim saving a ghost. Yes, it gives a taste of Tannim as a mage, but everything else brought up in that chapter is pretty much ignored until you get at least half-way through the book. The ghost eventually does play a role, but that chapter didn’t seem to fit with the rest of the book.

While it is a light book, it may not be appropriate for a younger audience. There is drug use and prostitution among the runaways, who are only in their young teens. I did appreciate that there was an appendix about how to get help if you were a runaway.

Title comes from: The elves were big into racing and music also played a key role in the story.

Reading challenges fulfilled: 45/100 in my Finally to 100 Challenge, and a D in my Author Alphabet Challenge

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!


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