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In this book series there's a male bard who needs to use magic to open a magical well to allow magical creatures to replenish their life force. In this book elves exist and they can drink alcohol all day long and never get drunk but if they drink caffeine they get super drunk almost instantly. The main climax at the end of the book is this bard and a group of musicians playing a song while the battle rages around them so that they can create a new magical well. At one point in time this guy has a friend who's an elf who casts a magic spell to defend him and it's one of the first moments he connects music and magic. As the spell's being cast, he feels like he can determine the key of the music that was put off by the spell. The elves recognize this guy as a bard, which is the only kind of sorcerer that can replenish magic for magical creatures. One other scene I remember is the main character is playing music on the street for money and starts to intentionally will dollar amounts into his hat with musical magic.

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    "Deals recognize this guy as a bard". Who or what is a Deals?
    – Valorum
    Sep 12, 2023 at 18:31
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    Literally "dollars"? Or do you just mean 'money'?
    – Valorum
    Sep 12, 2023 at 18:31
  • Hi, welcome to SF&F. When did you read this? Do you remember the covers of any of the books? How many books were there?
    – DavidW
    Sep 12, 2023 at 18:33
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    You can accept a correct answer by clicking on the checkmark by the voting buttons, as per the tour.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Sep 12, 2023 at 18:57

1 Answer 1

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Could this be Knight of Ghosts and Shadows by Mercedes Lackey and Ellen Guon? The protagonist was a musician and it was part of a book series called Bedlam Bard.

Eric Banyon, a Renaissance Faire musician, must help Korendil, a young elven noble, prevent an evil elven lord from conquering California

Cover of "Bedlam Bard #1: Knight of Ghosts and Shadows" by Mercedes Lackey and Ellen Guon. The letter "T" in "Knight" is stylized as a sword. The cover shows two men, one in a business suit and one in a suit of armor, clashing with swords outside of a castle.

Goodreads has multiple mentions in the reviews of caffeine being an addictive drug for elves.

Beautiful music and elves hopped up on caffeine, what's not to love?

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    I agree; the only part that isn't obvious from the reviews and stuff is the bit about magic wells.
    – DavidW
    Sep 12, 2023 at 18:53
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    {nods} And I can verify that the main conflict here is rescuing and re-opening the Grove, which is a portal to the land of the elves, and also a source for their magic. I recognized the series as soon as it was mentioned that the elves get drunk on caffeine.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Sep 12, 2023 at 18:56
  • "I was trapped in the Node-Grove, the magic nexus at the place-of-festival, trapped by our enemy, Terenil's and mine, the traitor we once harbored in our midst."
    – FuzzyBoots
    Sep 12, 2023 at 18:59
  • If by "magic well" it means "nexus" or "source" then this definitely matches. Holy carp do people start sentences with "Well," a lot though. It'd be really annoying to actually read this. Book is available to borrow at IA: archive.org/details/bedlamsbard0000lack
    – DavidW
    Sep 12, 2023 at 18:59
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    @Valorum Do you have an "evil Buffy" image to go with your current rep? :D
    – DavidW
    Sep 12, 2023 at 19:10

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