author: Mercedes Lackey
series: Heralds of Valdemar #2
published: 1 September 1987
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Set in the medieval fantasy kingdom of Valdemar, this unique and exciting novel continues the story of Talia. Having mastered the powers necessary to a guardian of the kingdom, she faces the final preparation for her initiation as adviser and protector of the Queen.
I loved this book so much! Talia is one of my favorite characters of all the Valdemar books, so any book with her is going to make me happy.
She struggles in this book, and that struggle is what makes her even more real to me. This is definitely a bit more of an angsty read than an action-packed one, but I loved the dimensions it added to her character. I know a lot of readers hate the angstiness of this book, but I loved the character development it provided.
The threads of betrayal, political intrigue, hurt, and distrust weave together in this book to set the stage for Talia’s troubles. Her Talents are on the fritz, and she doesn’t know what to do with it. The very person she should count on is her mentor, Kris, but he’s made it too clear that he doesn’t entirely trust her. And that erodes at her self-confidence and her control over her Talents. The true crux of the story is found in how she works through that and stays true to herself. And I loved every page!